RosettaNet XML supply-chain tests begin

By Nancy Dillon, Computerworld |  Development

RosettaNet is moving from the
laboratory to real-life beta tests.

That was the message at a RosettaNet press conference in Palo Alto, Calif., today.

RosettaNet is a PC industry consortium dedicated to creating e-commerce standards
that will enable computer makers, resellers and users to buy and sell products more
easily over the Internet.

The basis of the effort is a set of dialogs called Partner Interface Processes
(PIP). Unlike electronic data interchange, which is transaction-centric, RosettaNet
said PIPs were designed to handle dialogs (multiple data transactions back and forth).

The idea of the consortium is to build a master dictionary of common definitions for
product, partner and transaction properties. Thus, one partner wouldn't call the cost
of a product the "cost" and another partner call it the "price." Once the definitions
are all standardized, automated transactions become easier. The exchange format for the
RosettaNet framework is Extensible Markup Language (XML).

RosettaNet partners said they are committing not only to XML and other technologies,
but also to standardize processes, data and workflows within the consortium.

The first phase of the beta implementation includes 15 companies. By August 9, at
least eight partner projects are slated to be complete. And those companies said they
expect to implement the RosettaNet PIPS in live business activities, not only tests, by
Feb. 2.

Other industries have already expressed interest in building on the standards-
setting efforts of RosettaNet, according to Fadi Chehade , the group's CEO, including
the furniture, petroleum and automotive industries.

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