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Subject: ebXML/SOAP COVERAGE: the451.com

ebXML Marketing Awareness Project Team,
Here's an update of recent press coverage of the ebXML SOAP

"IBM, Microsoft Settle E-Commerce Standards Dispute"
Reuters, Feb 23, 2001 and
CNET, Feb 23, 2001
Infoworld, Feb 23, 2001

"UN and Microsoft agree on e-trade standard"
ZDnet UK News, Feb 22, 2001

"Peace comes to XML messaging world"
the451.com, Feb 22, 2001
not available online; story follows:

  New York - The two backers of the ebXML electronic business
infrastructure specification have agreed to add support for the Simple
Object Access Protocol. The
  Geneva-based United Nations CEFACT agency and OASIS, the electronic
business consortium pushing XML standardization efforts, say that
efforts are now underway
  to integrate SOAP into ebXML, in time for its original May 2001
release deadline.

  The move should end the rivalry between ebXML and similar
standardization efforts going on at the World Wide Web Consortium, or
W3C. Advocates of ebXML, who are
  working on a successor to the old electronic data interchange
standards used by large enterprise companies, had originally dismissed
SOAP as too lightweight for their
  purposes. But widespread industry support of the protocol has forced
them to reconsider.

  The agreement, hailed by supporters of both ebXML and SOAP as a
breakthrough, paves the way for the adoption of a single, open, widely
adopted global standard for
  reliably transporting electronic business messages over the Internet.

  Bob Sutor, who is IBM's director of e-business standards strategy and
also serves as the chairman of OASIS, said the agreement, "shows the
progress we are all after
  in terms of interoperability at the business level for the Internet."
He said that having the messaging infrastructure of ebXML built on SOAP
represented a strong signal
  that standards convergence is both achievable and desired by the

  Sutor said the agreement recognized that there was "some overlap"
between ebXML and SOAP and that combining the two would make it easier
for developers and
  reduce the cost of product implementation for all companies,
regardless of their size.

  He said the key element of SOAP that would now be included in the
ebXML spec is the message envelope, or that part of the standard that
defines "how you wrap
  things up."

  Bill Smith of Sun Microsystems, who is president of OASIS, added that
much common work had already been done by the consortium members and
emphasized, "this
  is not a wholesale replacement for ebXML  it is just a small part."

  Both men said discussions about integrating the two standards had been
going on for months, and the move was finally agreed to at a meeting in
Vancouver last week
  attended by between 300 and 400 developers.

  Nevertheless, the agreement does appear to signal an end to the
bickering between rival factions on the relative merits of ebXML and
SOAP  disagreements which, as
  recently as two weeks ago, spilled over into a public argument between
Microsoft and Sun over which standards body was the most appropriate to
drive the move
  toward Web services.

  At that stage, Microsoft issued a stinging attack on the ebXML
initiative and questioned why Sun appeared to favor ebXML against the
W3C, Microsoft's preferred
  standard-setting body for establishing lower-level Web services

  The software giant, which like Sun has recently been a member of both
groups, also expressed continued doubt over Sun's commitment to SOAP
along with XML and
  the related Web Services Description Language and Universal
Description, Discovery and Integration directory (UDDI).

  Meanwhile, Sun described the original SOAP specification drawn up by
Microsoft as "mediocre" and accused Microsoft of trying to manipulate
the standards process
  for its own ends.

  Now however, it seems such differences have been set aside. "By
adopting SOAP in their messaging layer, ebXML puts to rest any worries
about interoperability
  between SOAP and ebXML," said Andrew Layman, XML architect at
Microsoft, in prepared comments. "This takes advantage of SOAP's role as
a key component of
  XML-based messaging."

  OASIS executives added that incorporating SOAP into ebXML would not
delay the project, and said that work was still on track to roll out the
specification at the start
  of May.

Carol Geyer
Director of Communications
Tel: +1.941.926.2322
Fax: +1.941.328.0121 x3791

OASIS       	http://www.oasis-open.org
XML.ORG     	http://xml.org
XML Cover Pages	http://xml.coverpages.org
ebXML       	http://www.ebXML.org
CGM Open    	http://www.cgmopen.org

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