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1997-03-25 15:06:25


There Is No Agreed-Upon Standard



COMPUTERWORLD (March 24) reported on the absence of an EDI (electronic data interchange) standard.

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EDI applications, like a lot of older software, traditionally have represented years with only two characters. To avoid messing up one another's applications, EDI users must agree on a common method for representing years after Jan. 1, 2000. . . .

But there's no one source for this Holy Grail of a standard. In the case of EDI, the American National Standards Institute is doing the haggling. In the securities industry, it's being done by a group of volunteers. Some large customers are using guidelines from the ever-influential Gartner Group. Even some vendors are trying to establish year 2000 standards, but none has won widespread acceptance. Among other obstacles, who wants to get stuck with the legal risk of certifying that an application is year 2000-compliant when it isn't?


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