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Subject: Brave new world - was Re: Units of Measure

On Mon, 10 Jul 2000 17:09:43 -0400, William J. Kammerer wrote:

>If only it were that easy: the problems with business
>integration will remain after the hype dies down. After we enter the
>trough of disappointment, are we going to be left with people reading
>raw XML documents, handkeying the data into their order entry systems,
>much as they do with rip-n'-read EDI today?

I first got involved in EDI in the late 80's when it was still 
possible to believe that it would cut costs and be an 
instrument of  business process reform across the entire 
enterprise spectrum.  However, as we all know, the 
implementation cost swamped the benefits for most SME's, 
and the new milennium never quite arrived.

XML has a lot going for it but, as William says, the basic
business integration issues that make EDI expensive still
remain.  However I think that we can afford to be optimistic
about ebXML.

In my view the dominant a2a business integration problems 
have been:
- the difficulty and cost of achieving truly usable interchange 
  standards via X12/EDIFACT standards + MIGs and/or 
  individual agreements, and
- the fact that core business applications, especially those
  intended for SME use, are generally not designed with a2a 
  integration in mind;  you have to go through hoops to get 
  transactions in and out.

ebXML business process modelling promises
relief on both counts.  It should provide an approach to 
standardisation that is more direct, systematic, rigorous 
and cost effective than traditional EDIFACT and X12.  It should 
also provide viable designs for a2a application interfaces 
that can be adopted by business software companies.

This may not be the ultimate panacea, but I would expect to
see a much greater penetration into SME applications.


Robert Dakin
Dr Robert Dakin
Dakin Technology
Home page:   http://www.pcug.org.au/~daktec/
Tel: +61 2 6255 1436  Fax: +61 2 6255 1304

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