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Vertical Industry Standards Affecting the Defense Industry

Standards are the foundation for business process interoperability between information systems and platforms. Industry standards define a common business language, which is required to cost-effectively enable business process integration, both inside defense organizations and across the value chain.

The following organizations produce standards or promote best practices that SAP customers in defense have found to be extremely useful in enabling business processes between internal systems as well as the systems of their ecosystem.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 is the North American organization that develops cross-industry standards. It is well known for the X12 syntax based Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) transactions. ASC X12 has also developed an XML-based “Context Inspired Component Architecture” (CICA) methodology that is a derivative of the ISO 15000-5 Core Components. ASC X12 is also beginning to create XML schema based on CICA.

EPCglobal is leading the development of industry-driven standards for the Electronic Product Code™ (EPC) to support the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in trading networks. EPC tags are the electronic equivalent of the ubiquitous barcode. EPCglobal is a subscriber-driven organization comprised of industry leaders and organizations focused on creating global standards for the EPCglobal Network™. The goal of EPCglobal is increased visibility and efficiency throughout the supply chain and higher quality information flow between companies and their key trading partners. For many industries, as well as governments, RFID holds the promise of streamlining many business processes as well as providing more accurate information up and down the supply chain with respect to the production, movement and sale of goods.

The Open Applications Group, Inc. (OAGi) is a not-for-profit open standards organization that defines process-based XML standards called Business Objects Documents (BODs) that span both B2B and A2A integration scenarios. The Open Applications Group was formed in late 1994 as one of the first post-EDI organizations focusing on improving the state of application integration. Today, OAGi has defined more than 400 BODs that address a wide variety of business applications. While there is generally a focus on manufacturing, many BODs are developed for very specific applications. SAP has a seat on the board of OAGi and is helping OAGi work towards alignment of the various discrete manufacturing community standards and towards adopting a single methodology.

The United Nations/Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) is a chartered activity of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE). The UN/CEFACT mission is to support, enhance, and promote trade facilitation between developed, developing and transitional economies. UN/CEFACT standards consist of EDI Messages, supporting data elements, technical specifications for the UN/CEFACT EDI syntax (EDIFACT), technical specifications for methodologies and syntax specific implementation specifications such as XML Naming and Design Rules.

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