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Subject: RE: CSG Answers to Mark Crawford's Questions regarding the UN/CEFACT Position Statement on ebXML


Whilst supportive of the objective of ebXML - to make B2B easier for
SMEs, I would point out that I don't see any relationship between the
complexity of a technical specification and the complexity of the final
user experience.  ebXML is a complex set of specifications.  For that
matter, the extended WS stack specifications (WSDL, UDDI, WS-BPEL,
WS-Security, WS-Policy, WS-RM, WS-xx, etc) are potentially even more
complex (although still a bit immature).  These specifications are
necessarily complex so that those B2B integration configuration steps
that were previously manual and proprietary can be automated via open
standards.  The SME just knows that he wants to send an order to ACME
Inc - and thanks to a rich and complex set of underlying technical
standards, that's virtually all he has to know.  It is the software
vendor that needs to manage the complexity, not the SME.


Steve Capell
Sydney, Australia
Tel : +61 410 437854
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-----Original Message-----
From: Rachel Foerster [mailto:rachel@rfa-edi.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, 5 November 2003 3:02 AM
To: ebxml-dev@lists.ebxml.org
Subject: RE: CSG Answers to Mark Crawford's Questions regarding the
UN/CEFACT Position Statement on ebXML

Jon, I appreciate your very clear and concise reporting of events, etc.
And I think you'll recall a statement I made publicly at the Brussels
meeting where I was a co-lead of the ebXML Education & Marketing Team,
that if the ebXML initiative didn't achieve the enablement of small
businesses in the world of electronic messaging, it will have failed in
its mission. I still believe that that mission was the appropriate one
and one that is still very much needed to be realized..

Quite frankly, I have been personally dismayed over the intervening
months/years since the Tokyo meeting to see much of the ebXML effort
spiral into such a complexity that only the largest of enterprises could
have the resources and expertise to even understand much of it let along
implement it such that the smallest of businesses can participate in
this brave new (?) world of electronic business. I continue to believe
and to assert that until/unless small businesses are enabled with
affordable capabilities, the big enterprises will lose as well.

I trust/hope that this vision/mission of truly enabling the small
businesses to effectively participate with each other and large
businesses using the ebXML family of specifications will be realized. My
casual observation is that this is taking place around the globe.

Thanks for your clearheaded and objective reportage.

Rachel Foerster
Rachel Foerster & Associates, Ltd.
39432 North Avenue
Beach Park, IL 60099
Voice: 847-872-8070
email: rachel@rfa-edi.com

-----Original Message-----
From: jon.bosak@sun.com [mailto:jon.bosak@sun.com] 
Sent: Monday, November 03, 2003 8:46 PM
To: uncefact-tmg-general@listman.disa.org; ebxml-dev@lists.ebxml.org
Subject: Re: CSG Answers to Mark Crawford's Questions regarding the
UN/CEFACT Position Statement on ebXML

The following passage appeared in a message posted a few days ago on the
uncefact-tmg-general, ebxml-dev, cefact-atg, and cefact-tbg

[Klaus-Dieter Naujok <knaujok@attglobal.net>, Mon, 27 Oct 2003:]
| All three BCF principals could have been easily aligned from the
| beginning of the ebXML project, which was first envisioned by 
| UN/CEFACT but due to the objections by OASIS, especially Sun during 
| the Tokyo ebXML meeting, we were all forced to make ebXML a loosely 
| coupled set of technical specifications and remove business 
| requirements modeling as an ebXML requirement. It is evident today 
| that this forced ebXML to be just technical infrastructure.

This generated a follow-up discussion on the uncefact-tmg-general list
that included the following:

[David RR Webber <Gnosis_@compuserve.com>, Mon, 27 Oct 2003:]
| I must say it was not just Sun, and certainly not OASIS. This was
| voted on by the Plenary and agreed as part of the ebXML Requirements.
| The decision was to not MANDATE the use of UML/UMM, but rather to
| suggest the use of UML/UMM.
| There were a number of attempts made to retroactively undermine this
| decision - but each time people (not just Sun!) stood firm and 
| re-endorsed the original design decision.
| I see it as a great strength that ebXML is neutral to modelling
| technology - thereby making it easier for people to adopt and use 
| ebXML without having to use IT specific software engineering 
| technology.

