Electronic Transaction Governance: Implementing Standard Compliance

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This is the first of a series of five blog posts detailing how to implement Electronic Transaction Governance in your software interfaces.  We will also discuss how Wovenware implements Electronic Transaction Governance in the Wovenware Integrator. The Wovenware Integrator is an adaptable software platform that provides visibility and accountability to all electronic transaction processes. Please refer to the What is Electronic Transaction Governance blog post for a detailed explanation of the term.

Electronic Transaction Governance: Standard Compliance

In this first blog post we will discuss the area Standard Compliance. Standard Compliance is the area of Electronic Transaction Governance that mitigates processing risks and assures proper handling of the electronic interaction through the initial verification of the electronic message. Standard Compliance limits its process to the verification of the electronic contract between the partners. That is, Standard Compliance will only verify the message format and not the data that is embedded in the message.

The message format can be a standard based format (e.g. ASC X12 EDI, NIEM, HL7, etc.) or a custom defined message format agreed to by the communicating parties.

For example, Partner A and Partner B decide to exchange new purchase orders through electronic messaging and they agree to exchange the messages using the following xml files:

Partner A Sends New Order Request:

<order>
  <item>
    <sku></sku>
    <quantity></quantity>
  </item>
</order>

Partner B Responds with New Order Request Acknowledgment:

<order>
  <acknowledgment></acknowledgment>
  <item>
    <sku></sku>
    <quantity></quantity>
    <price_per_item></<price_per_item>
  </item>
  <total_order_price></<total_order_price>
</order>

Standard Compliance dictates that when Partner B receives a New Order Request the first step in the electronic message handling process is the verification of the message. That is, the certification that the received message conforms to the agreed communication standard. The same would apply to Partner A when a New Order Acknowledgment is received.

To implement Standard Compliance an initial software process must exist to verify all incoming messages. The process will validate that the received message follows the established messaging format. If the tested message does not adhere to the established messaging format then the Standard Compliance software process must notify or return the message to the sender and not allow the message to continue processing.

The Wovenware Integrator handles this verification through the configuration of its Application Services implementations. Application Services are customizable software processes, based on a Software Pattern developed by Wovenware Engineers, which can execute following a custom defined business workflow. The first defined task of the business workflow is an Application Service that is configured to validate the format of all incoming messages. If a message does not conform to the expected format, the message is not allowed to continue through the business workflow and a notification message is sent to the sender.

In our next post we will discuss how to implement the Data Quality area of Electronic Transaction Governance.

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