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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 I have been gently reminded that the ISO BSR has been superceded by the Beacon Business Data Register (BDR), a Uniform Naming Facility, at http://www.icaris.net/icaris/beacon.html.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 FORESIGHT Corp. 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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