[Klaus-Dieter Naujok <knaujok@attglobal.net>, Mon, 27 Oct 2003:]
| David,
| I am sorry to say you don't know what you talking about since your
| were not part of the discussion. I spend (wasted) 3 days on this 
| subject during the Tokyo meeting at which OASIS, represented by 3 Sun 
| members, made it perfectly clear that they disagreed with UN/CEFACT's 
| approach and would NOT support it as part of ebXML. I was NOT a bad 
| dream. If anyone is trying to adjust history it is those who where not

| present during that closed meeting of the executives.

[Klaus-Dieter Naujok <knaujok@attglobal.net>, Tue, 28 Oct 2003:]
| Due to some extended travel over the last 24 hours I was not able to
| respond to David's and Duane's postings. However, Paul and Jim did 
| take care of it so that we can move on. I like to thank them both not 
| only for addressing those questions/comments but also in confirming 
| that my statement about the Tokyo Executive meeting were accurate. 
| This last point is very important since I have been accused privately 
| that my "comments are not reflective of the facts".

Having defamed several of us on a number of mailing lists, Klaus now
desires to "move on."  Unfortunately, I feel compelled to respond.

I say "unfortunately" because this is a level of discussion I try
assiduously to avoid, and with 30 people to host at the UBL TC meeting
in San Francisco this week, replying in this thread is the last thing I
want to be doing right now. My current job as chair of the UBL TC, and
particularly the efforts we are making to work closely with the business
experts in UN/CEFACT, puts me in an especially difficult position from
which to respond to political attacks. But misleading statements were
made about Sun's involvement in an ebXML Executive Committee meeting
that occurred three years ago, and those statements need to be
corrected. The three people from Sun who attended the November 2000
meeting in Tokyo referred to by Klaus -- and by Jim Clark and Paul
Levine in other messages in this thread -- were Karsten Riemer (by
invitation of the Executive Committee), myself (by invitation of the
Executive Committee), and Bill Smith, then the President of OASIS.
Karsten (lucky man!) is now retired, which leaves just Bill and me to
tell the tale. Guess who drew the short straw.

Let me start by correcting the inference that any person who didn't know
him would draw from Klaus's statement that OASIS was "represented by 3
Sun members."  The obvious implication is that Sun had three people on
the ebXML Executive Committee. That this is the conclusion one would be
led to is demonstrated by David Webber in his postings to the
uncefact-tmg-general list 27 Oct 2003, where he does in fact draw just
that conclusion. Klaus, Jim, and Paul seem happy to allow David to
believe this, but I'm not.

The fact is that the ebXML Executive Committee consisted of just four
people, two of them representing UN/CEFACT and two representing OASIS.
The UN/CEFACT representatives were Ray Walker and Klaus-Dieter Naujok;
the OASIS representatives were Bob Sutor of IBM, Chair of the OASIS
Board of Directors, and Bill Smith, President of OASIS. Neither Bob nor
Bill were participating in the EC 
as vendor representatives. Rather, they were participating as elected 
officers of OASIS. Both were there as representatives of the entire 
OASIS membership, and both, as far as I know, were scrupulous in their 
discharge of that obligation. So the mere suggestion that either of 
them were pushing corporate agendas, either in the Tokyo meeting (which 
Bob did not attend) or at any other time during the course of the ebXML 
initiative, constitutes a completely unwarranted attack on their 
integrity as individuals.

Klaus's assertion that "OASIS... made it perfectly clear that they
disagreed with UN/CEFACT's approach and would NOT support it as part of
ebXML" glosses over an essential and little-known fact about the ebXML
partnership between UN/CEFACT and OASIS that must be taken into account
in understanding what really happened.

Those of us coming from OASIS naively thought that a project called
"ebusiness XML" was going to be about ebusiness and XML. UN/CEFACT had
come to OASIS seeking help with an initiative to drive the benefits of
EDI to SMEs and countries with economies in transition. Our
understanding was that UN/CEFACT and X12 members would provide the
business expertise, and OASIS would provide the XML expertise, and when
we were done, we would have basically a standard, cross-industry version
of RosettaNet that would extend the known benefits of EDI to small and
medium-size businesses. This was a concept that had been discussed for
well over a year prior to ebXML under the generic heading of "XML EDI,"
and that's what we thought ebXML would look like -- an XML version of
EDI that would improve on 20 years of implementation experience with
standardized XML formats for the messages, standardized XML
machine-readable formats for the business process specifications and
trading partner agreements, and a standardized XML registry/repository
for registration and discovery. This is what we signed up for.

