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RE: ubl + ebxml = increased interoperability?

I concur with Mike's assessment of the current situation with regard to
adoption of the ebXML Core Components Technical Specification (CCTS)
version 2pt01. IMHO the most important content (as it relates to
interoperability) in the CCTS is contained in two tables, Table 8-1
"Approved Core Component Types" and Table 8-3 "Permissible
Representation Terms" 

These two tables specify and define the foundation keys to
interoperability. In other words, I don't care whether you are promoting
ebXML, Web Services, your favorite vendor solution or any other latest
hype, until the entire planet reaches consensus on the basic definitions
of basic core component building blocks, interoperability across
disparate applications will simply remain a dream. 

The fundamental core component building blocks include the following -
extracted from CCTS v 2.01 Tables 8-1 and 8-3.

Binary Object (e.g., Graphic, Picture, Sound, Video)
Date Time (also includes Date and Time as specialized forms of Date
Numeric (includes Value, Rate and Percent)
Text (also includes Name as a specialized form of Text)

All ebusiness related standards bodies should be reviewing these basic
building blocks and discussing the strengths and/or weaknesses and then
reaching consensus on a final set and then develop strategies for
migration of their current standards.

Ron Schuldt
Senior Staff Systems Architect
Lockheed Martin Enterprise Information Systems
11757 W. Ken Caryl Ave.
#F521 Mail Point DC5694
Littleton, CO 80127

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Rawlins [mailto:mcr@rawlinsecconsulting.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 15, 2004 8:51 AM
To: ebxml-dev@lists.ebxml.org
Subject: Re: ubl + ebxml = increased interoperability?

If we could consider UBL the source for the common element names, etc., 
then we're well beyond an F but not yet an A.  Their body of work isn't 
nearly as rich as the existing EDI standards.

The problem is that we can't consider UBL as the single, common 
source.  There are several families of XML business document standards
purport to be based on ebXML Core Components.  UN/CEFACT's approach,
not as mature as UBL, differs in a few areas.  While the OAG has stated
intent to support ebXML Core Components, their OAGIS represents yet a 
different implementation.   And, there is the recently approved X12.7
ANSI ASC X12, which lays out yet another approach to XML.  And these are

just a few of the more significant examples.  One of the work items of
eBSC Forum, sponsored by the U.S. National Institute for Standards and 
Technology (NIST), is to facilitate forging a consensus in this area.

Given the current state of affairs, I think a lot of us that were
in the original ebXML effort wish very much that it had taken on and 
completed this work item.

If we consider the big picture, that is, not just UBL but all of these 
other efforts, my preliminary assessment right now would be a D or a 
"Gentleman's" C.  I hope to see significant improvement, but I'm not 
betting the farm on it.



At 02:42 PM 7/15/2004 +0200, Bryan Rasmussen wrote:

>In Mike Rawlin's article 'ebXML and Interoperability'(
>http://www.rawlinsecconsulting.com/ebXML/ebXML3.html) he grades ebXML
>various aspects of interoperability.
>One of the aspects was "Common Expression" defined as "Common set of
>element names, attributes and common usage of those attributes, common
>approach to document structure" - ebXML didn't address this at all. One
>the main reasons is that, as noted in my opening article, ebXML's
>was to enable several existing XML approaches to interoperate rather
>choosing only one. It also tried to address a very broad scope, with
>applicability to technologies other than XML." which he gave a grade of
>If we were to suppose ebxml as the framework and UBL as providing the
>set of xml element names etc. could we then change that grade to
>closer approaching an A?
>This is based on my understanding of UBL, although not requiring ebXML,
>being designed to be ebXML compatible. If this is a misapprehension on
>part please point it out. Thanks.
>The ebxml-dev list is sponsored by OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org>
>list archives are at http://lists.ebxml.org/archives/ebxml-dev/
>To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription

Michael C. Rawlins, Rawlins EC Consulting
Using XML with Legacy Business Applications (Addison-Wesley, 2003)

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