Alexandria, Va

Alexandria, Va., June 18, 2002 - With the goal of understanding and enabling universal interoperability in Extensible Markup Language (XML), the ANSI Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 Convergence and Outreach Task Group (COTG) met recently with numerous industry group representatives to speed development, harmonization and implementation of XML standards and specifications used for business exchange within and across industries. The ASC X12 COTG met with organizations such as the OASIS Universal Business Language Technical Committee, the Interactive Financial eXchange Forum, the North American Energy Standards Board, and many others during the dynamic ASC X12 meeting June 2-7 in Minneapolis.

"The discussions from the variety of groups defining XML vocabularies for their industries highlighted the very challenging goal of universal interoperability," said ASC X12 COTG Chair Karen Raper of LittleSys Inc. "ASC X12 has a long standing commitment to cross-industry interoperability in EDI [electronic data interchange]. We must honor and maintain that commitment as we proceed with our XML standards work. By collaborating with groups external to ASC X12 as a union of equals, together we can leverage all our work to address and resolve the issues that prevent cross-industry implementations of XML. We look forward to participating with those who joined us in Minneapolis, as well as many others who seek cross-industry interoperability."

Offering a place for global XML convergence and interoperability, ASC X12 COTG serves as a point of entry and outreach for organizations developing business message specifications for their industries. The COTG will continue this essential work over the summer via listserve discussions and teleconferences. To join the COTG listserve, subscribe at http://www.x12.org/x12org/listserve.cfm.

About ASC X12

The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, accredited by the American National Standards Institute and comprised of cross-industry representation, develops robust e-business exchange specifications and EDI standards that interact with a multitude of e-commerce technologies and serve as the premier tool for integrating electronic applications. Through standards setting and active participation in emerging and technically relevant initiatives, ASC X12 facilitates the effective exchange of electronic information. Propelling global e-business, ASC X12 serves as the entry point for the United States into the United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/EDIFACT), an international standard relating to the exchange of trade goods and services. To learn more about ASC X12, visit www.x12.org or call 703-837-6155.