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Subject: RE: How to Create an ebXML Order (EDI 850 transaction set)

On Thursday, July 12, 2001 8:01 PM Duane Nickull wrote:
> It does accomplish some of what you say however it falls short of
> providing full ebXML complaint transaction sets.
Yes, as does xCBL and the other initiatives previously mentioned.  I was
more interested in addressing the problem of mapping a standard X12 Purchase
Order (or EDIFACT Order) to other XML initiatives (since there is a
significant gap in the target data structures - many of them are simply not

> On order to make use of the methodologies of ebXML, such transaction
> sets should facilitate a methodology whereby each component can
> reference a metadata component in an ebXML Registry system.  XEDI fails
> to make the grade here as do most other XML/EDI formats.
This statement is a bit misleading - this is true of ALL XML/EDI formats
(since they were developed before ebXML).  (Note that the metadata utilized
by XEDI is the same metadata provided by the X12 and EDIFACT libraries -
nothing is changed.)   

> The only way to build these transaction sets is to start with the Core
> Components group then expand to define the messages built upon these
> components.  This is the focus of a group lead by Jon Bosak with
> deliverables of a stock set of business transactions.  The transactions,
> in phase two, will also facilitate some degree of context derived
> modifications at design time (and possibly at run time???).
I am familiar with Jon's efforts and will be attending the meetings at
Montreal and Rotterdam.  I cannot, however, join the group as a voting
member because one of the prerequisites is to agree on using xCBL as a
logical starting point.  Since (as stated earlier) xCBL lacks most of the
data structures and semantics defined by X12 and EDIFACT it does not (in my
opinion) seem to be a logical starting point for this work.  Jon's group is
going to spend a lot of time "re-inventing the wheel" to close the gap
between XCBL and the way companies have been conducting e-business for over
20 years.
> For those wishing to transform X12 EDI 850 to XML, the process is easy.
I think you underestimate the magnitude of this requirement - its easy if
you are not required to map to one of the many XML "standards" out there
(since you can define your own information model to accommodate the data
structures you need).  If, however, you are mapping to xCBL or another
"standard", you will have problems -- its like trying to pour 5 gallons of
water into a 3 gallon container.

> In fact,  XML Global publishes this as a simplistic web service.  We
> also have an interface built over a server based system which can be
> used today if you have the correct template and a valid input document.
> http://demo.xmlglobal.com/transform/
Having the correct template can be a rather tall order - how is this
template developed?  Where does it come from?  I am not talking about
process (e.g. how the transformation occurs) - process is the easy part.
The difficulty lies in preserving the semantics of the transaction to be
mapped (especially when the intended target may not support them).

> I am working n a version that uses XMLG components to buidlthe output.
> If you want to give it a try,  ask me and I will post the two documents
> to the list.
Please do, I'd love to see the documents.  (If this is too far off-topic
please send them to me directly.)



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