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December 29, 1999

BASDA Says XML Technology Will Replace EDI

By CBR Staff Writer

BASDA, the trade association representing 300 of the world’s leading developers of business and accounting software, claims to have published the world’s first fully-operational XML messages for business-to-business e-commerce, enabling the direct exchange of purchase orders and invoices between different accounting software packages via email and the internet. It says the move will revolutionize business-to-business e-commerce and does away with the need for Electronic Data Exchange (EDI), middleware and value added networks.

Dennis Keeling, Basda chief executive says the company has taken an entirely new approach to EDI using existing XML technology to create a many to many interface that works with any business software package. He said that EDI has been around for 20 years and yet less than 1% of organizations worldwide use it because it is complicated and costly to implement.

The remaining 99% of transactions are printed out on specialist stationary from one computer system, send by mail and then keyed into another computer system at great cost in time and materials. A company does not have to have an eBIS-XML enabled application to receive, read and print out the electronic message as an invoice or an order. Now more than 70 business and accounting software developers say they are implementing the BASDA eBIS-XML interface, which will enable their software to use the XML messages.

The initiative has been given an enthusiastic welcome by Microsoft Corp which will support it under its Office and BizTalk e-commerce framework. David Thatcher, business manager for Biztalk said eBIS-XML encompassed everything that Biztalk set out to achieve – the vision of Enterprise Application Integration using XML.

The schemas that define the XML messages can be downloaded free of charge from BASDA ( and Microsoft Biztalk (

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