How DDEX standards are developed

DDEX standards are developed in accordance with a well-defined and well-tested process which is summarised below. The detailed standard development process document can be found here. This process addresses the need for standards to be stable and properly peer-reviewed while operating in an ever-faster changing commercial environment.

New Requirements

Whenever any member raises a new requirement, DDEX or the relevant Working Group documents the requirements. If the requirement calls for more than an amendment to an existing standard, the DDEX Board, advised by the DDEX Plenary Meeting, assigns the work to a Working Group for execution. The Working Group meets, typically on the phone and using web meeting technologies, to arrive at a technical solution. Depending on the size of the work, this typically takes between one and six months.

All technical decisions are made by consensus.

Committee Draft

Once the Working Group is satisfied that its solution meets the requirements, it promotes the specification to "Committee Draft". This usually happens at a DDEX Plenary Meeting. The Committee Draft is then made available to all members, who then have the opportunity to review the proposed standard and provide comments. These comments are then considered by the Technical Management Group (comprising of all Working Group chairs plus an elected number of Board members and representatives from the Full members) and a Draft Standard is declared and made available for implementation on this website.

From Draft Standard to DDEX Standard

After companies have attempted to implement a particular Draft Standard, and by so doing ensure that it meets all requirements and is free from bugs, DDEX will  promote it to a full DDEX Standard. 


Different versions of DDEX's message standards are, in most cases, "forward compatible", that is a message created with an older standard will still work when processed by a program based on a later version. Where such compatibility cannot be achieved, DDEX increases the major version number.

Version Change Impact on Compatibility
2.3 to 2.4 Forward compatible change; new features added to the standard
2.3 to 3.0 Non-compatible change; new features added, some features removed or changed 
2.3 to 2.3.1 Minor bug-fix. In most cases these are forward compatible. No significant new features are added