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International Group Approves New XML Specifications

A collaboration between UN/CEFACT, a worldwide policy and technical development body of the United Nations, and OASIS, an international, not-for-profit standards consortium, bore fruit Friday as the two groups united behind the ebXML specification.

OASIS sponsors include some of the biggest technology bellwethers around, including Adobe Systems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, AOL Time Warner, Sun Microsystems and Xerox.

ebXML, or electronic business Extensible Markup Language, is a modular suite of specifications for standardizing XML globally in order to facilitate trade between organizations regardless of size. The specification gives businesses a standard method to exchange business messages, conduct trading relationships, communicate data in common terms and define and register business processes. The two groups began working on ebXML in late 1999.

"The level of involvement and cooperation between industry groups, vendors and users that has been demonstrated in the ebXML initiative is unprecedented," said Klaus-Dieter Naujok of IONA, chair of ebXML and member of the UN/CEFACT Steering Committee. "We applaud the work of all the organizations around the world who have collaborated on the development of ebXML."

The specifications were approved at a meeting in Vienna, Friday.

Approved specifications include: ebXML Technical Architecture, Business Process Specification Schema, Registry Information Model, Registry Services, ebXML Requirements, Message Service and Collaboration-Protocol Profile and Agreement.

Approved ebXML technical reports include: Business Process and Business Information Analysis Overview, Business Process Analysis Worksheets & Guidelines, E-Commerce Patterns, Catalog of Common Business Processes, Core Component Overview, Core Component Discovery and Analysis, Context and Re-Usability of Core Components, Guide to the Core Components Dictionary, Naming Convention for Core Components, Document Assembly and Context Rules, Catalogue of Context Drivers, Core Component Dictionary, Core Component Structure and Technical Risk Assessment.

The full specifications and technical reports are available here.

"ebXML implementations are already being announced, and we expect the rate of deployment to accelerate quickly," said Patrick Gannon, chair of the OASIS Board of Directors.

Among those who are already gearing up to implement ebXML are RosettaNet, a consortium of more than 400 IT, electronic component and semiconductor manufacturing companies; the Global Commerce Initiative, which represents manufacturers and retailers of consumer goods; the Automotive Industry Action Group; Health Level Seven; Open Applications Group; Open Travel Alliance; and SWIFT.