"The capital facilities industry, which includes everything from power plants to commercial buildings, engineering, construction and management firms to all kinds of suppliers, has been slow to harness information technology for the design, procurement, installation and maintenance of equipment. Too often industry partners have unique software systems and cannot exchange information with other software systems. This causes inefficiencies, delays and sometimes errors. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are collaborating with industry to overcome such difficulties.
NIST with FIATECH (an industrial consortium for advancing the integration and automation capabilities of the capital facilities industry), and with other industrial organizations, has developed specific consensus language for various types of project and technical information. This data exchange vocabulary, called the Automating Equipment Information Exchange (AEX) XML Schemas,* specifies ways to express everything from pump design conditions to procurement dates. "
*The AEX schemas and documentation are available without charge from the FIATECH Web site