In an internal memo dated 28 August 2000, Karsten summed up Sun's
understanding of what ebXML was doing as follows:

   Main goal is to provide the process context around the messages
   that EDI has always been missing. BP team is developing a
   metamodel for business process definition, as well as for the
   relationship of business process to business message structure,
   and to trading partner agreements. This metamodel takes the
   form of a UML profile. It will be possible to define processes
   in UML based tools and have them translated into XML for
   storage in the repository.

   Business Processes will provide the contextual reference that
   is needed to compose a multitude of process specific message
   structures using the same pool of core components, i.e.
   re-useable data elements. Trading partner agreements can be
   thought of as the functional and technical agreement on what
   the software on either end of the transport must be able to do
   (and not do) in order for the business process to be executed
   as agreed.

   We will demo the relationship between business process
   definition, message definition, and trading partner definition
   in the Tokyo meeting.

   A significant contribution has been made by University of
   Michigan to incorporate an micro-economic model into the BP
   metamodel, so that you can describe contract formation, and
   execution against the formed contracts.

   The ebXML metamodel is likely to become fully aligned with the
   metamodel underneath RosettaNet, the edifecs business
   collaboration metamodel. This will ensure full interoperability
   between any process defined in terms of RosettaNet PIPs and
   processes defined in ebXML.

   The metamodel will be firmed up by the November ebXML meeting
   in Tokyo, but a full, formal specification may not be available
   until February meeting in Vancouver.

Given the implication in the recent tmg-general thread that Sun was
somehow pursuing a self-serving agenda here, I will point out that Sun
had zero product interest in pushing this architecture. Like most other
ebXML participants, we were just trying to deliver the fairly
straightforward return on investment people would get by putting their
paper and fax-based business processes online in an incremental and
therefore believable way. No one saw this as the ultimate solution, just
as the obvious next step, a recognition that we should tackle first the
parts that an ordinary human being might hope to understand without
having to buy into a solution based on vendor-controlled middleware.

A similar view of the objectives of the ebXML effort at that time was
contained in the draft of the BP part of the ebXML architecture document
that was submitted to the ebXML Technical Architecture team in early

   A business process can be seen as a series of actions on
   entities within an enterprise, interleaved with a set of
   communications with parties outside the enterprise. The
   communication between the parties is the shared part of the
   business process. This is the focus of ebXML.

   The entities within an enterprise are called business entities,
   and their data structure can be represented by business

   The communication with parties outside the enterprise takes
   place through an exchange of business messages.

   Both business objects and business messages are composed from
   core components, re-useable low level data structures. The
   exact composition of a business object or a business message is
   guided by a set of contexts derived from (among other sources)
   the business process.

This was the view of ebXML shared by the majority of the ebXML
participants, as demonstrated by the fact that this is the view that
they -- through a Plenary vote -- ultimately decided to approve. It was
not until a controversy over the meaning of "business objects" arose in
late September 2000 that people from the OASIS side began to realize
that a different agenda was at work here.

Instead of constructing the XML business documents to be exchanged in a
trading relationship based on data modeling, with the idea that these
would then be referenced by XML process specifications based on process
modeling, this alternative attempted to specify a very non-EDI-like
technology that started by capturing customer requirements in UML use
case diagrams, then identifying the process, identifying its required
data structures at a high level, recursively defining lower and lower
levels of the data structures, and finally designing the system to use
those generated data structures.

This was an approach that might have worked if we had had no legacy
systems to deal with, were designing for one industry only, and had an
almost unlimited amount of time, but this wasn't the environment we had
been assuming. Our assumption was that we were designing business
messages to integrate today's legacy today. When objections were made to
this substitute position, the UN/CEFACT representatives to the Executive
Committee responded that this was "the UN/CEFACT vision" and that this
vision was nonnegotiable as far as UN/CEFACT was concerned.

