Members of the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) announced plans to use ebXML as the backbone of their new data exchange standard for business-to-business trade in the consumer goods industry. ebXML, an initiative of the United Nations CEFACT and OASIS, will provide the technical infrastructure for the Global Commerce Internet Protocol, a set of recommendations governing the management of data for Internet communication and other B2B interactions. GCI members include 40 major manufacturers and retailers as well as eight trade associations, which in total represent 850,000 companies around the world. Exchanges such as Transora, the WorldWide Retail Exchange, GlobalNetXchange, and CPGmarket.com are taking active roles in the GCI development. EAN and the UCC have made a major contribution to GCI’s effort to quickly standardize Internet trading in the consumer products industry with the first in a series of electronic commerce standards. In order to support the GCI Internet Protocol, the UCC and EAN undertook to provide GCI with a series of electronic commerce standards for the following processes: Item Synchronization, Party, Simple Purchase Order and Dispatch (Advance Ship Notice). This project encompassed the creation of business models, global data dictionaries, and XML schemas. GCI proof-of-concept trials are underway and the organization plans to demonstrate its protocol at the upcoming ebXML meeting in Tokyo, November 6, 2000. www.ebXML.org

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