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Subject: RE: What's the right forum for developing XML Messaging


The discussion we've had thus far within ebXML has been directed toward a
transport mechanism for XML, but not exclusively for XML. If a company wants
to send X12, EDIFACT or proprietary data securely and reliably over the
Internet using the ebXML MR&T solution, should we stop them? On a more
practical note, the companies I work with don't want to manage multiple
transport packages. Last week I attended the UIG/DISA meeting in Denver and
during a discussion over XML a member of UIG asked if there would be two
different transports, one for X12 and another for XML. I told them that
ebXML MR&T was not trying to create a "XML ONLY" solution but rather a
solution for the general transport of business documents.

In my opinion, if we limit the transport to XML only we'll be shooting
ourselves in the foot. I see no good technical reason
why a single transport solution couldn't support all content-types (smtp and
http do it today). If we do create a transport mechanism that is XML only,
it will be the first of it's type, built in the last 15 years, that I'm
aware of. All the others (ftp, http, smtp, mqseries) do not limit the type
of payload (granted they may need special treatment e.g. base64 encoding
for binary attachements in e-mail).

Currently, there are several initiatives that could provide adequate
solutions to ebXML. Rather than starting yet another IETF initiative, I
suggest the ebXML group nail down the requirements, spec out the headers,
choreograph some use cases and look for an existing (IETF, W3C, BQM,
BizTalk, OMG, OAG, or whatever) initiative that is close to meeting our
needs then offer to work with that group to create the final ebXML solution.

Does this seem reasonable?


-----Original Message-----
From: Kai Yokohama [mailto:kai@eye-tech.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2000 9:26 AM
To: Dick Brooks (E); David Burdett; Rik Drummond
Cc: ebXML Transport (E-mail); IETF Trade (E-mail)
Subject: Re: What's the right forum for developing XML Messaging

Forwarded by Kai Yokohama for Ofer Avineri.

Dick, David and Rik,

I must add my comments here (which David is probably aware of ;-), Myself
and David had discussed the operational aspects of the XML
Messaging/Transport within the IETF. One of my suggestions was to form a new
WG dedicated to XML Transport/Messaging. The attributes behind my thinking
were the broad requirements from such mechanism. XML Transport or Messaging
mechanism would be a general mean of transporting XML elements/docs. On top
of this "protocol" there would be *many* specific designed languages that
will run on this protocol. ebXML, ECML, DSML, VOXML, MathML and so on
reflect the broad requirements from such a protocol, and therefore I believe
that we need a dedicated WG within the IETF to cover the broad range of

I think we have a list dedicated for this subject and I can look up the old
charter document I've worked on. I suggest we'll hold a small e-BoF among us
to decide what's the community consensus,


Ofer Avineri
E-MANAGE Product Manager,
Digital Intelligence Systems, Inc.

----- Original Message -----
From: Dick Brooks (E) <dick@8760.com>
To: David Burdett <david.burdett@commerceone.com>; Rik Drummond
Cc: ebXML Transport (E-mail) <ebXML-Transport@lists.oasis-open.org>; IETF
Trade (E-mail) <ietf-trade@lists.eListX.com>
Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2000 5:06 AM
Subject: RE: What's the right forum for developing XML Messaging

