cXML or Commerce eXensible Markup Language is based upon XML standards (an implementation of SGML). It is used within companies and organisations to facilitate data transfer in cXML messages providing a standard for businesses to transact and integrate disparate systems over the Internet (in a secure manner). Each document format must adhere to a DTD (document type definition) which explains the rules i.e. the allowed format of the underlying XML data. For B2B ecommerce portals, cXML documents are used to share catalogs, punchouts and purchase orders.
For further information please refer to our what is cXML? article.
Suppliers may choose to offer their catalog (catalogue) data in cXML format. By utilising this open document standard product categories, product data, images and prices can be shared to B2B customers. Customers can be served up tailored/bespoke product data specific to their needs/pricing which can be used in the procurement process. cXML provides the clean underlying product data in a format that allows it to be easily distributed. Advansys are able to generate cXML catalogs within our B2B ecommerce platform to syndicate your inventory to buyers allowing for seamless procurement.
Punchouts allow for tailored procurement by facilitating the shopping/ordering process for both B2B parties. A purchaser typically shops on the supplier's website and builds their order request in the normal manner, for example by adding to a shopping cart or basket. Pricing is typically specific to the customer once identified by an initial cXML request. At checkout a cXML document is sent back to the customers procurement system containing the details of the products requested. No additional data entry is required on the customer side since this is already within the cXML message thus reducing data entry and human error.
Typically punchouts take one of the following forms:
cXML can also be used to facilitate purchase order requests using standard messaging types with or without attachments. One of the most common purchase order platforms/applications is Arriba.
For more information on cXML and B2B ecommerce please contact us today.
- Paul Gurnell - GlaxoSmithKline -