The XML format is a text-based file that can be used to store data in a structured manner. XML works well as both human-readable and machine-readable information, making it perfect for use across the automotive aftermarket industry. XML provides fitment data for automotive aftermarket catalogs and a means of communicating the data between supply chain partners. XML is often used in conjunction with ACES (Automotive Component Exchange Specification) and PIES (Product Information Exchange Specification).
This article will discuss what XML does, why XML was developed, and some of the benefits of using ACES XML when exchanging product-related information such as fitment data or pricing info between customers, suppliers, retailers, and other supply chain partners.
What Is XML?
XML is a markup language that enables you to define a specific document structure. It defines the data and tags associated with each type of content in an XML file, such as headings, paragraphs, lists, or embedded files. XML provides a way for computer-readable documents to be read by both humans and computers alike across various platforms without any variations from one source and another. Similarly, XML can be used to edit XML files.
XML is an acronym for Extensible Markup Language, which has a root meaning of “extendable.” It was designed as the XML specification in 1996 by Tim Bray and others from Sun Microsystems (which later became Oracle) before submitting it to the World Wide Web Consortium standards body. It obtained status as a recommendation that year.
In addition, the XML format is used in the automotive aftermarket industry for the XML catalogs displayed on ACES and PIES industry websites. XML is used to provide fitment data for automotive aftermarket catalogs and a means of communicating the information between supply chain partners.
The XML format supports both human-readable content as well as machine-readable files. They can be read by standard applications such as browsers, search engines, or other programs that process XML data, including XML editors like Microsoft Word 2007 (or later) with an XML plug-in installed to make it easier to edit XML documents.
What Are ACES and PIES?
The Aftermarket Catalog Exchange Standard (ACES) and the Product Information Exchange Standard (PIES) are two automotive industry standards XML supports.
ACES facilitates the communication of aftermarket catalog data between supply chain partners. XML files are created for each part number in a manufacturer’s product database and communicated through an XML-enabled interface, such as ACES Connector or PIES Web Interface. Supply Chain Partners can then subscribe to these XML files using XML parsing software like Microsoft Excel or Oracle Data Integrator (ODI). Once subscribed, they will receive updates anytime those parts numbers change on any supplier’s website – without having to search multiple websites separately.
PIES also uses XML formats but focuses more on exchanging information about individual products made by manufacturers – not just parts numbers within their online catalogs. Individual entries are being used to post XML files to the XML directory on PIES, accessible through an XML-enabled interface. Also, PIES is used to provide XML files for the XML directory to ACES, which creates XML data tables with the proper packaging specifications.
The automotive aftermarket industry relies heavily on XML formats like PIES and ACES. They are a universal way of communicating information about parts numbers between supply chain partners (i.e., suppliers) without using proprietary languages or protocols that can be inconsistent in formatting or translation into other languages. The ultimate goal is to make sure all parties understand one another’s requirements before sending any inventory out to customers – no matter where they’re located in the world.
How XML Works With Fitment Data?
Fitment data represents the interchangeability of a component or assembly across different vehicles. XML formats are used to provide this information about the interchangeability and fitment data, which is often housed in XML files. It can also be read by humans as well as machines, which means that it’s easy for people to interpret results without relying on computer code.
When using XML with ACES standards, parts IDs correspond to PIES part numbers (for example, “PIE-039”). These two identifiers allow manufacturers and suppliers to communicate automotive aftermarket catalogs while providing consumers access to what they need quickly– all from one system! The use of XML for fitment data not only simplifies product searches but reduces inventory management costs while increasing customer satisfaction.
With XML formatting, automotive aftermarket businesses can provide a more transparent view of their entire supply chain to customers in real-time. XML also provides the ability for companies to transfer product and pricing information in one XML file, eliminating redundancies within data transfers
XML is used as an interchange format between automotive aftermarket suppliers by providing a universal language that can be interpreted easily by both people and machines.
With XML formatting, it’s easy to search for specific parts or find out what will fit on your vehicle without having to go through multiple pages of inventory management screens– all from one system!…
XML reduces inventory management when it comes to automotive aftermarket catalogs. The XML file contains the ability to list all available parts and their compatible application packages and prices in different currencies. XML formatting also allows information to be more easily translated by humans or machines– reducing translation errors that can come from using words instead of numbers…
In addition, XML reduces costs through its efficient transfer of product pricing information between supply chain partners. XML’s universal format is used as an interchange language that eliminates redundancies within data transfers.
How Evokat Premier Can Help
The XML format is a powerful tool for companies to communicate the necessary data in an industry-standard way. XML allows for and even encourages both human and machine readability of information – all while staying within the boundaries of industry standards such as ACES and PIES.
Evokat Premier can help you create XML files that meet these needs while also providing fitment data so your customers can find their perfect part in an aftermarket catalog.
Automotive fitment catalogs are essential to retailers, but they’re not always as robust as they could be. Leverage complete versions of the leading knowledge bases to define, manage, and score your coverage for greater efficiency.
Evokat Premier quickly connects you to archives containing vehicle data for all types of vehicles, including heavy-duty vehicles and marine vehicles, in addition to product resources from other industry databases. A collection of research-oriented views into the standards combined with easy-to-use application development interfaces deliver on our promise – a “one stop data solution” supporting the automotive aftermarket industry.
Managing an aftermarket catalog is challenging at best. Every month, changes are made to the vehicle and product definitions used to generate ACES and PIES XML files. These changes to the catalog have an impact, often similar to what you’d experience when milk spoils. If ignored for too long, your catalog becomes dated in a manner where some parts and vehicles go out-of-date before they can be updated.
To overcome this problem, every Evokat Premier catalog is audited against new standards as they are released, and any issues are communicated clearly via specific dashboards. Evokat Premier has a clear resolution path that makes opportunity as accessible as possible even though it can affect anyone.
There are many ways in our mapping to define fitment data for aftermarket catalogs. Simple Year/Make/Model definitions can suffice, but the process is primarily configurable, and you have a lot of control over how much detail is included. Evokat Premier facilitates the flow of fitment data and product associations, leveraging external resources to streamline mapping.