Robert Blatt [E.I.D.] (
Thu, 7 May 1998 13:46:52 -0700

After reading your e-mail, I wanted to share another perspective on SWAP/XML
and EDI. The implementation of XML technology has already begun. The
number of oraganizations planning on implementing EDI is rapidly decreasing.
The number of organizations implmenting various forms of e-commerce has been
steadily increasing.

Recently Congress enacted HIPAA which includes requirements such as the
implementation of electronic information interchange between health care
providers and insurance companies (along with other organizations). HHS is
now preparing a set of rules to be implemented over the next 1 -2 years
(based on EDI). After they have completed this process, the full EDI
requirements would be in place. Organizations would be required to support
these capabilities, or potentially face very heavy fines if found to be
non-compliant with HIPAA. Seeing as HHS is recommending EDI, it is
important to get the HHS team involved in this discussion. Past experience
with various people within this HHS effort have indicated that they would
very much like to get this input and feedback.

Seeing as HIPAA requires the implementation of standards, if we could get
AIIM's support we could further the process of establishing these standards
with this effort. While there are a number of standards related to workflow
already in place, or are in process, I propose that a proposal be submitted
to AIIM to develop this standard on "the fast track". This standard should
be related to an XML based process interchange format, The result of
implementing this standard would benefit HHS, health care providers,
insurance organizations, and other government agencies. EDI was not
developed with internet/intranet technologies in mind. As the overall
computing industry is moving in this direction, wouldn't it be prudent for
everyone else to move in the same direction?

I have copied William Braithwaite (HHS) and Betsy Fanning
(AIIM-International Sandards Manager) on this e-mail to keep them current on
the discussions.

R. Blatt
Principal Consultant
Electronic Image Designers, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
From: Gregory Alan Bolcer []
Sent: Thursday, May 07, 1998 12:43 PM
Subject: EDI and XML

As a matter of interest, I am posting this to this group.
The May 4th PC Week has an article titled 'XML Holds
Promise as EDI Replacement'.

"XML has a chance to do what no other Web technology
preceding it has done: supplant EDI as the preferred
means of conducting business-to-business commerce

The article goes on to claim that XML can deliver EDI
functions in a cheaper, more flexible, and more interactive way.
Interestingly enough, one quote describes EDI as a "...dead
animal just lying there You are sending dead animals back
and forth. With XML, you have a live, interactive animal
doing whiz-bang things."

What's interesting from the SWAP perspective is, these live,
whiz-bang things are workflow processes. To me, this reinforces
the idea that XML is the mechanism that describes the format
of the data and SWAP is the protocol that describes the
interaction. This also re-enforces the need to have a standard
process interchange format, presumably XML-based also, so you have
both process and data encoding.