The technical work that DDEX carries out, involves Charter and Full Members of the organisation providing representatives to serve on the various technical Working Groups that may exist at any one time. Associate Members may follow the activities of the Working Groups and receive certain outputs but they are not involved in the Working Groups themselves.
DDEX standards are developed in accordance with a well-defined and well-tested process. This process addresses the need for standards to be stable and properly peer-reviewed while operating in an ever-faster changing commercial environment. It also ensures that everyone’s voice is heard and that no single or group of organisation(s) can exert undue influence over the development of the standards.
Whenever a new requirement is raised, DDEX or the relevant Working Group documents the requirement. The DDEX Board, advised by the DDEX Plenary Meeting, assigns the work to a Working Group for execution. The Working Group meets, typically on the phone and using web meeting technologies, to arrive at a technical solution.
Once the Working Group is satisfied that its solution meets the requirements, it promotes the specification to “Committee Draft”. This usually happens at a DDEX Plenary Meeting. The Committee Draft is then made available to all DDEX members, who then have the opportunity to review the proposed standard and provide comments. These comments, usually just of an editorial nature, are then considered by the Technical Management Group (comprising of all Working Group chairs plus a selected number of Board members and representatives from the Full members) and, assuming none of the comments are problematic, a Standard is declared either as a Candidate or full Standard.
In order to avoid too many versions of each of DDEX’s standards being in existence at one time, DDEX will occasionally declare a Candidate Standard which is only available to the DDEX membership. The purpose of this approach is to allow DDEX members to carry out test implementations, with a view to identifying any missed requirements or bugs. Once these have been identified and corrected, DDEX will then declare a full Standard which is then made available to the entire DDEX community. This approach limits the opportunities for confusion to arise about which version(s) a company should be implemented as there will be less of them and the most current and widely used version will be more obvious.
DDEX attempts as much as possible to have decisions taken at Plenary Meetings and Working Group Meetings to be unanimous. However, this is not always possible, so, when necessary decisions are taken by consensus. DDEX broadly uses the International Organisation for Standards (“ISO”) definition of consensus which is described in the DDEX Operating Agreement as “the absence of sustained opposition to substantial issues by any important part of the concerned interests and by a process that involves seeking to take into account the views of all parties concerned and to reconcile any conflicting arguments. Consensus need not imply unanimity and is declared, if necessary, by the relevant Chair”.
The detailed standard development process document can be found here.