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
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
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.