Falls Church, Va., May 17, 2004 – During the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 June Trimester Meeting held in Chicago, June 6-11, 2004, it was announced that the ballot of X12.7 was ratified by ninety-seven percent of the membership, making Context Inspired Component Architecture (CICA) and XML Syntax Representation the newest member of the ASC X12 standard.

“This is a very exciting time to be active in ASC X12. With membership passing X12.7 by such a high percentage, it is clear that this standard will drive the development of the next generation of business collaboration,” said ASC X12 Chairman Ralph Berwanger. “More importantly, ASC X12 has successfully demonstrated that CICA is appropriate for use within other standards organizations and we are encouraged that other standards bodies are seriously considering its use.”

The first set of components from the architecture is being placed out for ballot later this month. These entities include the Interested Party Module and all of the structures that comprise it. When approved, these components will be published as part of the ASC X12 standard. Aware of the need to accelerate the publication of the CICA components, the ASC X12 Steering Committee approved production of three full releases of the standard per year. This schedule provides six opportunities per year to change and modify the standard.

CICA has captured the attention of the business community with the same appeal that legacy EDI did decades ago. CICA not only facilitates the creation of XML business messages and enhances the reusability and interoperability of message structures, but also makes it possible to use the same architecture as future markup languages are developed. Rita E. Knox, Ph.D., Gartner, Inc., believes that ASC X12's CICA is one of the best approaches available and that is likely to have long-term success. "The proliferation of XML-defined standards can lead to millions of dollars of lost effort and may cause different parts of the same company to process conflicting XML messages that compromise business critical transactions and operations," said Dr. Knox. "Without a common framework for how XML-defined standards are developed, there is little hope that the savings, economic advantages and enhanced enterprise integration possible with XML will be realized.”

The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs, Inc. (NCPDP), a not-for-profit ANSI-Accredited Standards Development Organization consisting of over 1,300 members in the pharmacy services industry, recently participated with the ASC X12 standards body to learn how NCPDP members can use CICA as a solution to HIPAA legislation requirements. NCPDP Board member John Klimek R.Ph. remarked, “After attending the CICA Workshop in Chicago, the last slide of the presentation basically summed it all up for me as to why ASC X12 and CICA are important: Allows organizations to apply the same methods for messages used across industries!”

There is no meeting registration fee for ASC X12 members and first-time nonmember attendees. Visit www.x12.org to learn more about or to register for ASC X12’s next Trimester Meeting to be held October 3-8, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Miami, Florida. This October Meeting will culminate an exciting year surrounding ASC X12’s 25th Birthday Celebration. Questions and additional information related to CICA can be sent to cicahelp@disa.org.

About the Accredited Standards Committee X12
The Accredited Standards Committee X12, accredited by the American National Standards Institute and comprised of cross-industry representation, develops robust e-business exchange standards in X12 electronic data interchange (EDI) and XML formats that interact with a multitude of e-business technologies and serve as a 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 is an active contributor to the United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/EDIFACT), an international standard relating to the exchange of goods and services. To learn more about ASC X12, visit www.x12.org or call 703-970-4480.

Press Contact
Catherine McDonald, cmcdonald@disa.org, 703-970-2064