The Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) of the National Retail Federation (NRF) has announced the initial public release of the Time Punch schema and version 2.0 of the Customer schema. The IXRetail Time Punch XML schema is designed to support any retailer, regardless of how its employee data is stored. Using vendor-independent standard XML messages, the Time Punch schema allows retailers to track attendance and task assignments for their employees. These standard XML messages enable a retailer to manage the complexity of communication between other worker management applications such as Task Management, Human Resources, Payroll, or even POS and ERP systems. The Time Punch schema will support the Workforce Management (WFM, Time & Attendance, Staff Scheduling and Task Management) RFP template and is the second of two schemas designed to facilitate integration of workforce management applications. Version 2.0 of the Customer schema represents a significant update to the original schema, intended to enable retailers to make use of core customer information and revised to include information about targeted promotions, customer history and buying patterns, as well as loyalty programs. The scope of Customer schema v2.0 focuses on campaign management, loyalty programs, targeted offers and promotions, customer purchase and return history, communication preferences and club memberships. Version 2.0 also includes updates to version 1.0 of the schema. Customer 2.0 is intended to aid the exchange of customer data among applications in order to simplify integration of new applications such as Loyalty Programs into existing IT infrastructure. All ARTS standard XML schemas and their charters are in the public domain and available for download at no charge from the ARTS website, http://www.nrf-arts.org. Technical documentation describing use cases is also available, free to ARTS members and for a nominal fee to nonmembers. For more information contact ARTS by e-mail at email@example.com or call (202) 626-8140. For more information on NRF contact Scott Krugman or Ellen Tolley at (202) 783-7971 or visit http://www.nrf.com.