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

I asked the UML modelers to respond to your comment, and they were in
agreement. In fact, in later work (PO) they have modeled  the dates in the
Purchase Order as suggested, and we will modify the Item Sync. to look the
same way. Part of this is the incremental nature of development - the Item
Sync was first. The Purchase Order is not a finished product either but is
much closer.

The mapping of UML to XML: The UML models are a logical design upon which
the XML schemas will be based. There should be enough in the UML to
describe all of the data elements and their relationships for the XML
schemas. Again, this is an incremental process - to uncover the data
elements, their relationships, cardinality, etc. The UML is also meant to
be syntax independent so that other formats can be supported and
interoperability across formats is maintained.

Melanie Kudela
EC Technical Manager
UCC, Inc.
Princeton Pike Corporate Center
1009 Lenox Dr., Suite 202
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648, USA

                    Stéphane             To:     "'MKudela@uc-council.org'"            
                    <stephane.can        <MKudela@uc-council.org>, tboyle@rosehill.net 
                    on@GIB.BE>           cc:     ebxml-core@lists.oasis-open.org,      
                    04/18/00             xmledi-list@lists.bizserve.com                
                    09:33 AM             Subject:     RE: Summary of XML Datatypes as  
                                         required for B2B applications                 


I fully agree with you :

        1. Edi knowledge should be reused
        2. Xml standards development process should follow some kind of
methodology (and UML seems to be a good choice).

Could you provide more information about :

        1. your model : I see a class Dates containing different dates as
data members (Start Availability Date, End Availability Date, ...). The
"normal" way to model would have been to create a class Date and to derive
the other dates from this class. Why did you model this way ? Don't you
think this approach will cause a problem if you want to reuse your Dates
class ?

        2. the mapping between UML concepts and XML




     At UCC we provide UN/EDIFACT and X12 EDI support for our members'
     chains. Through tour work we contribute to such global efforts  as the

     Global Data Alignment Specifications (GDAS) and GEDI data

     We are also building a bridge for our member companies to cross  from
     and manual transactions to XML. We  support all members, whether they
     exchange information with EDI-enabled buyers or smaller SMEs not
     using EDI. We also expect to support our members with a global
     Therefore, out position is that the EDI data dictionaries, in essence,

     repositories of business process,  are of immense value as input into
     XML standards process. In fact, we reuse this EDI knowledge in our XML

     effort, as you can see in the UCC Electronic commerce attachments with

     However, the EDI knowledge should not be the only input to the process
     Because of our history of working with our members on EDI industry
     standards, we know we must adhere to two principles when we define the
     standards roadmap for our members:
          1. accomodate the business needs, and
          2. standards do not drive business behavior,  but accommodate

     The  EDI inputs are  not sufficient by themselves to describe the
     landscape of  tomorrow. Converting EDI to XML in n number of days  is
     possible, but not enough to accomodate business behavior. That is why
     UCC program consists of
          1. a business model represented in UML which is developed with
     business community;
          2. a data dictionary which is based on EDI knowledge but is not a

     one-for-one map of EDI to XML;
           3. a set of XML metadata which is derived from 1. and 2. and the

     resultant XML schema.

     We would like to see the ebXML Core Components define a  documented
     set of
     standard of core components  in XML, down to the level of the
     "Using XML Schemas to define B2B Datatypes", so that we could comply
     these core component definitions.

      I'm contributing a draft of the UML model, data dictionary and
     schemas of
     a business process that we are currently working on with our members
     we  address our member needs for synchronizing product and service
     information between buyers and suppliers. Both business needs and EDI
     knowledge have been useful in gathering the information. We  also have

     work-in-progress in other areas, such as pricing, markets, purchasing.

     Standard, agreed upon core components from ebXML would facilitate the
     of adopting these  XML transactions for our members.

     (See attached file: Item Sync_all_04_12.doc)(See attached file:

     Melanie Kudela
     EC Technical Manager
     UCC, Inc.
     Princeton Pike Corporate Center
     1009 Lenox Dr., Suite 202
     Lawrenceville, NJ 08648, USA

                         "Todd Boyle"

                         <tboyle@rosehill.net>              To:     "Ian
                         Sent by:
     <ian@oms-services.com>, "'ebXML Core
                         owner-ebxml-core@lists.oasi        Components
     <ebxml-core@lists.oasis-open.org>, "William
                                                            J. Kammerer"
                                                            cc:     "David"
                         04/17/00 01:43 AM                  "XML/EDI Group
                         Please respond to tboyle
     RE: Summary of XML Datatypes as
                                                            required for
     B2B applications

     EDI users often wax poetic about EDI.  But small business simply
     afford transaction connectivity having any component of labor cost.

