The CHALENGE project aims to develop a generic software platform to enable computer applications to link to applications running in other remote computers by using EDI messages to carry the data being transferred and sending the messages over X.400 networks.
The platform will exploit the recent significant advances in Open Systems standards, such as X.400 1988, the Pedi protocol, FTAM/ROSE/RPC, and UN/EDIFACT syntax and message designs. By basing the development on Unix the platform will have wide applicability as the basis of prototype products for both software houses and equipment vendors. Organisations developing their own applications to use EDI will benefit especially from the definition of the CHALENGE EDI Application Programming Interface (API). This definition will be submitted offered to the appropriate international standardisation bodies.
The project will collect and analyse users' requirements for application control and the monitoring of the sending, receipt and translation of EDI messages. User organisations from several business and commercial sectors will be consulted and the CHALENGE EDI API defined from an analysis of their responses.
The results of previous studies, such as GAUCHO (project 2563), will be researched and incorporated in the project and the software design. The software will then be built to link applications from host machine to host machine over network services through the CHALENGE EDI API, with management, message translation and communications functions handled by the platform. This software will run on a number of host machine/vendor Unix engine configurations, reflecting current and foreseen market needs.
The functionality of the CHALENGE EDI API and CHALENGE platform will be tested, demonstrated and promoted in the same trade sectors from which user organisations were drawn in the initial analysis of requirements. Demonstrations will aim to use existing Community-wide X.400 network services, especially the Y-NET service.
CHALENGE platform's development and demonstration will also contribute to the growth of EDI in the internal market, showing the more standardised and cost-effective linkage possible between many types of host application machine. The project is therefore relevant to users (whether small, medium or large organisations), service providers and vendor organisations alike.
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