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Subject: FW: OASIS/ebXML bdocs TCs


does any one in this group know about this initiative taken by OASIS and how
it impacts us and our work on Core processes? This is the first time I am
seeing this and it appears to be identical to what we started with.


- Nita

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Bosak [mailto:bosak@boethius.eng.sun.com]
Sent: Friday, October 13, 2000 4:01 PM
To: Bdocs-preparation-list@boethius.eng.sun.com

e	bosak@eng
Subject: OASIS/ebXML bdocs TCs

This is an update for people who have been following the formation
of OASIS "Bdocs" TCs for the definition of base schemas for
business messages.  Note that our projected meeting date has been
moved from mid-December in Washington to the second week of
January in the San Francisco Bay Area, for reasons that will be
explained below.


ebXML (http://ebxml.com), a joint initiative of OASIS and
UN/CEFACT, is a bit more than halfway through its definition of an
infrastructure for global electronic trade.  Among the
deliverables of this effort are guidelines for the development of
XML schemas for business documents.  However, the schemas
themselves are not among the deliverables.  It is my opinion and
the opinion of some others on this list that work needs to start
soon on the development of base schemas for the most common
business documents.  I have proposed that those of us interested
in this work form a set of OASIS technical committees (TCs) in
which to carry out the formation of schemas according to the ebXML
guidelines now under development.

Current plans call for the simultaneous formation of nine OASIS

   1. Product Catalogs

   2. Other Pre-Order (Partner Review and Product Introduction)

   3. Order Management

   4. Product Delivery, Inventory Management and Billing

   5. Reporting, Product Returns and Credit/Debit Memos

   6. Payment Reconciliation, Service and Support

   7. Financial

   8. Customs

   9. UML-to-XML mapping

A matrix showing the documents that would likely be developed in
TCs 2-6 can be found at


This is just a discussion piece, but it gives an idea of the kind
of work each TC would be doing.


Members of the UN/EDIFACT Working Group meeting in Taipei a few
weeks ago reportedly agreed to form a joint effort with ANSI X12
that would overlap the work projected for the Bdocs OASIS TCs.
Members of X12 meeting in Cincinnati last week reportedly agreed
to cooperate in this joint effort.  Recipients of the present
message should have received a long piece I posted to EWG and X12
leaders expressing my willingness cooperate in this effort but
also pointing out some organizational concerns.  The following
lists my main concerns at this point.

   1. I don't believe that a joint initiative of X12 and EWG will
      have a committee process strong enough for the resolution of
      disagreements between the b2b vendors that I most desire to
      participate in XML business document standardization.

   2. As separate standards organizations, X12 and EWG do appear
      to have committee processes that will work for this, but I'm
      not sure that they are set up to allow initial voting
      membership by OASIS members.

   3. In any event, I am not at all convinced that X12 and EWG,
      either together or separately, can move quickly enough to
      establish nine parallel committees for the definition of
      standard trading schemas in time to avert a collision of
      proprietary solutions in this area.

For these reasons, I have decided to go ahead with the preliminary
formation of OASIS Bdocs TCs to ensure that a standardization
effort for XML business schemas will begin in some credible, open
forum in the near future.  If X12 and EWG manage to establish a
set of committees operating under a believable process and open to
our participation before we're set to begin, then we can simply
cancel the first Bdocs meetings and switch our efforts to the
X12/EWG committees instead.  If it appears that X12 and EWG will
not succeed in establishing an adequate organizational structure
by the time we're set to begin, I will petition the OASIS Board of
Directors to pass a resolution making X12 and EWG members eligible
to participate in the TCs and will invite X12 and EWG members to
continue their work on XML schemas in that setting.

As most of you know, there is a 60-day delay built into the OASIS
TC process to allow for the formation of mail lists and the proper
notification of OASIS members.  I had originally intended to file
the Bdocs paperwork with OASIS in time to hold our first set of
meetings in Washington, D.C. immediately following the XML 2000
conference in December, but I held back for a few weeks to see how
the X12/EWG initiative was shaping up.  The plan now is to hold
the first meetings of the TCs on two consecutive days during the
second week of January 2001 (right now we're planning on Monday
and Tuesday, January 8 and 9) at some facility to be donated by
Sun Microsystems in the San Francisco Bay Area (right now we're
looking at meeting rooms in Newark, which is across the Dumbarton
Bridge from Sun's Menlo Park campus).  This arrangement will give
us maximum flexibility in case a credible X12/EWG initiative is
implemented in time and we decide to switch our activity to that


We will have to be very careful to make sure that people
understand that the Bdocs effort is not competitive with ebXML.
In particular, we will have to emphasize the following points.

   1. ebXML is officially on record as stating that XML schemas
      for common business documents (purchase orders, etc.) are
      not among its deliverables.  This position was reaffirmed by
      a formal decision of the ebXML Steering Committee at its
      meeting in Brussels last May.

   2. The Bdocs plan has been formed with the knowledge of the
      ebXML Executive Committee, which I have taken care to keep
      informed of our progress.

   3. The recent discussions in EWG and X12 show that a there is
      widespread support for the commencement of XML schema
      development in parallel with the development of ebXML
      guidelines.  The conversation at this point is not about
      whether such work will take place in parallel with the
      current ebXML activities, but where it will take place and
      within what kind of procedural framework.

   4. The Bdocs TCs will be chartered to implement ebXML
      guidelines and feed back experience gained in that
      implementation to ebXML.  Every effort will be made to keep
      the implementation in sync with the development of ebXML
      guidelines.  The Bdocs TCs are intended to implement ebXML,
      not to compete with it.

To ensure the communication of this message to the ebXML
membership, I will be asking the ebXML Executive to schedule a
time during the upcoming ebXML plenary meeting in Tokyo during
which I can present the Bdocs plan and explain the purpose and
organization of the TCs.


Under the OASIS TC process, the initial voting members of a TC are
those people eligible to participate who notify the chair of the
TC at least 15 days in advance of its first meeting of their
intention to participate and who then appear at the first meeting.
So we will know the actual composition of the Bdocs TCs only when
we sit down together at the first set of meetings in January.

For purposes of starting the TC process, however, we need to
submit a list of at least three eligible participants for each TC
and to name a chair for each TC.  As a formality, therefore, the
plan is to list everyone initially committed to this effort on the
submission for each TC and to name myself as chair of each TC.
The first TC meetings will be held in series, one hour per
meeting, on the specified days in January.  I will call each TC to
order and then supervise the election of its permanent chair.
Attendees can decide after the first set of meetings which TCs
they will actually be participating in.

The pro forma name list for the submissions to form the TCs
currently stands as follows:

   Jon Bosak (chair)
   Eduardo Gutentag, Sun Microsystems
   Eve Maler, Sun Microsystems
   Lauren Wood, SoftQuad
   Mavis Cournane, CSW

While this list is more than sufficient to fulfill the OASIS
requirements for TC formation, it would be good PR to have as many
names on the TC submissions as possible.  I intend to finish up
the paperwork if I can by next Wednesday (2000.10.18), so anyone
who wishes to be recorded in the annals of history as a charter
member of the Bdocs TCs should send me mail by Tuesday to let me
know.  Note that any employee of an OASIS member organization can
be listed for purposes of starting a TC, so those of you who wish
to assign a subordinate to participate in this work should feel
free to do so.


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