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Subject: Ebxml story

Entire text: http://www.internetwk.com/story/INW20000717S0001

Some excerpts below,

Monday, July 17, 2000, 11:22 AM ET.   

Spec Lets Apps Span Industries   By TIM WILSON

E-businesses next month will get their first glimpse of prototype 
data-sharing and transactional applications that can operate not only 
across companies, but also across industries.

The applications are based on ebXML, a proposed framework that bridges 
ordering, billing and other information that is formatted differently in 
various industries. Test applications will be on display at a meeting of 
the Electronic Business XML consortium on Aug. 7 in San Jose, Calif. 

Several companies, including IBM and Microsoft, are defining their own 
XML frameworks for linking disparate e-business applications. 
Microsoft's BizTalk already is being implemented by several companies, 
including Dell and CapitalStream, for cross-industry ordering, billing 
and other apps. 

"We don't see BizTalk and ebXML as being in conflict," said Dave Turner, 
Microsoft's XML evangelist. "We are defining a means for exchanging data 
[via XML], but not the format of the data itself. We are not trying to 
define things like business processes, which ebXML is trying to tackle." 

BizTalk and ebXML are different approaches to XML messaging, but 
Microsoft plans to address those differences when the ebXML standards 
are completed sometime in the middle of next year, Turner said. "We have 
customers that want to build interoperable XML applications today, and 
that needs to be built on something that exists today," he said. 

Meantime, the ebXML group hopes to complete its specs and 
implementations by the second half of 2001. The group published draft 
specs for its technical architecture, core components and business 
process model earlier this month. 

But some observers are skeptical of the group's ability to deliver the 
specs on time, considering the glacial pace of international IT 
standards efforts. 

"I think 2002 is more likely than next year," said Tower Group analyst 
Shahrawat. "They have a huge mandate that involves reconciling the 
differences [in XML implementation] between industries, and they must 
develop a template for working across industries. That will take a lot 
of time."

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