     Ian, you said "conversion of EDIFACT dictionaries" would not be
     please provide a definitive example, into an XML DTD or schema that
     be useful for small business, in the exchange of business messages.

     EDI requires human negotiation and setup, causing costs for users, and

     revenues for EDI vendors.  Does EDI have a suitable unambiguous
     Does EDIFACT provide definitions of semantic meanings or business
     Does EDIFACT imply any consistent data model, cleansed of overlapping
     synonyms, duplicated structures, and collisions?

     Small business has no choice but to wait, and do NOTHING, until
     cost of ecommerce comes way down.  That might happen via XML if an
     vocabulary emerges from ebXML.  Or, it might happen within various
     portals, Microsoft, Checkfree, AOL, etc.  Right now the SMEs continue
     and mailing their checks and invoices, biding their time. The
     companies are *miles ahead* of anything on this ebXML list.  Every day
     waste, the commercial companies sign up 100,000 more people and their
     costs go down, and their rent-collecting models take firmer root.  For

     X.Com/PayPal has gone from zero to 1,000,000 users in the last 4

     Todd Boyle

     Ian Galbraith said Sunday, April 16, 2000 8:34 AM on the ebXML Core
     list, and XML/EDI Group Re: Summary of XML Datatypes as required for

     > Oh William, how right you are!  The EDIFACT dictionaries (and the
     > evolved through years of consideration of real user needs; it is not
     > deal to convert the essential semantic content of these dictionaries
     > different syntactic environment.  This was exactly the intent behind

     > The EDML proof of concept work demonstrated a means of transferring
     > content (ie data dictionaries) developed for one syntactic message
     > into a quite different syntactic structure.  So to my mind an
     obvious way
     > accelerate the development of XML-based ecommerce would be to
     exploit the
     > EDIFACT (and other) data dictionaries. But right now I don't have
     > confidence that the good bits of EDIFACT, X12, HL7, etc will
     actually be
     > exploited.  It seems perhaps, that in rejecting the syntactic
     > "traditional" EDI the semantic baby is being thrown out with the
     > Best regards
     > Ian
     > -----Original Message-----
     > From: William J. Kammerer <wkammerer@foresightcorp.com>
     > To: 'ebXML Core Components (E-mail)'
     > 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
     > >by Messrs. Kotok, Folkerts, and Haugen, on the XML-EDI mailing
     list. See
     > >http://www.mail-archive.com/xmledi-list%40lists.bizserve.com/ for
     > >archives.
     > >
     > >Note that EDIFACT is being re-invented all over again, especially
     > >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
     > >CUX (Currencies) - DTM (Date/time/period) segment group.  X12 does
     > >to some extent, but tends to overload its segments semantically
     > >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
     > >to use (because of the semantic building block concept?).
     Otherwise we
     > >wouldn't be all scrounging around trying to reincarnate EDI in XML
     > >syntax.
     > >
     > >But I do like the concept of semantic building blocks or core
     > >components.  So why re-invent them from scratch?  Just take a look
     > >the EDIFACT directories and dictionaries, and all of the core
     > >for ebXML can be effortlessly extracted.
     > >
     > >Or, why don't we just use EDIFACT for ebXML: warts, delimiters, and
     > >and save ourselves a heck of a lot of time and trouble?

     Because that wouldn't save non-EDI users any time or trouble, and
     there are
     hundreds of millions of non-EDI consumers and small businesses in the
     developed countries who need to conduct business over the internet.

     EDI has had its chance but the numeric codes and secret terms like
     MEA, CUX and DTM are never going to make it.  Rescue yourself before
     all of EDI goes down the tubes: Spin off a subset that is more
     to the broader public.  That's what SGML did.  Look what happend to

     The whole wide internet has such a *hopelessly* large range of users
     the perimeter of common vocabulary is going to be smaller.  There is a

     mathematical law at work, like when you draw 1,000 circles on a venn
     diagram.  You are not going to satisfy a large percentage of the needs

     of all users, like you did with EDI.  With EDI you would create
     100 elements and satisfy in another 5% of the needs.  This is a
     game with a long tail: once you get up around 500 elements, you only
     another 1% of the needs from another 100 elements so it's hardly worth

     the trouble.  Accordingly the game is less fun but it is a lot easier:

     just identify 300 or 400 core elements, and quit.

     The form of the new XML could be very simple and obvious.  It would
     to provide for extensibility but the core vocabulary is something you
     launch in 30 days out of the common denominators between EDIFACT and
     the existing XML vocabularies.

     TOdd Boyle CPA  Kirkland WA

     > >William J. Kammerer
     > >FORESIGHT Corp.
     > >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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