Subject: UNSPSC - whose in charge anyway?
These industry classification codes http://www.unspsc.org were originally designed for governmental statistical gathering on GNP and productivity measuring - stemming from the US NAICS codes and similar. As with other things they are being pressed into service for XML based business transactions. This appears to be a classic case of 'close enough for government use' - but needs more for really robust business use. Being a 2 digit pair means everything has to fall into one of 99 value slots in the bucket. This is just not reality. I'm seeing switching to alphanumeric pairs at least buys you a ton more bandwidth. But who makes this decision? Do implementors just go there? RosettaNet now has Rosetta UNSPSC codes, and then they map those back to UNSPSC codes. Clearly there's a better way. The whole issue here that is not being addressed is code tables generally. Plenty of focus on Schema - but now we moving closer to a use model right there, we need to solve this bottom layer question definitively - particularly so industry groups evolving XML based exchanges have a reference point of contact. Maybe we need an ebXML WG on code tables? Liaison to OAG and ISO would make sense - or maybe a joint effort between sich bodies? Its not really a question of re-inventing anything - there are plenty of ISO and other standards out there - but we do need a central point - and also XML'ized versions of these reference tables. ebXML will provide the API - but how is the secretariat? Thoughts? DW.
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