Electronic Representation of Phytosanitary Certificates
Shared by: LeePenny
Jason Dittrich NAPPO E-CERT Technical Advisory Group Facsimile / Digitized Image EDI – Electronic Data Interchange XML – Extensible Markup Language Pros ◦ Simple implementation using readily available technology ◦ Human-readable with no processing necessary Cons ◦ Data in document not easily extracted ◦ Computer validation of contents virtually impossible Pros ◦ Compact format for low bandwidth transmission ◦ Proven technology in wide use in many industries ◦ Content restriction through document definition available ◦ Machine validation built in ◦ Simple data extraction Cons ◦ Not human-readable. Must be processed before viewing easily ◦ Machine processing tools are mainly proprietary and can be costly ◦ Beginning to be perceived by many as legacy 20th Century Technology Pros ◦ International Standard developed by the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) ◦ Human-readable. Machine processing not strictly necessary ◦ Content restriction through document definition available (XML Schema) ◦ Machine validation possible ◦ Tools for reading/writing XML widely available and low cost Cons ◦ Larger data size due to self-describing format requires either: Data compression High bandwidth connectivity UN/CEFACT Recommends using XML for new projects that do not have legacy systems to consider NAPPO E-Cert Panel recommends using XML for representing certificates The following section(s) assume the international community decides upon using XML as the standard format for electronic representation of phytosanitary certificates. The XML Schema standard developed by the W3C is currently the de facto standard for defining document contents XML Schema provides means for describing, with varying degrees of specificity, what a document can and should contain Listing of data elements included in a particular type of document Documentation of data elements Type of information each data element can contain Type of data: Lists (enumerations) Required data elements Few restrictions imposed by schema Generic definition allows for use with more than one type of certificate, e.g. Phytosanitary certificates, live animal certificates, meat certificates, etc Business rules must be imposed outside of schema, either: ◦ Internally for each participating NPPO ◦ Centrally using common validation system UN/CEFACT SPS_Certificate Schema already published: http://www.unece.org/uncefact/data/ standard/SPSCertificate_1p0.xsd Schema definition more restrictive than generalized definition Business rules imposed within schema itself No reuse for other certificate types: schema specific to phytosanitary certificates What approach does the international community want to use for electronically representing phytosanitary certificates? ◦ Digitized Image / Facsimile ◦ EDI ◦ XML ◦ Other If XML is selected by the community as the method to use, which approach to XML Schema use should be used? Generalized or Detailed Schema Definition? For the Generalized Schema Definition, business rules are not imposed within the schema itself and must be implemented separately. Where to validate business rules? ◦ Method 1: Each NPPO builds business rule validation into their internal systems ◦ Method 2: International Community creates a central system for validating business rules For the Detailed Schema Definition, business rules are imposed within the schema itself. There is no existing standard phyto-specific schema, so what vehicle should be used for building it? ◦ UN/CEFACT ◦ IPPC ◦ Other organization? To implement electronic certificates, the international community must decide: ◦ How to best represent phytosanitary certificates electronically? ◦ How does the community want to use the information sent? ◦ Should business rules be imposed as part of an international standard? If yes, should this be done as part of the schema or separately either within each country or centrally.