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Subject: Re: Summary of XML Datatypes as required for B2B applications

Well!  we thought it was only us.

Coincidentally, I have recently been asked by the ebXML sub-Group of the Australian CEFACT Management Committee to voice similar concerns.

Whilst i understand the thread under discussion originates from the XML/EDI Group List, it has some application to the processes within ebXML as well.

As yet, it has been unclear from the core components group how or when the semantic knowledge of 'heritage' EDI methods (e.g. EDIFACT) will be incorporated into this initiative.

I suspect, there are a considerable number of persons with appropriate knowledge and experience in solving many of the semantic and structural issues facing the group who are wondering how to contribute to this process.

The statement in the Core Componenents section of the ebXML Requirements Specification is:

? Use semantics solutions that accommodate currently defined accredited EDI semantics where they add value

- are there processes in place to bring this about?

Samuel L Matzen wrote:


I think you have voiced my concerns here.  But what I suspect will happen is
that most of the "new" efforts being started now are primarily through
ignorance of the value of traditional EDI dictionary content.  These new
efforts will recreate and remodel until they find that their efforts fall
short of the universal need, then they will have no choice but to look at
the real world of EDI and integrate the EDIFACT and other data dictionaries
into their models.

IMHO: What is happening here is that most of these efforts are trying to
differentiate themselves from traditional EDI rather than integrating
themselves into the vast effort already expended to create the standards
already in place.  Then by manipulating the statistics, making the
e-commerce community believe they have a solution.  Their solutions may work
for a small part of the total EDI picture, but every time I take a look at
them, find them lacking many of the requirements for real-world, universal
EDI.  But I could be wrong.

Samuel L Matzen

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-xmledi-list@lists.bizserve.com
[mailto:owner-xmledi-list@lists.bizserve.com]On Behalf Of Ian Galbraith
Sent: Sunday, April 16, 2000 10:34 AM
To: 'ebXML Core Components (E-mail)'; William J. Kammerer
Cc: David; XML/EDI Group (E-mail)
Subject: Re: Summary of XML Datatypes as required for B2B applications

Oh William, how right you are!  The EDIFACT dictionaries (and the rest) have
evolved through years of consideration of real user needs; it is not a big
deal to convert the essential semantic content of these dictionaries into a
different syntactic environment.  This was exactly the intent behind EDML.
The EDML proof of concept work demonstrated a means of transferring semantic
content (ie data dictionaries) developed for one syntactic message structure
into a quite different syntactic structure.  So to my mind an obvious way to
accelerate the development of XML-based ecommerce would be to exploit the
EDIFACT (and other) data dictionaries. But right now I don't have much
confidence that the good bits of EDIFACT, X12, HL7, etc will actually be
exploited.  It seems perhaps, that in rejecting the syntactic structures of
"traditional" EDI the semantic baby is being thrown out with the bathwater.

Best regards


-----Original Message-----
From: William J. Kammerer <wkammerer@foresightcorp.com>
To: 'ebXML Core Components (E-mail)' <ebxml-core@lists.oasis-open.org>
Cc: XML/EDI Group (E-mail) <xmledi-list@lists.bizserve.com>
Date: 15 April 2000 15:12
Subject: Summary of XML Datatypes as required for B2B applications

>There's an interesting thread entitled "Summary of XML Datatypes as
>required for B2B applications," started by Martin Bryan, with commentary
>by Messrs. Kotok, Folkerts, and Haugen, on the XML-EDI mailing list. See
>http://www.mail-archive.com/xmledi-list%40lists.bizserve.com/ for the
>Note that EDIFACT is being re-invented all over again, especially the
>MEA, CUX and DTM segments. Bob Haugen says:
>   I think all of your other suggestions are essential to business
>   communications.  One thought:  if you left the timestamp off
>   the currency and put it on the business event (which needs it
>   anyway), then your measurements and currencies
>   would have the same structure ( amount and unit).  This could
>   mean one structure for measurements of all resources.
>Absolutely brilliant!  Can't argue with this - building up semantic
>meaning from lego blocks.  EDIFACT does this already with the standard
>CUX (Currencies) - DTM (Date/time/period) segment group.  X12 does also,
>to some extent, but tends to overload its segments semantically (e.g.,
>the X12 CUR segment includes the date and time itself, and does not
>rely on a separate segment to convey the exchange period).
>EDIFACT has been around for over a decade, and apparently is too complex
>to use (because of the semantic building block concept?).  Otherwise we
>wouldn't be all scrounging around trying to reincarnate EDI in XML
>But I do like the concept of semantic building blocks or core
>components.  So why re-invent them from scratch?  Just take a look at
>the EDIFACT directories and dictionaries, and all of the core components
>for ebXML can be effortlessly extracted.
>Or, why don't we just use EDIFACT for ebXML: warts, delimiters, and all,
>and save ourselves a heck of a lot of time and trouble?
>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"
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tim mcgrath
TEDIS   fremantle  western australia 6160
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