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Subject: [ebxml-dev] Microsoft Refuses to support ebXML


All,

sorry for the attention grabbing and slightly imflamatory title but it is 
something that has been said to me a number of times over the past year or 
so.

I am currently involved in a major project whose objective is to provide a 
very significant industry portal for accessing web services for a partical 
market sector in the UK.

Part of the process is to define the web service interface specification 
that will be used. In this context, ebXML MS (v2.0c) is one of the proposals 
for message 'packaging'.

I have just received the latest specification which rules out the use of 
ebXML MS (although I think the author is a bit confused about what 
specifications he's referring to), and sites a number of grounds for this. I 
have no particular issue with not using ebXML MS but I do have to admit to a 
degree or irritation about some of the comments made.

There are many things that I could say about this particular section of the 
document but I am somewhat sensitized to the particular debate and 
personalities in this project and I need to be as objective and 
dis-passionate as I can be (not easy). So, I would very much welcome 
comments from you guys, since you have no special axe to grind about this 
implementation per se.

I want to be sure about that any comments I do make are factually correct or 
are based on sound assumptions. BTW - the text is quite short

I do have to respond very quickly to this (by 6th Jan !), so I would prefer 
it if you would copy your comments directly to my email address please :-

goffinf@hotmail.com

Many thanks

Fraser.

--- Text from ebXML section follows (its quite short) :-

ebXML arose from the EDI community in an effort to reduce costs EDI by using 
the Internet in place of expensive VANs.

ebXML is an international initiative established by UN/CEFACT (United 
Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation) and OASIS (Organization for the 
Advancement of Structured Information Standards).

ebXML is an open standard XML business specification that enables XML to be 
used in a consistent manner for the exchange of all electronic business 
data. The phase 1 spec was published in May 2001.  Late in the drafting 
cycle, ebXML adopted SOAP + attachments as itís transport.

EbXML has a business process information model (BPIM) and uses UML and UMM 
for process modelling.

The primary objective of ebXML is to lower the barrier to entry to 
electronic business in order to facilitate trade, particularly with respect 
to small businesses and developing nations.

The ebXML Transport Routing and Packaging specification released February 
2002, provided support for SOAP 1.1.

There is huge overlap between the technologies used by ebXML and SOAP, WSDL 
and UDDI.  However the goals of ebXML are more ambitious based as it is on 
standardising business processes.  This may prove to be itís undoing as 
companies tend to have different business processes and generally do not 
change them without very good economic justification.

While most of the industry is aligned behind SOAP, WSDL and UDDI, only Sun 
is championing ebXML while Microsoft refuses to support it.

There is considerable momentum behind the SOAP, WSDL, UDDI camp and new 
standards are emerging all the time.  For instance Business Process 
Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) specification was released 
recently with the aim of replacing IBMís Web Services Flow Language (WSFL) 
and Microsoftís XLANG.

Another view of ebXML is that it is a top down approach whereas SOAP is a 
bottom up approach.  The consensus view seems to be that lightweight 
approach adopted by SOAP is more likely to achieve critical mass across the 
industry and that it will quickly add the superior features of ebXML.  SOAP 
+ attachments is therefore the recommended approach for xxx.


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