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Subject: Re: Tag Languages, UID's etc. - My experiment with the Beacon BDR

I said: "The tough work is in building these semantic units you want to
link via the UID. Only the BSR Basic Semantics Register even appears to
have the start of a list of terms, though disappointingly small.  After
all these years of folks blathering on about registries, repositories
and semantics, you would think there would be more we could base this
work on."

I have been gently reminded that the ISO BSR has been superceded by the
Beacon Business Data Register (BDR), a Uniform Naming Facility, at
http://www.icaris.net/icaris/beacon.html. It has over 8000 business data
unit (BDU) names already defined which can be used as the basis of
consistent XML tags.  I'm hardly sophisticated enough in the ways of ISO
11179 to understand the advantages of the BDR over the similar sounding
BSR, but I figured it was worth playing around with.  There was no
slideware at the Beacon site, which was just as well. So I fired up
their demo.

I tried to find a BDU for David RR Webber's example of
payment.date.Invoice.  I was confused by the Beacon CV (term?)
definition of "Invoice," which was deprecated by "Supply"??!!  In any
case, I came up with BDUs like Payment:Earliest.Date and
Payment:Latest.Date. Those sound okay. Actually, they're more precise
than David's payment.date.Invoice - is this the date the payment is
expected, or the date the payment was remitted?   Surely there's a
mechanical way of converting these BDUs into XML tag names (assuming the
full stop and colon cause problems!).

A few more experiments showed that I could find BDUs for a lot of common
business elements (e.g., Product:EAN.Id, Delivery:Location:Name, and
BillTo:Organisation:Location:City.Name) - meaning that it could probably
be used to name the Core Components.

I'm sure the Beacon BDR is not perfect, and probably has a host of
problems, not the least of which is I think it costs money to use the
"real" registry.  And I didn't see any definitions for terms in
languages other than English.  As if that would matter to me. And it
seemed to be using archaic and effete spellings, like "Organisation" -
which has long been replaced (even in the OED!!!) by the robust and
reformed "Organization." But the very friendly Beacon
proprietor-cum-webmaster did offer to help me find equivalent BDUs for
terms from the RosettaNet Business Dictionary or the HIPAA Data Element
Dictionary;  I politely declined, for the time being.

In summary, with everyone and his brother (ISO BSR and the Beacon BDR as
notable examples) having already started such naming facilities, why
does ebXML have to invent its own?  At a minimum, couldn't some XML
artifact ("imaginary" namespaces???) be used to say a particular name is
defined by the BSR, or alternatively, the BDR, the HIPAA DED or the
RosettaNet Business Dictionary?

William J. Kammerer
4950 Blazer Memorial Pkwy.
Dublin, OH USA 43017-3305
+1 614 791-1600

Visit FORESIGHT Corp. at http://www.foresightcorp.com/
"Commerce for a New World"

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