People tend to think I'm exaggerating when I tell them that the
"UN/CEFACT vision" was one in which the business documents themselves
were supposed to be generated directly from the process diagrams. And
indeed, for anyone familiar with either XML document design or existing
systems of electronic commerce, this is a pretty strange vision. I might
not have believed it myself if Klaus had not sent Karsten the relevant
documents and generously copied them to me so that I would finally
learn, almost a year after the ebXML project had begun, just what he had
in mind. Since I know of no other source for "the UN/CEFACT vision,"
I've appended that message below so that anyone who's interested can see
what we were permitted to learn one month before the November 2000
meeting in Tokyo.

I leave it to others to judge the technical merits of "the UN/CEFACT
vision" as it was explained to us in September 2000 and will simply
content myself with the observation that this was not what we had been
led to believe was our mission. At the time this message was sent, we
had to take "the UN/CEFACT vision" described in these materials at face
value as the official position of UN/CEFACT as a whole; it was not until
later, after I became aware of the years-long struggle between UN/CEFACT
TMWG and the rest of the organization, that I came to realize that in
fact "the UN/CEFACT vision" did not, and does not, represent the
majority view even of the UN/CEFACT membership, let alone the much
larger group that had gathered to create ebXML.

When it became clear that there was a fundamental disconnect between
what we had been led to believe and what was actually intended by the
UN/CEFACT leadership (meaning the UN/CEFACT TMWG, which had effectively
taken control of the organization through its domination of the
UN/CEFACT Steering Group), various attempts were made to find some way
of proceeding that would preserve the remarkable achievements of the
ebXML effort. It had become obvious to everyone that the "UN/CEFACT
vision," or whatever it was that the UN/CEFACT side of the Executive
Committee was driving, was in direct conflict with the work of the large
number of people engaged in the CC part of the ebXML effort. I was
willing to believe that "the UN/CEFACT vision" might someday become a
workable solution, so in a message to Klaus dated 28 October 2000, on
the eve of the Tokyo meeting, I made the following

   It's my observation that what we're seeing reflects the
   existence of two groups of people with different but not
   necessarily antithetical agendas. One group is focused on how
   we can completely automate electronic trade; the other is
   focused on how we can enable small businesses to engage in
   electronic trade and how we can help businesses of all sizes
   make the transition from legacy systems. I believe that both
   of these agendas can be accomplished if we recognize that
   complete automation is a long-term goal, whereas getting the
   small businesses online and beginning the transition from
   legacy systems is a short-term one. If this distinction is
   observed, then I think that we can achieve consensus on the TA
   spec fairly simply.

   I think that the people who have a vision for the long-term
   goal should describe the long-term solution in a separate white
   paper. This would accomplish several objectives.

      1. It would put the long-term vision firmly on record and
         give everyone a chance to see where this is all heading.

      2. It would make clear the requirements for the long term so
         that they can be taken into account in the Phase 1

      3. It would allow the TA spec to clearly describe the
         minimum, largely unautomated solution that we need to
         have in place for the short term.

      4. It would avoid a public collision between people who
         think that the role of XML in ebXML is to transmit
         objects with methods and the people who think (in line
         with our official policy) that the role of XML is to
         convey the information needed to effect business

      5. If done quickly and thoroughly, this separation would
         allow the reduced TA spec to gain approval in Vancouver.
         I don't think it's realistic to expect it to gain the
         necessary level of agreement in its present form.

   A messier but workable alternative strategy is the one
   suggested by the QR team: hold a session of the Steering
   Committee in Tokyo that will allow the QR team to explain their
   objections to the current draft, and resolve those objections
   on the spot.

   But I think it would be easier and cleaner for you to suggest
   that the controversial parts of the TA spec be moved to a
   separate vision document.

We entered the Tokyo meeting with the issue unresolved.

At some point during the week in Tokyo -- I can't remember which day now
-- the ebXML Executive Committee decided to invite some people in to
discuss this issue. This was a fairly small meeting; I remember it as
including about eight or nine people, all of them there by invitation of
the EC. None of the attendees had been invited on the basis of company
affiliation. Of the people from Sun, Bill Smith was there because he was
President of OASIS; Karsten was there because of his role in the BP
team; and I was there to represent the ebXML Advisory Board, a body
created by the EC of which I happened to be the only member. It was a
good discussion. I learned a lot, and I got to deliver the suggestion I
had earlier made in email to Klaus.

