April 21, 2008 14:51 ET

ASC X12 Integrates Data Modeling With Metadata Repositories

FALLS CHURCH, VA--(Marketwire - April 21, 2008) - The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 is pleased to announce that it has successfully bridged the gap between data modeling tools for XML schema development and metadata repositories. This capability also allows various metadata repositories to exchange their base information.

This capability streamlines the initial development and ensures the long-term supportability of business-to-business (B2B) messages in XML and other syntax standards. Developers can leverage the ever-growing collection of cross-industry constructs that populate X12's Standard Metadata Repository (XSMR). XSMR is the data store housing all the messages, their components, and their usages. All the components are versioned and archived. X12 has defined a standard XML schema, called Component Metadata Interchange Format (CMIF), to exchange these definitions between development tools, XSMR, and commercial off-the-shelf products.

CMIF and XSMR are part of X12's Context Inspired Component Architecture (CICA). Invented by ASC X12 and essential to the long-term success of B2B interactions, this architecture provides developers with a modeling methodology, which results in well-structured messages made up of a vast assortment of reusable components. In addition, CICA allows message developers to have their components and finished products placed into the repository, where they can become an industry standard. The finished products can also be maintained, in the long term, by a body wider than the initial developers.

The CMIF gives technology providers opportunity to support standardized cross-industry data components in their product offerings. It gives XML developers the opportunity to use commercial, off-the-shelf tools that support the CMIF to standardize their messages. This architecture enables component reusability and interoperability. Key elements of this X12 infrastructure include:

--  X12 Standard Metadata Repository (XSMR) provides flexible reporting
    capabilities to support standards development work in-progress, and produce
    end-user documents including XML schemas and user-friendly reference guides
--  Web-based administration tool that accepts CMIF based updates via
    automated import into the XSMR providing improved data integrity
--  Automated export capability that enables XML developer users to more
    easily develop their messages from start to finish using commercial off-the-
    shelf products

Presently, all XSMR components -- approved and in development -- are available for use within the GEFEG.FX CICA Editor, which is available to ASC X12 members via the X12 Tools for Members Program. With over 250 X12 users, the X12 Tools for Members Program -- including software contributions from Altova, GEFEG, Edifecs, and Sparx Systems -- is helping X12 users model their business processes, work with schema, and develop new messages.

"With its infrastructure in place, ASC X12 welcomes XML developers wishing to have a long-term, stable, shared solution for their business needs to accelerate their design and implementation process using our architecture. Participating in the X12 environment will drive much-needed semantic and technical interoperability," said ASC X12 Chair Dan Kazzaz.

About ASC X12

The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, chartered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1979, develops electronic data interchange (EDI) standards and related documents for national and global markets. With more than 315 X12 EDI standards and a growing collection of X12 XML schemas, ASC X12 enhances business processes, reduces costs and expands organizational reach. ASC X12's diverse member base includes 3,000+ standards experts representing over 340 companies from multiple business domains. To learn more about ASC X12 and how to participate in its vital standards-setting role for health care, insurance, transportation, finance, government and many other industries, visit or call 703-970-4480.

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