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Subject: Just what is Interoperability?

Since in some circles it appears a fait accompli xCBL will be chosen as
the basis of ebXML's core components, I thought it might be nice to
check it out at http://www.xcbl.org/.

I talked earlier today about the EDIFACT ORDERS message and how the DTM
segment is used in it. xCBL contains an analogous Order document, which
in turn contains an OrderHeader. In that header are the
RequestedShipByDate, RequestedDeliverByDate, PromiseDate, ValidityDates,
and CancelByDate elements - all with descriptive names - augmented by
the ListOfDateCoded element which can contain any number of DateCoded
elements which are other, non-specified, dates qualified by a code from
a code list dwarfing the already complex EDIFACT D.E. 2005.  I reckon
the explicitly named date elements are derived from commonly used date
qualifiers in EDIFACT D.E. 2005 (or the analog in ASC X12 D.E. 374
Date/Time Qualifier).

Arofan Gregory had earlier said to me: "I don't understand what your
interest is in ebXML. If you want to use EDIFACT - by all means, use
EDIFACT. But when you take away the ability to determine semantic
equivalence across syntaxes, you abandon the goal of interoperability
that was ebXML's charter at the core component level."

Can Arofan or someone please describe how "to determine semantic
equivalence across [the xCBL and UN/EDIFACT] syntaxes?"  I didn't see
any annotations in the DTDs or schemas which could be used to equate,
say, RequestedShipByDate with the date in a DTM segment qualified by a
code like "10" (Shipment date/time, requested).  Are there any formal
models for these classes with the relevant tie-backs?  If this
information wasn't recorded, then however can we determine semantic

If such information is lost or was never maintained, then I'm not too
concerned.  I have no use for auto-converting xCBL schemas or documents
into EDIFACT MIGs or messages, respectively.

I understand "interoperability" to be the standardized exchange of
business information between two organizations, regardless how disparate
their internal processes.  Interoperability has nothing to do with the
sterile exercise of converting EDIFACT to xCBL or vice versa.

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

Visit FORESIGHT Corp. at http://www.foresightcorp.com/
"accelerating time-to-trade"

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