Rik Drummond (
Fri, 8 May 1998 08:12:32 -0500

There is also a large effort going on right now, jointly sponsored by
CommerceNet/X12/GCA, to move the EDI data dictionaries into XML. This will
also include defining DTDs for some X12 transactions. This effort will have
draft papers out in June 1998.

Regards, Rik Drummond
Co-chair of the XML/EDI Effort

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert Blatt [E.I.D.] []
> Sent: Thursday, May 07, 1998 3:47 PM
> To:;; bbraithw@OSASPE.DHHS.GOV;
> Betsy Fanning
> Cc: Jack Gibbons; Richard Blatt;
> Subject: RE: EDI and XML
> After reading your e-mail, I wanted to share another perspective
> 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.
> HHS/HIPAA EDI effort
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Gregory Alan Bolcer []
> Sent: Thursday, May 07, 1998 12:43 PM
> To:
> Cc:
> 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.