As of 5 February 2018 all Bacs processing reports will begin migrating to a new server due to an industry-driven technology upgrade. The new server generates XML files in line with newer standards which means the standards currently used for generating XML files will become obsolete and the way these reports may interface with your software could change.
If you download reports in XHTML format you do not need to take any action, only XML formats will change.
If you download the XML version of reports then it is vital you check your systems can handle the newer XML standards.
What will change?
Self-closing tags replace separate open and close tags
The XML reports generated by the new server will be populated with “self-closing tags” in place of separate “open” and “close” tags for empty fields that appear in the reports currently produced. “Self-closing” tags are an integral part of the newer standard and therefore customers using up-to-date software to interpret XML will not be impacted by this change.
However, customers using older interfaces may be unable to use / read “self-closing” tags if they are translating the XML messages.
Single quotes replace double quotes
Single quotes will replace double quotes in the first header field on the majority of reports. For example the syntax will change from <?xml version=“1.0” encoding=“utf-8”?> to <?xml version=’1.0’ encoding=’utf-8’?>. Both single quotes and double quotes are acceptable formats in XML.
Introduction of pretty printing
The report migration will see the introduction of the pretty printing feature within XML. The pretty printing feature is an attempt to make the results more easily readable to the human eye. For example:
Not Pretty Printing
This can result in:
- ‘data’ that was all on a single line now being on multiple lines
- the size of the report increasing due to the inclusion of more ‘white space’ as part of the pretty printing formatting.
When will the change occur?
Migration of the reports from the current server to the new server will commence on the 5 February, with the view to having all reports migrated by mid-March 2018.
A complete schedule detailing when each report will be migrated is available. To download the schedule click on ‘Report Migration Schedule’ from the Information Hub below or to the right of your screen.
What can you, or your IT team, do to assess the impact?
Sample reports have been uploaded on the Payment Services Website which incorporate self-closing tags. It is imperative if you use the XML reports that you take time to download these reports and ensure your system can effectively handle XML reports that utilise self-closing tags. To download the sample reports, go to the Payment Services Website, click on ‘Processing reports’ under the menu (depending how many service users you are linked to you may have to enter a service user number (SUN). Then under the ‘Report type’ select ‘Generic test report’ and ‘Messaging test report’. Once selected click ‘Find’. You will then be given an option to download in XML.
Please note these reports include dummy data including a dummy SUN and dummy processing date.
If you receive your reports through your software solution please speak to your provider to access the sample reports.
Need more support?
Use the ‘Are your XML downloads compatible?’ guide, available from the Information Hub below or to the right of your screen, to determine who your best point of contact is depending on the way in which you download reports.