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The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) is an organization devoted to the development, maintenance, and implementation of standards for the convenience store and petroleum industries.

Standards developed by PCATS are based upon eXtensible Markup Language (XML) technology and are known as PCATS-NAXML, short for the NACS eXtensible Markup Language.

PCATS-NAXML standards are an open, non-proprietary language that convenience store retailers and suppliers can use to address the problems of system-to-system integration and data exchange. It lowers some of the price barriers of traditional electronic data interchange, making it particularly attractive for companies looking to gain entry into or expand the use of electronic commerce.

 

History

Beginning in late 1995, the National Association for Convenience Stores (NACS) began a technology standards initiative and had successful years of developing or adopting technology standards in a number of important areas for both retailers and suppliers. From the beginning NACS has stated that it did not want to be a standards setting or maintenance organization and that at some point the work developed would be turned over to one or more organizations for on-going support. In order to insure that the work continues at a high level, the Executive Committee of the NACS Board of Directors directed the staff to develop a plan to create a separate entity that would be self-sustaining and would enjoy the support of both retailers and suppliers. PCATS is the result of that effort.

 

Vision

The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards, PCATS, continues the development and maintenance of standards work initiated under the NACS Technology Standards Project. The initial project focused its developmental efforts in the areas of network and system integration, business-to-business document exchange and payment systems. PCATS seeks implementation of these standards by the industry's retailers and suppliers.

 

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