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Subject: ebXML and a proposal for a new ebWG attachements

Dear Colleague,

UN/CEFACT's Proposal for a New Electronic Business Working Group

Last week I distributed on behalf of Ray Walker (UN/CEFACT's
Steering Group Chair) an early copy of the consultation paper that
was being prepared for the UN Heads of Delegation with the
proposal for a new working group. This group would be the home for
UN/CEFACT's continuation of their ebXML responsibilities as
announced during the Vienna meeting.

Since last week, consultations have gone on with the UN legal
office in New York that have resulted in some changes to the
original document. In addition some technical clarifications
address issues that were raised by some of you. Please find
attached a revision of the document that has now been sent to the
Heads of Delegation and which serves as the definitive version for
consultation as we progress to form the new working group.

In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I would like to comment on 
two specific changes.

In the original document Figure 1 showed under the CSG a box titled
"ebXML coordination" representing the role of the UN/CEFACT members
to the MoU/MT as agreed in Vienna. This version no longer has that
box in Figure 1. The reason for this is a legal one. The chart in
Figure 1 is seen by the UN legal office as purely a UN
organizational chart and therefore it is inappropriate to mention
only one specific technical relationship with an external
organization. There are other MoU's and technical agreements that
are managed by the CSG such as the ISO MoU, WCO etc., but are not
part of our Figure 1. Therefore recognizing the management role of
the CSG, the correct solution, for a UN organizational chart is to
eliminate the box.

The purpose of pointing out this specific change is to reassure you
that there has been no change in the CSG's position towards towards
the agreement reached in Vienna and that there will be a very
strong link between UN/CEFACT (CSG) and OASIS in order to
coordinate our efforts in the continuation of the ongoing ebXML
work. That is one of the main reasons for the CSG using input from 
the last UN/CEFACT session and from the ebXML meeting in Vienna in 
proposing the new ebWG. We are committed to the continuation of 
ebXML and coordination with OASIS to ensure success as we move 
towards the implementation.

The second change has to do with the UN/EDIFACT subgroup. In the
original document the first paragraph ended with the sentence:

It may be responsible for developing and publishing EDI-based XML
DTDs and Schemas.  

This sentence created quite a discussion amongst the Common
Business Language effort (now called Universal Business Language)
led by Jon Bosak. It seems that the members of the CBL
organization committee did not interpret that sentence as being
supportive of their request to create a single standard XML syntax
for common business documents.

Let me assure you that there was no attempt to ignore the effort,
or not to provide an opportunity within the new working group for 
this effort.

Therefore the last sentence now reads:

In addition, the subgroup would be responsible for the development
of a standard library of XML business grammar for XML document
structures, to serve as an interim solution until the work of the
BPI Subgroup has progressed to a stage to allow large-scale

In principle, the CSG is supportive of the idea as well as that it 
listens to the public comments made by the members of the CBL 
organization committee. The CSG anticipates that the UBL team will 
submit a project proposal in Rotterdam; this proposal is expected 
to include their input work and would call for participation by all 
interested parties. Naturally, it would also solicit additional 
input submissions as required by UN/CEFACT's Open Development 

In closing, there are some other minor changes contained in the
document that were the result of the review by the UN legal
department in New York. Again this should not be seen as a negative
thing, but rather as a positive sign that the UN in New York has
not only become aware of the effort but is also supportive of it.
What more can we ask for?

Should you have any questions or concern, please feel free to
contact any CSG member, Ray Walker or me directly. We will try our
best to respond.



Klaus-Dieter Naujok                     UN/CEFACT/TMWG Chair
IONA Technologies, Santa Clara, CA, Chief Scientific Officer

CSG eBteam 2001 EBT0001Rev.2.pdf

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