Microsoft, ACORD Link Insurance Forms to XML Web Services

Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 to Help Insurance Industry Cut Processing Time and Costs, Reduce Errors

Today at the 2003 ACORD Conference Microsoft Corp. and the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD) announced that ACORD will provide more than 500 insurance forms built using Microsoft® Office InfoPath (TM) 2003, Microsoft Office System's new information-gathering application.

InfoPath utilizes XML and XML-based Web services to enable insurance agencies to complete forms once and then link the data to other forms, databases, back-end systems and applications. As part of the forms service, Microsoft .NET Web services can be used to provide additional functionalities, including e-mail, printing and data-routing.

The ability for insurance agents and brokers to use InfoPath-based forms is expected to help the insurance industry reduce the processing time and cost of completing insurance transactions, while reducing errors associated with re-entering data multiple times. It also will unify and standardize the way forms are delivered and relate to Extensive Markup Language (XML) standards such as that of ACORD's, which is the most commonly used standard in the insurance industry today.

"Availability of current ACORD Forms is essential for agents and brokers. This technology will deliver and update ACORD Forms quickly and encourage the development of Web services around ACORD Forms," said Gregory Maciag, CEO of ACORD. "We've embraced XML as a key standard in insurance transaction processing, and Microsoft's InfoPath tool will increase productivity and efficiency for ACORD participants."

News source: Microsoft PressPass

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