OASIS Forges ebXML Technical Committees

Geneva’s UN/CEFACT and Boston-based OASIS Thursday officially settled on
three technical committees that will be responsible for overseeing a
standard devised to facilitate online business processes.


Co-sponsors of the Electronic Business Extensible Markup Language Standard (ebXML), UN/CEFACT and OASIS said the committees
signal the end to an 18-month development phase; to continue ebXML
maintenance, OASIS has formed the ebXML Messaging TC, the ebXML
Collaboration Protocol Profile and Agreement TC and the ebXML
Implementation, Interoperability and Conformance TC. Members of the existing
OASIS Registry/Repository TC have expanded their charter to embrace the
ebXML Registry/Repository Specification.


ebXML specifications were created to provide a standard method for companies
to exchange business messages, conduct trading relationships and better
define business processes. Using ebXML, e-business clients can request
services from e-business servers over any transport protocol, including SMTP
and HTTP. OASIS and UN/CEFACT inked a final agreement on the standards in May.


Each group’s responsibilities were documented thus by OASIS: the ebXML
Messaging TC will attempt to advance ebXML’s secure specification for
exchanging electronic business transactions using the Internet; the ebXML
Collaboration Protocol Profile and Agreement TC will continue its definition
of how trading partners engage in e-business; the OASIS ebXML
Implementation, Interoperability and Conformance TC will focus on
implementation issues surrounding ebXML and provide guidelines to industry
groups, vendors and users seeking to adopt the specifications; lastly, the
existing ebXML Registry/Repository TC will advance XML registries, which
list company capabilities in profiles that will help prospective business
partners in finding one another.


For UN/CEFACT, the United Nations’ body responsible for the technical
development of e-business, the organization plans to form a working group
for ebXML business process and core components in the near future. As per
usual, OASIS and UN/CEFACT will manage ebXML Technical Architecture and
Marketing Awareness functions.


“As more companies and standards bodies begin implementing ebXML, these
OASIS TCs will work to further the consistent adoption of the
specifications,” said Laura Walker, executive director of OASIS. “The OASIS
ebXML TCs will proactively engage with related activities in other forums,
such as the W3C, and closely coordinate our efforts with UN/CEFACT.”


The formation of the committees marks a degree of closure for OASIS, which
had taken issue with the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) in the past year for its support of a similar e-business exchange
standard created by Microsoft Corp., called Simple Object Access Protocol,
or SOAP.


In February, OASIS softened its resistance to SOAP by agreeing to integrate SOAP 1.1 and
SOAP with attachments specifications into its ebXML Messaging Specification.


OASIS ebXML TC members include BEA Systems, Commerce One, Cyclone Commerce,
eXcelon, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Identrus, IPNet Solutions, Oracle, SAP,
Sterling Commerce, Sun Microsystems, Tibco, webMethods and XMLSolutions.
Organizations interested in working on ebXML are encouraged to join OASIS
prior to the first TC meetings in July.

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