Colleges, universities, states, local education agencies, service providers and any other organization investigating whether to invest in EDI or in XML must find the answers and determine their approaches themselves. In making that determination, the analysis should consider the technical capacity of the internal and external organizations with which data will be exchanged or traded, "trading partners", and what they are able to support as ensuring consistent business operations must be a major factor in any determination. Service providers and vendors must analyze and understand what is best for their clients as factors vary depending on how, when, and with whom data is to be exchanged.
As there is no single answer that can apply to every organization, in determining how to proceed and/or manage both EDI and XML, organizations should consider the following five major factors:
Hundreds of colleges, universities and a number of vendors across the United States of America and Canada continue to use EDI on a daily basis. Many have made a long-term investment in EDI and use a free, internet service provided by the University of Texas at Austin to exchange transcripts, test scores and admission applications with one another.
Use of XML is on the rise across North America and around the world. According to an NCES Survey of States, about half of the states will have implemented PESC's High School XML Transcript by the end of 2012. XML is also used by a number of other data initiatives and bodies including the SIF Association, HR-XML and Medbiquitous, among others.
As adoption and implementation of data standards remains mostly voluntary and use of EDI and XML continues, organizations might find the need to support both EDI and XML. EDI will continue to be used for many years to come and new implementations continue as well. Implementation of XML across the education landscape is on the rise and is the sole format used in every college and university in the country for all student aid issued as federal loans and grants.
With the emergence of a 'big data' culture whereby data-driven decision-making is now the golden rule, to ensure efficiency of resource management and effectiveness of programs and services offered, all organizations should establish and support a Data Governance Committee. With limited budgets but growing demands, organizations must be smarter, more efficient and highly strategic about funding resources and efforts. An open, transparent and collaborative committee can also ensure that needs are broadened especially as the industry moves to a P20W (meaning lifelong learning from early childhood to labor and workforce).
In partnership with AACRAO's SPEEDE Committee and to ensure interoperability, crosswalks between EDI and XML are provided as PESC Approved Standards. Crosswalks will continue to be created on a regular basis to incorporate newly developed and updated PESC Approved XML Standards.
In every development initiative, there exists the challenge between building for the future and supporting what's needed today. Voluntary rules of support can be put into place by the communities and stakeholders involved. These rules usually involve or insinuate support for both the existing standard and the future standard.
For service providers and vendors launching new products and services, building two standards simultaneously may be a difficult pill to swallow or even impossible. In these instances, an organization's product development and prioritization process must be clean and efficient and must take into account when the product is to be launched and who would be most likely to use it. In depth customer surveys on development and industry readiness will provide a good snapshot of your target market and depending on the results, may give you your answer.
EDI v 4010--> XML
EDI to XML Transcript v 1.0.0
High School Transcripts
XML --> EDI v 4010
XML Transcript Request v 1.0.0 to EDI
EDI v 4010--> XML
EDI to XML Transcript Request v 1.0.0
XML --> EDI v 4010
XML Transcript Acknowledgement v 1.0.0 to EDI
EDI v 4010 --> XML
EDI to XML Transcript Acknowledgement v 1.0.0
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