The idea of publishing "the UN/CEFACT vision" as a separate paper was
never adopted, but we left that meeting with what appeared to be a
consensus that the distinction between "short term" and "long term"
objectives might offer us a way out of the dilemma in which we found
ourselves. This was not quite the same as the distinction between "phase
1" and "phase 2" -- people had been using those terms for a while by
that time -- but I guess it was close enough to get us over the hump.

The thing I do remember quite clearly about the Tokyo meeting is that
the group assembled by the EC to discuss the problem had absolutely no
formal role in the process that led to the ebXML specifications as they
were finally published. I like to believe that the discussion in Tokyo
helped find a way forward, but all the actual decisions were made by the
ebXML plenary, exactly as David Webber has said. It has been widely
noted that ebXML had literally thousands of participants. Typical
meetings were attended by upwards of two hundred people, and the
majority of them came from UN/CEFACT, X12, and other centers of business
expertise, not from OASIS. The characterization of any of the decisions
made in ebXML as driven by OASIS or by any one company is not only
inaccurate but is also disrespectful of the membership that created the
ebXML specifications.

In closing, I'd like to say how sad I am that vendor politics has been
retroactively injected into the ebXML initiative at this late date. 
The ebXML initiative was remarkably free from the kind of partisan
posturing we've been seeing over the last week. Perhaps it's just
because vendor participation back then was considerably different from
what it is now, but most of us shared a common understanding of what
electronic commerce needed next, and all of us set aside corporate
agendas to pursue a goal that we believed would benefit everyone.

The good news is that almost all the pieces of the original majority
ebXML vision -- all except Core Components -- are now in an organization
whose process encourages publicly accountable, open consultation and
discourages formation of the kind of centralized control structures that
can be hijacked by small groups with special agendas. Fostered by a
loose but effective collegiality that builds on the modular structure of
the ebXML architecture, the OASIS ebXML Business Process TC, ebXML CPP/A
TC, ebXML Implementation TC, ebXML Messaging TC, and ebXML Registry TC
continue to evolve and strengthen the majority ebXML vision forged by
the ebXML participants themselves. In combination with related OASIS TCs
-- UBL, eGovernment, BPEL, Customer Information Quality, and others --
ebXML is delivering on its promise to become the sensible and
vendor-neutral next step for the world's electronic businesses, large
and small.



Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 15:49:03 -0700
From: Klaus-Dieter Naujok <knaujok@pacbell.net>
Subject: Fwd: Re: Meta Model
To: Jon Bosak <bosak@boethius.eng.sun.com>


==================BEGIN FORWARDED MESSAGE==================
>From: "Klaus-Dieter Naujok" <knaujok@pacbell.net>
>To: "Karsten Riemer" <Karsten.Riemer@East.Sun.COM>
>Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2000 15:35:02 -0700
>Subject: Re: Meta Model

On Thu, 28 Sep 2000 17:00:29 -0400 (Eastern Daylight Time), Karsten

>can you point me to the UN/CEFACT vision, I couldn't locate it on

Karsten it is not a ebXML document, but a UN/CEFACT one.  If will spare
you the tasks of finding it on the UN side since it has much more than
just what we are relating to. I am sending you the material that Ray
(chair of UN/CEFACT Steering Committee - CSG) is using as he addresses
this topic related to UN/CEFACT.

UN/CEFACT's Direction Paper - Prepared by two CSG members on request of
Ray for the ebXML Executive.

ebXML BP2XML - Prepared by Ray and myself taking material from SWIFT and
GCI presentations given 2 weeks ago, as well as the TMWG BP example.

The Road to ebXML - Background how we we got here. A revised version
from my paper I made available during the last TMWG session. This
version is from my book I am writing :-)
Let me know if you need more. BTW, my working hours are M-F, 07:00-18:00
Pacific Time in case you want to call. Next week I am in Tokyo.


Klaus-Dieter Naujok                        NextERA Interactive
Antioch, CA USA                                +1.925.759.1670

PGP Finger: 6A4B 1683 CD99 E7BE F855  CC2F 4569 6BD8 76BD 1117

===================END FORWARDED MESSAGE===================

Klaus-Dieter Naujok                        NextERA Interactive
Antioch, CA USA                                +1.925.759.1670

PGP Finger: 6A4B 1683 CD99 E7BE F855  CC2F 4569 6BD8 76BD 1117

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