XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. It is a generic term for a globally defined set of standards and rules that enable documents to be codified in a way that both humans and machines can read. I would say that the humans likely to read XML based documents will be of the highly technical variety, not generally a business person. Here’s a little example of what it looks like …. See what I mean?
The major benefits of XML integration are:
- time saving – the removal of the lag time caused by manual data entry from system to system.
- error reduction – the removal of data punching errors.
- data quality – the increased accuracy of transaction posting.
- consistency – a single conduit for all spend information ensuring gaps or misalignment of data-matching are identified and resolved at a systemic level.
Because XML is standards based, it is an ideal way to exchange information between computer systems wherever systems are not natively connected or integrated. We use XML in iPOS for SunSystems to send and receive documents to other systems such as asset management, inventory and warehousing applications.
When I say ‘documents’ what I mean from an iPOS perspective is a requisition, a purchase order, a goods receipt and a supplier invoice.
At each one of these stages in iPOS there is an XML gateway that either publishes the relevant document for consumption by another system or accepts a document for consumption within iPOS.
For example, you may create spend requests in an asset maintenance system for some spare parts. Using XML, these can be inserted into iPOS either as “unapproved requisitions” which means they will go through the iPOS approval process, or as “approved requisitions” which means they will skip the iPOS approval process and go straight to available for purchase order. Once the goods are receipted in iPOS, an XML feed can let the asset system know that the spare parts have arrived.
The iPOS XML gateway applies all the necessary business validation rules against the inbound documents and ensures they are properly formed transactions before posting them as commitments into Infor SunSystems. An iPOS admin user gets notification emails about any errors and can edit the problem transactions in a holding status to correct the problems and repost into the ledger.
The transaction stages in iPOS that have XML integration points are:
- Requisition – submitted, approved, recalled
- Purchase order – generated
- Goods receipt – submitted, recalled
- Invoice – submitted
- Requisition – submit, approve, reject, recall, remove, edit approved requisition, change supplier
- Order – generate, delete, recall, remove line
- Goods receipt – submit, recall
- Invoices – submit, recall, approve
- Credit note – submit, recall, approve
You can read more about Professional Advantage and iPOS here.
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