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Subject: Re: Suggestion for ebXML Knowledge Dissemination


It's good to hear from even "inactive" members of the ebXML Awareness
team!  Thanks for writing.

I don't think ebXML is addressing marketplaces, like the Covisint Auto
supply chain B2B exchange. The ebXML initiative is all about
interoperable B2B standards;  if a bunch of trading partners (in this
case GM, Ford, Chrysler and their suppliers) all decide to use a common
hunk of software or an ASP, then it stands to reason there's no need for
an open standard.  Covisint can enforce use of its own proprietary
XML-based protocols.  If Covisint becomes more than a MRO marketplace
(which was never that automated before the advent of the internet
anyway) and moves into direct procurement, then Covisint has to invent
EDI all over again (just like RosettaNet did).  ebXML is meant to bring
all these re-invention efforts under one umbrella, so at least a common
framework is employed.  As an aside, there must have been something
wrong with proprietary "exchanges" in the past because things like the
drug industry's OrderNet and the hard goods' Eagle were eventually
overtaken by X12.

The ebXML Requirements Specification are indeed hard to read, as are all
the ebXML specification drafts issued so far (with the possible
exception of the TR&P specs).  They're generally lacking an overview and
problem statement (i.e., why are we doing this?, what was wrong with EDI
in this area?, what does XML technology bring to the table?, Who's the
real customer [of the specs]?, etc.) which might make it easier for the
EDI folks to comprehend the need for ebXML.

The obsession with UML diagramming and modeling doesn't help either:
page after page of gussied-up flowcharts doesn't tell me what the heck
is going on.  Am I alone in this?  This is why I don't really know
what's going on in the Repository and Registry Group or the Business
Process Group.  I'm somewhat more comfortable with the output of the
TR&P group, because I have a vague notion that there's real benefit, in
that the mishmash of standards concerned with routing, transport and
security can be thrown away eventually (e.g., EDIINT AS1 and AS2,
EDIFACT ISO 9735, X12.5 and X12.58, RosettaNet RNIF, BizTalk framework,
etc.). But this was never stated as a goal or advantage in the TR&P

I don't think it would help much for "each group [send] an update to
Awareness on a regular basis" and that we could "collect, collate, edit
and publish them over the Awareness listserv."  I'd rather have a few
English sentences from each group describing what they want to
accomplish.  I've tried to read through the Architecture and Registry
and Repository draft specs, and have only gotten the vaguest notion that
ebXML will support something like the CommerceNet eCO Framework's
registry whereby I can query other ebXML users for the services they
offer, effectively eliminating the cumbersome trading partner
maintenance common today in EDI systems.

William J. Kammerer
4950 Blazer Memorial Pkwy.
Dublin, OH USA 43017-3305
(614) 791-1600

Visit FORESIGHT Corp. at http://www.foresightcorp.com/
"Commerce for a New World"

----- Original Message -----
From: Boynton, Dennis <boyntond@tycoelectronics.com>
To: <ebXML@lists.oasis-open.org>
Cc: <ebxml-awareness@lists.oasis-open.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2000 10:18 AM
Subject: Suggestion for ebXML Knowledge Dissemination


I am a mostly inactive member of the ebXML Awareness committee.  I
joined because I thought the concept was great, wanted to follow the
development of this project, and hopefully learn as much as possible.
As new organizations jump on the XML  bandwagon, it is especially
important that the superficially initiated (like me) understand where
ebXML stands, and is headed.

When I see a report, for instance, that says the new
DaimlerChrysler-Ford-GM B2B marketplace wants to have their DDL adopted
as the industry standard, I shutter.  Is this  ANSI X12 2001FORD all
over again?  If I knew for sure what ebXML is trying to do in areas like

this, I think I would feel better. I really don't get a cozy feeling
about it from looking at Requirements Specification Drafts, mainly
because I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable in the subject areas to fully
understand the content, and the Specifications are too long.

My suggestion is that each group sent an update to Awareness on a
regular basis, and that the Awareness group collect, collate, edit and
publish them over the Awareness listserv.  This update does not need to
be extensive, just a paragraph, or two, to describe the progress that
has been made. It can refer folks to deeper levels of documentation, but
the update itself should just be a newsletter type piece of literature.

Suggestions, comments, whatever are all welcome.  It would be nice to
hear what other groups might be doing in this area.

Denny Boynton
Interim EDI Manager
M/A-COM, Inc
978 442 4329

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