May 29, 2003 (01:05 PM EDT)
New Tools Help Insurance Industry with Acord Compliance

Read the Original Article at InformationWeek

There are many general-purpose XML parsers and tools on the market, but only a few are designed to monitor and analyze activity employing a specific XML standard.

Swingtide Inc.'s newly released Monitor and Scorecard are meant for use with XML message exchanges taking place under the insurance industry's nonprofit Acord standards group. Acord, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development, predates the creation of XML but has adopted a set of XML formatting standards for the exchange of policy, premium, and customer information among industry participants.

Swingtide Monitor provides a view and an audit trail of XML traffic on the network. In addition to volume, it can report information on the nature of the traffic, such as whether it's carrying a high load of policies or premium transactions for property and casualty or life insurance policies, says Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst with ZapThink, an XML research group.

With XML traffic growing, "the need to understand the nature of the traffic on [an] XML network becomes a critical concern," Bloomberg says. The Monitor "understands the semantics of industry-specific XML schemas, making it stand out from the competition."

The Monitor includes Design Checker, which validates whether a proposed XML exchange or service delivery may occur. Design Checker lets an XML service architect find and correct faults or anomalies in an XML exchange system before they surface as disruptions. The Monitor's Auto-Discovery feature discovers all XML and Simple Object Access Protocol services on a given network, allowing XML project designers to make use of them.

The second product, Scorecard, addresses the human factor by seeking confirmation from executives participating in a process that they are "on board," explains SwingTide president David Sweet. Scorecard also uses Monitor and other Swingtide products to check for gaps in XML systems, matching information on the network to Swingtide's body of knowledge and experience on best XML implementation practices, he says.

Monitor and Scorecard are available now for $49,995 and 19,995, respectively.