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Mercedes-Benz Financial joins STAR

Written by dcarver on February 16, 2009 – 6:50 am

MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 16 — Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR), a global information technology (IT) standards body for retail automotive and related industries, would like to welcome Mercedes-Benz Financial as a STAR Member.

STAR’s membership is expanding domestically and globally within the core automotive industry. Over the years, STAR has extended its membership base to include Motor Sport, Marine and Medium & Heavy-duty Truck. In 8 years we have grown from an idea to an organization of over 35 members whose mission is to create voluntary industry standards that reduce cost and complexity for dealers, retail system providers and manufacturers, while increasing innovation and returns for all members.

About Mercedes-Benz Financial

Mercedes-Benz Financial, now in its 27th year of operation, provides financing for Mercedes-Benz dealers’ inventories and their retail customers. Currently, more than 400,000 drivers in the United States enjoy the benefits of leasing or financing their Mercedes-Benz vehicles through Mercedes-Benz Financial. Mercedes-Benz Financial and its affiliates operate in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Mercedes-Benz Financial is part of the Daimler Financial Services Group, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, that operates in nearly 40 countries. Daimler Financial Services Group is one of the leading financial services enterprises worldwide. For more information visit

About STAR

The Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail (STAR) organization is the information technology (IT) standards organization for retail automotive and related industries. STAR is leading the effort to implement voluntary IT standards throughout the automotive industry. These standards are designed to support business information needs and provide secure and reliable means for dealers, manufacturers, and retail system providers to communicate. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, STAR is a not-for-profit volunteer organization and its members include dealers, manufacturers and retail system providers. As members, these companies are interested in developing, promoting, and administering voluntary IT standards in the retail automotive industry and improving the effectiveness, timeliness and competitiveness of the IT solutions needed within the retail automotive industry.

For more information about STAR and a list of current members please visit

For further information, contact Ghezal Khalili at 703-556-8584.

SOURCE STAR (Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail)

Posted in STAR, community, members, press release | No Comments »

A Call to Testify

Written by admin on February 12, 2009 – 1:09 pm

I’ve been an employee with STAR since it’s inception in 2001. Throughout my time with the STAR, I have been asked to preach the gospel of open standards and their value to an industry that is all too often heavily vested in its proprietary ways of doing business. If asked for my open standards elevator pitch (30 seconds or less) I could recite it in my sleep: “Open standards:
* Reduce the cost and time to develop
* Increase efficiency for all parties involved
* Increase interoperability (my personal favorite as an XML Architect)

As good of an evangelist as I may be, there comes a time where the rubber meets the road and people say, “That’s all fine and dandy, motherhood and apple pie, and all the like; now, show me some real world examples. Show me one case where someone has actually saved time and money, or increased efficiency, or increased interoperability implementing STAR standards”.

So in response to the age-old question, “Got any examples?” STAR is calling its members to testify. Now let’s not get carried away. These testimonials will not be given under oath, in a court of law or at a podium in a pulpit. These testimonials will be member implementers answering a few short questions regarding the value they derived through the use of STAR standards in their implementations.

These testimonials will be made available on the STAR website in the coming weeks. Here’s a brief excerpt from one recently received member testimonial:

“Our implementation benefited by having a rigorous process for definition, design and construction of our data interfaces which was enforced by outside resources, ensuring completeness and effectiveness.”

We look forward to the opportunity to share this and more member testimonials with the STAR community.

Posted in STAR, XML, community, efficiency, interoperability, open standards | No Comments »

A STAR Wordle

Written by dcarver on February 11, 2009 – 12:56 pm

Wordle is a fun little application. It’ll create a word cloud from any webpage or newsfeed you give it. Just for fun, STAR’s website was sent through Wordle, and here is the result:

The original wordle can be seen in the gallery.

Not surprisingly according to Wordle we focus on Software, Data, Networks, Messaging, and Dealerships. Wordles can be fun toys and can reveal some interesting trends in a websites content. What does your wordle say about you?

Posted in STAR, community, dealership, wordle | No Comments »

Carver in ‘09!

Written by admin on February 11, 2009 – 10:56 am

For those of you who have spent any time working with STAR, the Eclipse community, or maybe you’re just a die hard XML fanatic (yes, they do exist, I work with one of them), you have no doubt come across the name, Dave Carver.

Dave has been with STAR as an XML Data Architect since 2005, but he is really much more than just an XML Data Architect. Dave is a self-professed “Jack of all Trades” and as his co-worker, I can attest to that. Whenever there is a programming need, whether it be to fix, re-factor, automate, etc., Dave has never backed down from the challenge. Dave can very often be quoted as saying, “You’ve just laid down the gauntlet!” And to his credit, Dave works tirelessly until he finds the solution.

So it was only a matter of time before someone else stumbled upon our XML Guru. In addition to the time Dave puts into his day job with STAR, he also manages to be an active contributor to the Eclipse community, in his own words, to “[help] improve and promote the use of XML, as well as [advocate] for Agile development practices and Clean Code practices.” Apparently his contributions have not gone unnoticed.

Members of the Eclipse community have nominated Dave for their “Top Contributor” award. According to the Eclipse website this award is given to the individual who, “best exemplifies support for the community through submission of patches & comments on bugs, posts to newsgroups, creation of white papers, presentations at conferences, blogs, IRC and other forums. Top contributors make their contributions due to their passion for making Eclipse a better community. In general, no one is paying them for the time they spend on making their Eclipse contributions.”

As his colleague, I can think of no better way to thank him for his hard work than to promote his candidacy for Top Contributor. The voting is open for anyone who would like to participate. To cast your vote go to: Be sure to vote before February 27th.

As part of the nomination process, each nominee is interviewed by DZone. Check out Dave’s interview and learn more about his efforts in the Eclipse community as well as his obsession with soccer:

Carver in 09!!

Posted in Eclipse, STAR, XML, agile, community, standards | No Comments »

The Standards Death March

Written by dcarver on February 5, 2009 – 7:08 am

Rick Jelliffe has written a blog entry entitled “Preventing standards death march..” that is relevant to STAR and how we develop our data standards. In Rick’s article he is recommending that standard organization commit to a scheduled release and update of their standards on a yearly basis.

For the last four years, STAR has been using Agile techniques to implement what Rick is suggesting to deliver our membership requests to the community sooner rather than later. Standards do not have to take years to develop, they can benefit their users sooner rather than later. One of the advantages to being a STAR member is that you get access to the Milestone and Draft releases as they are developed. Allowing you to adopt quicker to changing business requirements. The milestones and drafts are just development snapshots, the only official version is still the one approved by the membership and published once a year.

Posted in agile, bods, open standards | No Comments »

Notification of Updated Entries

Written by dcarver on February 3, 2009 – 9:19 am

The STAR eXchange is one of the ways STAR is trying to better reach and inform our user community. BLOGs provide an easy way to post some information, so that it gets out to a wider audience in a quicker fashion. The typical way of being kept informed is through a news reader or your News Feed enabled browser or email client. However not everybody wants to use yet another client to be notified. STAR now has several ways to keep up to date with the information we post here.

  • Subscribe through your favorite browser (Internet Explorer 7, FireFox, Safari, or Opera), or News Reader (My Yahoo, Google Reader, etc.)
  • Subscribe through an Email Subscription.

The later option will send a HTML or Text entry containing the latest postings for that day if there are any. This way those that are already using email to manage other subscriptions for mailing lists and day to day tasks, can use the same tools they are comfortable with already. The new Subcribe by email option on the left has been provided to allow easy subscription to the blog. The emails addresses will not be sold and will be kept confidential.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »