[uf-new] Trade microformats (was: Analyzed collected receipt samples)

Storset, Leif Leif_Storset at intuit.com
Fri Aug 17 12:07:19 PDT 2007

On Thursday, August 16, 2007 8:02 PM, Clay Newton wrote:
> I recently started compiling examples of trade examples, looking 
> at the potential for proposing a microformat, supporting the 
> trading of goods and record thereof.
> http://microformats.org/wiki/trade-examples

Great initiative! I'm happy to see Bank of America supporting

> Clearly, the receipt work is much more mature the trade 
> investigations to date. That said, it seems to me it 
> would make sense to merge efforts.

I agree that the two areas have much in common. However, like Scott
Reynen I'm not sure that there's enough common ground to aim for a
single microformat. Having said that though, I think there are a couple
of areas where thinking about the big picture would be useful:

> The trade pipeline is (roughly):
> Consideration > Purchase > Fullfillment > History

> Examples of artifacts generated at each phase [...]
> Wishlist / Estimate > Receipt / Invoice > Shipment Record / 
> Bill of Lading > Transaction Record

Instead of a single trade microformat, we could think of a family of
formats including the hypothetical receipt format. You might want to
check out the overview of commerce formats that Rob Manson recently
created at  http://microformats.org/wiki/commerce-examples, which lays
out such a family of formats. (It doesn't cover all the areas you
mention yet.)

It strikes me that the Wishlist/Estimate you mentioned might be
implemented as a list of products (perhaps the proposed hProduct
format). A similar list would be employed for receipts/invoices and
shipment records. Some additional fields might be required in both
cases: actual price (hProduct currently proposes MSRP) for estimates and
invoices/receipts and quantity for invoices/receipts/shipment records.

As for the actual transaction, I had earlier dismissed such a
microformat. After reading your post I think it might actually be
useful, both in your Transaction Record, for providing payment details
in a receipt format, and for the transaction records mentioned on the
trade-examples wiki page. One concern might be that a single format
might be too broad and cover too many bases, so that's something that
should be explored. As it is payment details on the gathered receipt
examples are very credit-card centric, and I don't know how well that
would mesh with, say, a bank statement.

Looking forward to seeing how things turn out!

Leif Arne Storset
Technology Innovation Group, Intuit

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