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Subject: Re: ebXML adoption?

melanie.mccarthy@gm.com wrote:
> I think that this article starts out very well explaining the relationship
> between EDI and XML but I am NOT in favor of converting EDI and XML for two
> reasons.   First, I think that XML has the opportunity to do things better than
> what was done in the past with EDI.  So I would like to see us create something
> that is the 'best solution', rather than something that can be re-fitted to the
> existing.

I agree with this philosophy.  In a perfect world,  we would all wipe
the slate clean, start with one system and use the one system for

I think that trying to do this would alienate a large percentage of
those who need to be involved.  I believe that what you have said could
be expressed like this to accomplish the same task:

1.  ebXML should be built as a stand alone XML-syntax system that has a
vocabulary for expressing Identifiable, Re-useable Business Information
Objects (IRBIO's) and any related business methods.

2. This will create an EDI independant system for conducting all
business methods using XML as the sole mechanism for expressing and
conveying data.

3. Applications, written in any language which can parse and manipulate
XML data, can then act as intelligent agents.

4.  Second tier applications could be developed in circumstances where a
participating Entity (ie - Company) chooses to still use EDI locally and
translate all business methods into ebXML via a mapping application.

I feel it is very important that the EDI can be mapped to the ebXML by
the Intelligent Agents.  There is definately a need to protect Company's
investments into EDI in instances where the company wants this.

If General Motors doesn't want this, then they are 100% able to use XML
and XML only for their business needs.  This will be attractive to new
entities who decide to use the ebXML architecture for their electronic
business methods.  

I agree that we need to eventually have all legacy systems replaced by
transport layer and data independant systems.  It would be unfeasable
for all companies to try and switch over at once though.  The retraining
and technical integration logistics would be a nightmare.  I certainly
think that companies should be able to map their own switch over to an
XML based e-business architecture.

While both small and new companies will benefit from an immediate
transplant to ebXML the following may be a typical scenario for a large
company to adopt it:

1. Identify and study ebXML 

2. Use a conversion software for interm mapping of existing EDI methods
to 100% ebXML compliant methods.

(At this point,  all data leaving the company can be acted upon by all
other entities as if it has never been in EDI format.)

3.  Complete a full scale conversion to XML by scaling down back end
(legacy) systems as IT budgets allow.

4.  In the end - 100% XML compatible. 

Any thoughts???



  After the ultimate solution is created, I have faith that technology
> will be able to assist us though the transition, even if it is not the best
> interim solution!   My second concern is based on the history of the automotive
> industry,  it seems that because of size and complexity, often once something is
> put in place that works,  we are hesitate to change to something better.  That
> is why some of the original implementations of EDI (X12 version 2001, etc.) are
> still being used today.   Yes, the reason that new versions are created is
> generally to add new functionality, but often these 'new versions' are very
> different from the original, so most likely it might be almost as easy to
> support something new as it is to support multiple versions of the same message.
> But the concepts of XML: simplicity, self-describing data, and less expensive to
> buy and maintain, are great concepts that can in the short term benefit
> small-and-medium suppliers BUT may also benefit large companies as new
> applications replace legacy systems.
> regards,
> Melanie

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