The Open Application Group (OAGi) is Pleased to Announce the Release of the First Express Pack for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

Press Release - 17 Dec 2021

ATLANTA, Dec. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The OAGi Express Packs enable rapid implementation of OAGi standards using modern techniques such as OpenAPI Specification (v3), for REST JSON. The API definitions in this Express Pack are the MVP (minimum viable product) to support Order Management, Manufacturing and Quality, and Logistics and Finance business process areas. Express Packs can be the launchpad for these process areas, with the full landscape of OAGi’s comprehensive standards at the implementer’s disposal should they need more.

"The concept of Minimal Viable Product dates back to X12 EDI Implementation Guidelines, where industries and large businesses selected which data elements and qualifier codes were needed for their industry and business, with heavy emphasis on large businesses," explains Scott Nieman, Expert Enterprise Architect at Land O’Lakes, a key contributor to the Express Pack and co-chair of OAGi’s SME Work Group. "During the creation of the Express Pack, we focused on the needs of smaller businesses with limited resources by providing a predefined subset of the OAGIS standard. We reviewed a large cross-section of implementation guidelines, including the Simple-edi submission to UN/CEFACT at the dawn of the XML wave. We could not have delivered the Express Pack without Score, which gave us point and click capabilities to rapidly select the subset of fields, enter detailed data element definitions, and consistent example data across these transactions, and generate the OpenAPI definitions or XML Schema."

This first Express Pack greatly reduces the size of the standards, increases the usability, and accessibility of the OAGIS standard for small and medium enterprises looking to connect to their B2B (Business to Business) partners quickly using APIs, and leverage world-class standards like OAGIS for their internal A2A (Application to Application) integrations. Now everyone has free access to the knowledge and experience of existing OAGi member organizations regarding the use and best practices of the OAGi business objects in a syntax-neutral manner.

"Small and medium-sized manufacturers are integral to the manufacturing industry and almost every manufacturing supply chain," said Dr. Thorsten Wuest, Associate Professor at West Virginia University, and co-author of Digital Supply Networks. "With the digital manufacturing transformation in full force, many of these smaller manufacturers are struggling to adopt the essential technologies and capabilities that enable them to work with larger companies within complex Digital Supply Networks. Lowering this entry barrier and providing them with the tools and means – such as the OAGIS Express Pack – is of critical importance for a resilient and globally competitive manufacturing industry. As we face a significant skills shortage within our current and future manufacturing workforce, this effort aligns well with Gen Z graduates’ interest in data science and programming."

OAGi and its members have been using research results from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Systems Integration Division (SID) to advance the industry practices of developing, using, and maintaining standards such as OAGIS. The Score software is a flagship result of this research that enables greater efficiency in implementing OAGIS and lowers the total cost of ownership of OAGIS. The OAGIS Express Pack is the most recent result from the NIST/OAGi collaboration.

"NIST researchers have used Score for efficient specification and generation of Express Pack resources, which include an optimized collection of light-weight schemas for the business messages that are typically used by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)," states Nenad Ivezic, the Process Engineering Group leader at NIST SID and the OAGi SME Working Group co-chair. "Express Pack schemas have been developed with an important goal to enable easier use of enterprise standards by SMEs and their enterprise application vendors in order to connect SMEs to existing and new networks, such as the one in development for e-Invoicing by the Business Payments Coalition."

The Open Applications Group (OAGi) is a non-profit organization with the mission to reduce the cost of integration by developing inter-operable, cross-functional, cross-industry, data-model-driven, and extensible standards to meet the challenge of a rapidly-changing global digital economy.