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EDI and XML: Where to?

This tip is a series of questions and answers excerpted from a recently held online Q&A session.

EDI and XML: Where to?
J.P. Morgenthal, CTO, XMLSolutions

This tip is a series of questions and answers excerpted from a recently held online Q&A session on the searchebusiness Web site. Several participants asked about the direction XML will go vis-à-vis EDI.


Q. What is the future? EDI integrated with XML, or will EDI fade away?
A. EDI is heavily entrenched in the backoffice of the Global 2000. The opportunity for it to be surpassed by XML is a good 5 years away at a minimum. Still, users would like to leverage the tools and services surrounding XML in tandem with existing legacy EDI systems. Therefore, there is significant synergy between the two technologies.

Q. What kind of effort is involved in switching EDI business processes to XML?
A. Most of the EDI business processes are further defined by industry standard groups such as AIA, AIAG, VICS, etc. These processes work quite well regardless of the content format. Therefore, they should work with XML content. However, using XML and the Internet, they may be optimized further.

Q. Don't both EDI and XML rely on both trading partners acquiring and transmitting information in a batch process?
A. EDI ships transactions in mailbags. This was done for efficiency purposes as it was created for the days of low-bandwidth and VANs. With the advent of high-bandwidth pipes and Internet availability, these processes can become more synchronous and conversational.

Q. Can you suggest the BEST initial XML application to complement existing EDI infrastructure applications?
A. My guess is that EDI has some missing functionality; especially in the area of logistics. I think the best opportunity is to fill in the gaps in existing eBusiness systems.


To read the entire transcript of this session, click over to our searchebusiness Web site.

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Related Book

Enterprise XML Clearly Explained
Author : Robert Standefer
Publisher : Morgan Kaufmann
ISBN/CODE : 012663355X
Cover Type : Soft Cover
Pages : 300
Published : Dec 2000
Summary :
Extensible Markup Language (XML) enables Web publishers and programmers to display information in ways that HTML cannot by customizing and adapting the language to meet special needs. As people take advantage of this diverse language, XML is quickly becoming the key for enterprise database companies, vendors, and consultants to connect and automate enterprise systems and databases. In short, XML creates interoperability and more integrated systems for any complex computer system. In Enterprise XML Clearly Explained, computer specialist Robert Standefer shows you how to implement XML in enterprise applications such as data warehousing, databases, electronic commerce, and the simplification of data retrieval. Written in a concise, enjoyable style, Enterprise XML Clearly Explained is ideal for the novice to XML without boring the experienced and will show you how to use this booming technology to benefit your organization.


This was last published in February 2001

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