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

Arofan asked me to forward this to the list....


-----Original Message-----
From: Gregory, Arofan [mailto:arofan.gregory@commerceone.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2001 10:30 AM
To: 'John Evdemon'; 'Duane Nickull'
Cc: ebxml-dev@lists.ebxml.org; James Blakeney; Kevin Kail;
'jon.bosak@sun.com'; Probert, Sue
Subject: RE: How to Create an ebXML Order (EDI 850 transaction set)


I feel I should respond to this thread, since I have been working with EDI
standards for a long time, and am familiar with the XEDI approach.

I do not feel like arguing the merits of existing standards - and I am both
EDIFACT's biggest fan and worst critic, depending on what aspect of EDI you
are talking about (good: it provides a huge wealth of valuable experience;
and bad: it has experienced a kind of bloat over the years that wasn't a
problem with point-to-point TP relationships but that is harshly inimical to
interoperability when you're trying to leverage the network effect of a
global network such as the internet).

XEDI has a strength in that it allows easy and complete carriage of existing
XML standards, and it is an excellent approach for some applications, mostly
those focusing on transformation, since it has rendered a flat-file format
into an XML format capable of being subject to XSL transforms, etc. Where it
fails - and the thing that makes it unsuitable for use with most existing
XML technologies as a basic standard - is that it makes it impossible to
validate business semantics with an XML parser. All it allows you to
validate is the structural relationships within the EDI mesage. Compliant
XML parsers will not tell you whether you have obeyed the semantic rules
embedded in the schema or DTD, since these are not enforced.

Consequently, business applications need to do all of their own validation.
This was a necessary part of legacy EDI applications, and so is not a huge
problem for legacy systems. However, XML frees you from this burden, saving
huge costs in terms of writing application code (or buying a commercial
system to perform this validation).

When we talk about enabling SMEs, one of the biggest challenges is lowering
costs, and XEDI fails to embrace a basic aspect of XML processing that makes
this possible. It is  a useful technology, but it is not a good basis for a
language that is focused on describing business semantics, rather than
structural ones.


Arofan Gregory

-----Original Message-----
From: John Evdemon [mailto:jevdemon@vitria.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2001 6:57 AM
To: 'Duane Nickull'; John Evdemon
Cc: ebxml-dev@lists.ebxml.org; Gregory, Arofan; James Blakeney; Kevin
Kail; 'jon.bosak@sun.com'
Subject: RE: How to Create an ebXML Order (EDI 850 transaction set)

On Monday, July 16, 2001 7:21 PM Duane Nickull  wrote:
> XEDI??? If XEDI has already solved the problems that ebXML is setting
> about to work,  then lets' see this data.
I never claimed that XEDI solved the problems that ebXML is setting out to
correct - XEDI is, like xCBL, just a markup language.  XEDI does, however,
provide the most robust support for existing e-business metadata standards.
I am concerned that the planned "UBL" work is going to use xCBL as a
starting point (since it does fully support EDI metadata standards).  There
seems to be a consensus to use xCBL without analyzing if anything better
was/is already available.

> All I could see on the XEDI
> site was one rendition of an 850 PO in XML.  I have asked you to show us
> the rest of your data.  Where is the rest of the data????  IF you are
> suggesting we use that as a starting point,  donate the IP now and it
> willbe considered.
Will do - but can I expect it to be used?  I will make sure I include Jon
Bosak on the response since he is heading up the UBL work.

> If you are not willing to give up the IP or even
> show us the wonderful XEDI,  then please do not criticise us for using
> what is available.
I never said I was unwilling to give up the IP.  There would be no reason to
consider using it otherwise.

> Reliability????   But what about low cost for SME's, simplicity, an open
> infrastructure that is free to use, scalability,  extensibility etc
> etc.  These are mandates of ebXML.  Legacy fails to make the grade on
> all of these points.

You are confusing EDI's syntax and implementation with its metadata.
Anyone (even SMEs) can benefit from using the associated metadata.

Scalability is certainly not an issue with EDI - neither is extensibility.
Further, there are no requirements to use VANs - EDI documents can be
exchanged over secure Internet connections.

> We are not going to ignore EDI.  We will use the wealth of information
> that is the culmination of years of experience by a lot of very
> knowledgable people.  No one is advocating throwing it out.
We agree.  I hope the UBL WG will realize the benefits of using EDI metadata
standards over a far more limited subset.

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