Monday, February 26, 2018

Next phase of EPCIS hopes to bring standard in line with long proven technology concepts

Excited to see leading technology concepts being applied to EPCIS as part of GS1's EPCIS 2.0 call to action (Link)

JSON and REST have been leading formatting and integration approaches in IT applications across many industries for many years.
  • JSON- compact data format/messaging that has shown significant benefits over XML, especially in high volume use cases which are paramount in serialization/track & trace applications
  • REST- the overwhelming leading A2A/B2B integration approach, with significant benefits over asynchronous integration methods such as AS2 and the heavily outdated SOAP protocol.
It will be interesting to see how pharma vendors supporting EPCIS adapt to these potential changes.   Concepts like JSON and REST have been used in serialization/track&trace applications in other industries for many years.   Time for pharma to catch up, and make no mistake, this isnt about the industry looking for new and emerging technologies like AI and blockchain.  This is about the industry catching up to technology trends that were happening 5+ years ago. 

Take a look:

"Rather, the kinds of organizations that favor SOAP tend to be slower to change and more heavily driven by integrating with other government agencies that are behind in technology, or by grant programs tied to a particular technology stack, and they often have legacy systems that require the use of SOAP. "

"Service-oriented architecture (SOA), which gained wide acceptance using web services built on SOAP, has been popular within organizations as a mechanism for sharing information across the enterprise. However, the use of a REST architecture, along with associated technologies such as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), is accelerating the development and use of APIs. Some of the most popular services such as Twitter, Netflix, and Facebook are now processing API calls on the order of billions per day or month."

Technology adoption, such as this, is fueled by the vendors whom the industry puts their trust in to provide the best solutions.  In pharma this certainly won't be seamless, however, as some large players have long ignored support for these concepts.    

You don't need to be an expert on these terms (leave that for the IT folks) but if your current implementation is heavily rooted in antiquated technologies like AS2, SOAP (and soon to be XML) or hasn't committed to a clear enhancement path as part of their roadmap you're well behind the curve.

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