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Subject: Re: What do people really expect from ebXML? - the Vision "thing"

Mike Rawlins is correct when he says ebXML never promised "to deliver
transactions (standard schemas, DTDs)."   But I'm surprised Mike thinks
"it is highly unlikely that it is something that ebXML or a *direct*
successor will do."  If we actually had the "syntax-neutral" core
components promised by ebXML - the "soul" of transactions and messages -
it would probably be merely a hop, skip and a jump to actual XML schemas
and DTDs.

The ebXML initiative ends after Vienna, and we have been led to believe
that the Core Component work will continue in the Joint UN/EDIFACT & ASC
X12 Core Component Development Group, led by Mark Crawford of X12.  As
Mr. Crawford believes that ebXML [CC] should have had  "a requirement to
develop the specifications to develop [transactions],"  we might surmise
that ebXML's successor will be more favorably inclined toward that end,
and be - in Arofan Gregory's words - the group that "...*will* build
such messages out of the harmonized core components..."

Though Mike Rawlins is technically correct when he tells David Lyon that
he "[doesn't]  think ebXML is the best venue" for developing XML
business messages, it's simply because the ebXML initiative will end
after Vienna in a few weeks.  It doesn't matter what ebXML has
transformed into - or under what name it goes by - but I'm confident X12
and EWG under Mr. Crawford's leadership will eventually produce not only
"syntax neutral" core components, but the actual "ebXML" business
messages that Mr. Lyon is looking for.

Mary Kay Blantz has confirmed this direction under the auspices of X12
and EWG when she asked if there was "Any chance [Lyon] can attend the
X12/EWG meeting in June?"  We will be doing exactly what he needs:
designing the basic messages.  Mary Kay's warm invitation should have
come with a caveat, though:  the X12 meeting will be in St. Louis, but I
suspect Mr. Lyon is in Australia!  In the meantime, I do hope David
looks in detail at the xCBL (and even the OAGIS) messages;  not only
will he be able to implement and package them up in ebXML's TR&P
Messaging Services, but I'm sure Commerce One will provide a migration
path to the equivalent "ebXML" messages, as they have done for X12.

Stuart Campbell's kind words are appreciated, but he needn't worry that
I have so much free time.  I will make time for an initiative like ebXML
which grabs the imagination, and which could have a positive effect on
globally enabling B2B interoperability.  And even though it could remain
unsaid:  that which spurs demand for solutions I - and others - have a
desire to satisfy as vendors.

In order to save some of my free time, I don't bother getting into the
bowels of the ebXML Messaging Services, simply because I am confident
the TR&P team understands the nuances of transport, and will deliver a
standard which can be used for secure, direct exchange of business
payloads.   I am satisfied they will eventually get the details right.
Likewise, the Trading Partner team seems to have a handle on CPPs and
CPAs, with a good appreciation of the security and negotiation issues
that will enable open-EDI.  And even if the Registry and Repository
Group has had some fitful starts, it looks like we'll finally have
standards for automated  "discovery" of (known) trading partners based
on business identifier - an important part of recruitment and engagement
which will liberate us from the stranglehold of proprietary VANs.

Perhaps the Business Process methodology seems a little heavy-weight
right now, especially considering the demands of the smaller
enterprises.  As David Lyon put it: "...most Managers worldwide in SMEs
wll tell you that they know pretty much know all there is to know about
a Purchase Order or an Invoice."  I love that line!  But BPM is clearly
something larger enterprises will demand for choreographing complex
supply chain interactions, though perhaps not needed by David right now.

We have reason for great optimism regarding the vision, and even the
work product, of the other areas of ebXML  Unfortunately, I haven't
heard the vision articulated - nor, I confess, can I synthesize one
myself - for Core Components. I could settle for, as Mike Rawlins put
it: a  "value proposition."  In particular, why do we expect the
standards and products built upon the CC specs will result in anything
better than what we have today with EDI?

It's probably tempting to complain loudly about our mailboxes filling
up, jokingly passing out awards for causing the most number of
unsubscribes, or even psychoanalyzing.  But perhaps that energy should
be spent crafting a "vision" thing before we find ourselves in Vienna -
if even it's only "an agreement on what it is we are developing a
process for," as Mr. Crawford reminded us.

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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