eBIZ 4.0 project is coming to its last turning point and is deploying all the novelties and new features proposed for the eBIZ specifications.
A substantial improvement in the specifications is proposed in order to better support eBusiness applications, better exploit technologies like XML and JSON and in order to be prepared to support new flows of data along the traceability chains that we expect to be set up in the near future.
Finally, a strategic conference is organized in Frankfurt in order to think on a medium term perspective the issues of the inter-company integration. The focus is on German industry, but with a perspective that thinks to the whole sector in the world.
eBIZ going to better support eBUSINESS
The current draft version of eBIZ introduces concepts that are likely to facilitate its usage in eBusiness applications like B2B and B2C platforms.
For example, the new “Party Information”document is able to support the transfer of information about a number of customers or suppliers with categorization and bank accounting information.
The new “Fashion catalogue” document has been designed for supporting a multiplicity of fashion products (yarns, accessories, fabrics or finished garments) in a common framework and for transferring usual information about pricing (different kinds of prices, allowance and charges), plus information shared with the new "Master data” document (for example operational codes) and the new marketing information to fulfil online catalogues.
For example, now there are additional extended descriptions in a multilingual environment and there are pictures categorized by usage –icons, small definition, high quality printing definition, etc.- that can be embedded or referred on the Internet (see the picture).
The idea is to offer a flexible and powerful support to exchange complex information towards platforms without creating lack of information, bottleneck or ambiguity in the contents.
These new features on the side of data models and semantics are being complemented with the delivery of the JSON version for each XML Schema of eBIZ in order to better support the eBusiness applications.
eBIZ getting prepared to support TRACEABILITY
Traceability is a big issue in the current days and inter-company data exchange is a key enabler: at the end making your products ‘traceable’ means being able to support any assertion your company might produce towards its customers or final consumers.
In this perspective eBIZ has enhanced its capability to transfer information like certifications, technical specifications, etc., into a safe, unambiguous and structured data flows.
On this purpose the eBIZ documents now are able to include an attachment that might be a file directly embedded within the XML file or referred on the Internet with a unique reference thanks to the <refDoc> element; to complete such picture the <refDoc> element might be categorized with a number of labels that allow to recognize the type of document (like ‘origin certificate’ or ‘credit note’ or ‘ethic certifications etc.).
This feature simplifies the sending of eBIZ messages jointly with all the related documentation: for example, when a product is dispatched or when a catalogue is sent the receiving systems easily recognize and retrieve the documentation.
Fashion Forum, the “strategic conference” in Frankfurt
GCSConsulting GmbH, with the support of Euratex and ENEA, organizes a Fashion Forum in Frankfurt in the framework of the eBIZ 4.0 project.
The cover of the invitation says “Where do we stand –why do we need the conference?”.
The proposed answer is in short the following: due to Digitization, Industry 4.0 and/or the Internet of Things the world increasingly turns into a gigantic network where seamless communication on all levels of interaction becomes a critical success factor. The aim of the conference is looking a bit closer into potentials within collaboration mechanisms beyond company borders with the idea that many relevant and valuable bits and pieces do exist -but they don’t match well, yet.
Just 2 relevant examples: EDI and Tracking & Tracing standards, that exist but are rather suboptimal in use, and RFID components, whose prices are at the low level (as many stakeholders demanded for years) but the critical mass is missing.
So how can we change this situation with minimal efforts, maximum of speed and without reinventing the wheel?
Might a “Digital Master Plan” be the answer? Might eBIZ be a corner stone of such a construction?
These points will be discussed in depth at the forum, starting from a comparison between the traditional EDI architectures, eBIZ specifications and the RAMI architecture of the German “Industrie 4.0” as a long term perspective.
The conference rises from the German fashion industry ecosystem, that in the past was the most reluctant to adopt eBIZ, but involves also participants from the rest of Europe (Italy, France, primarily) and the world. >> Read more