The financial industry can now use ASN.1 as an alternative to XML. ISO 20022 applications for which high performance is critical (i.e., those that need fast encoding/decoding and compact messages) are now able to communicate via binary messages in addition to, or instead of, XML.
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By virtue of being text-based / human-readable, XML is inheritently slow and big. Implementers often look for ad-hoc solutions to get smaller messages, which then require that communicating parties agree ahead of time what "language" they will use.
Standardized binary messages, such as ASN.1, provide the necessary "lingua franca" required by ISO 20022 implementations, without sacrificing performance.
And there is more! ASN.1 binary encodings and XML encodings are compatible - for example, XML could be used for data visualization and ASN.1 for actual transmission.
ISO 20022 is an international standard that aims to enhance communication interoperability between financial institutions, their market infrastructures, and their end-user communities.
ISO 20022 defines a unified standardization approach, which consists of a common development methodology, a common process, and a common repository that are open for use by all financial standards initiatives.
To find out more about the role of ASN.1 in ISO 20022, go to the official ISO 20022 website, where you can, among others:
The first edition of ISO 20022 (2004) included rules for automatically generating an XML schema from a message model. In the new edition of the standard (2013), analogous rules for automatically generating an ASN.1 schema were added. Therefore both XML Schema and ASN.1 are now directly supported by ISO 20022.
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