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Subject: RE: [ebxml-dev] RE: OASIS Members to Develop Universal Business Language

Title: RE: [ebxml-dev] RE: OASIS Members to Develop Universal Business Language


Let me try to clarify this situation a little, as I was and am active with the UBL group in OASIS and with the UN/CEFACT initiative around Core Components.

ebXML as such was an effort of limited duration which ended last May. The various groups have been split between OASIS and UN/CEFACT, which are still working in cooperation at this point.

The UBL work does not overlap with the work in UN/CEFACT, although there are critical dependencies. This is because the Core Components work in ebXML, which has gone into UN/CEFACT (currently in an ad hoc group called the ebTWG, pending a re-org of UN/CEFACT to give it a permanent home) was strictly focused on building core semantic models for data representation. It did not address the issue of expressing those semantics in any specific syntax, as it was recognized that some people would be using UN/EDIFACT syntax, while others would be using various different flavors of XML. The idea was to standardize the semantics, using a modelling methodology, rather than a specific syntax implementation.

UBL is taking these core component models, and - using various existing XML vocabularies - creating some generic message-level XML schemas that will align with the core components provided. The focus of UBL is thus the syntax-specific binding of the core components models into XML. There is a huge dependency on the business expertise that exists in the UN/CEFACT groups, and it is anticipated (by me, anyway) that these groups will work pretty closely in achieving an XML result that will be both good XML and useful to the business community. The key input from the business community at this point is the core components work, which is being published in draft form on the ebTWG website in the near future (ebTWG.org).

Note that the first OASIS meeting has not yet taken place, and as such what I report here is strictly my impression from being at the organizational meetings. It is also my impression that while there are always a lot of politics in standards work, the UBL group and the Core Components group both have demonstrated a real desire to get the work done, and to avoid messy politics where possible.

I hope this helps to clarify the situation.


Arofan Gregory

-----Original Message-----
From: McMahon. Brendan ITS [mailto:Brendan.McMahon@mail.esb.ie]
Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2001 9:55 AM
To: 'ebxml-dev@lists.ebxml.org'
Subject: [ebxml-dev] RE: OASIS Members to Develop Universal Business


This mailing list has recently contained a number of posts that contain
references to various "political" problems currently besetting the ebXML

Can any of the ebXML "insiders" who contribute to this list please explain
to "outsiders" like me what exactly is going on, both in general, and
specifically why Oasis now feels compelled to start a UBL TC, apparently in
competition with responsibilities of the UN/CEFACT group?


Brendan McMahon
ESB, Ireland

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