AGC and COSA: Working Together on XML Integration

The Construction Open Software Alliance (COSA) is a community of construction industry professionals who support open integration standards in construction software. COSA believes in facilitating an uninhibited flow of information between the complementary software applications construction professionals depend on most. A one-stop-suite is not always the best choice and it is much more efficient for the end user to operate multiple applications when they integrate seamlessly. This is possible through open application standards that are developed and implemented by construction technology providers to facilitate the transfer of cross-application data.

AGC of America developed the agcXML standard in 2008 as the first effort to standardize and encourage the efficient exchange of data between software solutions in the construction industry. Initially, many industry technology providers did not adopt the open standards developed. In 2012, COSA’s founding technology provider members renewed the open standards effort in hopes that establishing a grassroots approach by the software providers themselves would encourage broader adoption and collaboration.

As of 2014, agcXML and COSA have joined forces and consolidated resources to continue developing data integration standards and continue refinement of the 15 schemas already developed between the two organizations.

Ultimately, the success of COSA depends on industry technology providers implementing the integration standards developed and making them available to end users for use.

On Thursday, March 19, 2015, at AGC of America's 96th Annual Convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, there was an XML presentation that demonstrated how AGC's new role with COSA will affect change within construction software vendors by defining a standard method for exchanging data between software systems for heavily used construction transaction processes. Two live demos were held: 1) RFIs and 2) Planrooms. Attendees gained an understanding of the time savings and reduced risk when using solutions that communicate seamlessly. Development and progress is ongoing and contractors are urged to communicate to their software vendors about the importance of this initiative. Another demonstration and more exciting details will be unveiled at the AGC IT Forum Conference, July 30 - 31, 2015.