Skip to main content

UN/CEFACT Conference on "Facilitating data exchange – the role of Web APIs"

IMO, Albert Embankment London United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Brochure  .pdf

A web API (Application Programming Interface) is the machine-readable equivalent of a web page. Almost every web application in use today is built as a composition of more granular functions provided by web APIs. For example, a booking site would typically use a google map API to show site locations, a bank payment API to collect payments, and an airline API to confirm a flight booking. The use of APIs to support international trade and transport processes is also growing fast and there is an important role for UN/CEFACT standards to help ensure that APIs are consistently implemented across different service providers. UN/CEFACT has already launched a number of projects that will help achieve that goal. However, web APIs do present a paradigm shift away from hub-centric document exchange towards a more dynamic consumption of data from a distributed web of different locations. Consequently, web APIs are not just a new technology for exchanging the same old documents – they are also disrupting established business models and bringing new business opportunities.

The purpose of this Conference is to provide a non-technical audience with a sound understanding of how APIs work, where they are being used already, and what UN/CEFACT is doing about API standards. Specifically;

  • An introduction to web APIs, resources, and events.
  • Real examples of their use in the international supply chain.
  • The UN/CEFACT RDM2API and API Town Plan projects and their relationship to existing UN/CEFACT products such as the Core Component Library.
  • A future state vision for how trade, transport, financial, and regulatory processes can work together as a distributed suite of web APIs.

Target Audience
This Conference will be of interest to:

  • Organisations that are building or planning APIs to support the international supply chain.
  • UN/CEFACT business domains and project teams that wish to understand how their work products can be re-used / re-factored as web APIs.
  • Governments that wish to understand how they can complement and leverage commercial APIs to support their regulatory processes.

To attend the Conference, participants need to be registered for the 34th UN/CEFACT Forum. You are kindly invited to register online.


09:00 – 09:15 – Opening Address and overview

09:15 – 09:30 – What is a “Web API” ?

09:30 – 09:45 – UN/CEFACT relevance and proposed directions

09:45 – 10:00 – From Data Elements to APIs – Example of Smart Containers project

10:00 – 10:15 – Example of the use of APIs for Seafreight (Trade Lens & BoxTech)

10:15 – 10:30 – Example of the use of APIs for regulators (Australian Government)

10:30 – 11:00 – Break

11:00 – 11:15 – Example of the use of APIs in EU banking and payments

  • Ms. Liliana Fratini Passi, Domain Coordinator, Finance and Payment Domain, UN/CEFACT
  • Presentations

11:15 – 11:30 – Presentation of the UN/CEFACT Projects:  “API Town Plan” and “RDM2API”

11:30 – 11:45 – Customizing UN/CEFACT RDM for preparation of building an API

11:45 – 12:30 – Discussion: impacts and proposed ways forward
      Mr. Ian Watt, Vice Chair, UN/CEFACT