B2B communications has traditionally taken place using printed copies of documents sent by mail, faxing and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). All methods possessing strengths, but which are now becoming outmoded compared to the speed of Internet communication, in the case of mail and faxes, and constrained by strict formatting controls, in the case of EDI.
Electronic documents – in other words, documents sent via email – are replacing them, and carry significant advantages of speed and compatibility without software restrictions, easily read by the software of both communicating parties. Just as importantly, e-documents are almost free to send. Simply sending the text content of, for example, an invoice, however, is not enough to allow the document to be printed with an appropriate form overlay; a data structure and format is necessary for it to be understood. That’s where XML (eXtensible Markup Language) comes in. XML allows users to rearrange the data into a format which can be read by Internet browsers, spreadsheets and other business systems. And for IBM i users, Cobwebb XML from Cobwebb Communications is the perfect way to combine the power of the Internet with the reliability of AS/400.
Cobwebb XML makes it possible for IBM i (AS/400) spooled files to be converted to XML and sent as email via an SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server. The receiver’s computer is then able to print and import the data into XML-enabled applications with no additional IBM i software required.
If you are starting to use electronic documents with your customers and suppliers, Cobwebb XML can help make the process smooth and reliable. The customers and suppliers able to accept XML-based mail can be sent documents quickly and virtually cost-free, while other customers and suppliers have to be sent regular hard copies, faxes and EDI.
Cobwebb Communications will provide you with a complete service when you sign up to use Cobwebb XML. From pre-sales support to XML style sheet design, to helping your customers and suppliers update their existing systems and output electronic documents with the minimum of technical knowledge. Give us a call and let’s talk about how to take the first step.
- Store and transport data
- Distribute data via the internet