There was a great write up in the IDEAlliance newsletter on Mail.XML, which I am going to reproduce for you here:
Mail.XML 3.0 was recently released in record time under the leadership of IDEAlliance® and excellent collaboration between the industry and USPS.
What does Mail.XML™ do?
The core focus of Mail.XML is communication between industry members and from industry to the final mail processing and delivery organization that delivers the mail to the end consumer, e.g., USPS.
Mail.XML enables the process for eDropShip for the USPS and the industry which will result in removing all paper 8125s from the business process for electronically identified shipment and containers. USPS and industry, together, are moving towards a more efficient communication method through XML technology.
Mail.XML increases business function specific to B2B (Business to Business) communication within the industry that supports automation and enables cost avoidance and higher profits through improved competence and effectiveness of communication. It is designed to increase efficiency and lower costs by removing many manual data entry processes and enables quick near real time communication between business partners.
Mail.XML currently supports container and shipment-based appointment scheduling, pick-up and drop-off business processes.
Mail.XML identifies different business entities responsible for performing different services such as quality of mailing, address correction, and delivery confirmation on a mailing.
In the next few versions of Mail.XML, the focus will move towards other mailing supply chain channels, such as payment, automated verification, enabling first, second, and third party communication and incorporating presort planning, printing, and distribution processes. For more information go to http://www.maildat.org/
We recognize the important role this new direction will play in the future, and are working to support it in our products.
Let me know if you have any questions on Mail.XML, and I will try to help.