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UN/CEFACT Data Exchange Standards for Smart Containers

The Smart Container project aims to boost the digital transformation of the transportation and logistics industry, fueling innovation in applications and services.

Supply chain stakeholders need to share significant volumes of data from many different sources to be able to do their daily business. This data must be integrated and fed directly into the business processes designed by the stakeholders. To enhance international trade and to take advantage of growing volumes of data, automation is needed.

At the same time, application development paradigms are shifting from a traditional style, where applications are developed standalone from scratch, to approaches where applications become services used as add-ons to primary programs. The ability to plug and play different services and data sources is key to ensure agile, cost-efficient development and continuous adaptation of composite services.

See also: How Real-Time Data is Automating the Temperature-Controlled Supply Chain

To address these issues, many organizations develop applications and services based on a service-oriented architecture (SOA), which promotes sharing and reusing software components. Software applications are built by composing loosely coupled services-residing in the network and accessible via standard protocols-into larger composite services, or applications.

The adoption of an SOA often accelerates application development by an order of magnitude compared to the development time in present long-established, tightly coupled, monolithic environments. In addition, the use of an SOA approach enables new business processes to be implemented quickly from existing services and allows those implementations to be adjusted rapidly to meet changing requirements.

Underlying Technology Key to SOA’s Benefits

The SOA approach is technology-agnostic. Application designers can implement SOA using a wide range of technologies, including Representational State Transfer (REST) and Web Service (WS) standards, which were developed by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

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