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OASIS Forms Universal Business Language Committee

Seeking to define a common XML business document library to help drive the adoption of electronic business, the OASIS Consortium Wednesday formed the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) Technical Committee.

The XML interoperability consortium said UBL will provide a set of XML building blocks and a framework to enable trading partners to unambiguously identify and exchange business documents in specific contexts.

"Agreement on a common set of XML business-to-business document standards is essential for successful electronic commerce," said Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems, chair of the OASIS UBL Technical Committee and organizer of the working group that created XML. "Our goal in creating UBL is to quickly develop a synthesis of existing XML business libraries using the OASIS open collaborative process."

Commerce One has taken a first step by submitting xCBL 3.0 -- its XML component and business document library -- to the effort on a royalty-free basis.

"Anything that supports convergence and reusability of the wildly proliferating MLs in every business domain is absolutely critical to realizing XML's promise," said Rita Knox, analyst with Gartner Group. "Custom XML-defined transactions in every line of business perpetuates proprietary solutions. Vocabulary-level clearinghouses and repositories are essential to interoperability and an approach end-users are beginning to understand and are ready to adopt and support."

Initial members of the UBL Technical Committee include Arbortext, Boeing, Commerce One, SAP, SoftQuad Software, Sun Microsystems, VerticalNet, Vitria, XML Global, as well as other OASIS Contributors and Individual members.

The committee has invited broad-based participation in the effort. It will host an open mailing list at ubl-comment@lists.oasis-open.org.