> Rik, I wouldn't classify Dave's e-mail to TRADE as "forcing an either or
> decision". Candidly, I'm not convinced the IETF is the right forum for an
> XML standard. The IETF rules regarding RFC status of interdependcies, ref:
> S/MIME,  could require us to make XML and other non-IETF standards IETF
> RFC's first. As you know this can take some time.
> At this juncture we know that XML Messaging is one of several fine
> candidates in the running to become  the ebXML transport standard. We will
> know if it's the best solution after our group has had time to evalute all
> candidates in detail. I think the entire community would be best served if
> we focus on identifying what is best for ebXML and when we know what the
> best solution is we should pitch it to the appropriate standards bodies
> endorsement. Anything else is premature.
> Dave, it really is a personal decision as to which effort you wish to
> on and only you can make this call.
> just my .02
> Dick
> http://www.8760.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-ebxml-transport@lists.oasis-open.org
> [mailto:owner-ebxml-transport@lists.oasis-open.org]On Behalf Of David
> Burdett
> Sent: Friday, February 11, 2000 6:21 PM
> To: Rik Drummond
> Cc: ebXML Transport (E-mail); IETF Trade (E-mail)
> Subject: RE: What's the right forum for developing XML Messaging
> Rik
> I'm not forcing a "one or the other decision" I'm trying to be practical.
> Right now IETF XML Messaging and ebXML TP&R are of just about identical
> scope and at an identical stage of development. Therefore it does not
> make sense for two groups of people to work in parallel on the same
> activities that might result in competing specifications.
> I'm also the editor on both initiatives as well as author of the XML
> Messaging Requirements document that has just been published. So it will
> impossible and impractical for any work I do in one group to not influence
> the other.
> More importantly I do not have the time to work on both. So on a personal
> level I have no option but to choose one or other of the initiatives to
> on.
> I therefore thought it only fair to draw to the attention of the IETF
> WG community the necessity for me to choose which initiative to work on as
> well as point out the opportunity for the Trade WG members to get involved
> in ebXML if they want to since I think it an important and worthwhile
> open-standards initiative.
> There is also an IETF Trade WG Meeting in Adelaide, Australia at the end
> March and I wanted to provide an opportunity for discussion on the email
> list before the meeting as this will make any discussion in the Adelaide
> meeting better informed.
> There is also a possibility that I will not be able to make the Adelaide
> meeting so email discussion within the IETF is in my view essential and
> sooner rather than later.
> As far as the other initiatives are concerned, then I agree that we need
> continue our co-ordination efforts with respect to, for example, SOAP and
> EDIINT. I will be pleased to work with you in this regard.
> Finally I think there are both benefits and disadvantages to both ebXML
> the IETF as forums for developing a "messaging" specification and welcome
> the views of both the IETF and ebXML communities on this matter.
> Regards
> David
> Editor IETF Trade WG & ebXML Transport, Packaging & Routing WG
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rik Drummond [mailto:drummond@onramp.net]
> Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2000 9:54 PM
> To: David Burdett; IETF Trade (E-mail)
> Cc: ebXML Transport (E-mail)
> Subject: RE: What's the right forum for developing XML Messaging
> David, you are trying to force an "either one or the other" decision.
> I don't think that is appropriate at this time or the only option. An
> exists where team leaders and workgroup leaders coordinate between the
> and the IETF groups that have possible charters in this area. They are:
> EDIINT, soap, IOTP and possibly others.
> I have been talking with Microsoft and IBM on the issue. it is too early
> tell if we can establish coordination and hence too early to decide on
> "either one or the other".
> Best regards, Rik
> team leader ebXML transport and packaging team &
> chair IETF EDIINT wg
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-ebxml-transport@lists.oasis-open.org
> [mailto:owner-ebxml-transport@lists.oasis-open.org]On Behalf Of David
> Burdett
> Sent: Thursday, February 10, 2000 6:12 PM
> To: IETF Trade (E-mail)
> Cc: ebXML Transport (E-mail)
> Subject: What's the right forum for developing XMl Messaging
> To Members of the IETF Trade Working Group ...
> The purpose of this email is to solicit opinions from the IETF Trade
> Group on the "best" forum for developing specifications for "XML
> Although I have made one submission on this topic to this working group,
> interest in developing this type of specification has also arisen within
> ebXML which is a joint United Nations/OASIS development.
> Clearly it does not make sense for two - probably competing -
> to be developed in the same area. Hence this email.
> The remainder of this email contains some background information on XML
> Messaging and ebXML.
> I encourage members of the Trade Working Group to make known their views
> these alternatives development forums.
> Regards
> David Burdett
> Advanced Technology, CommerceOne
> 1600 Riviera Ave, Suite 200, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, USA
> Tel: +1 (925) 941 4422 or +1 (650) 623 2888;
> mailto:david.burdett@commerceone.com; Web: http://www.commerceone.com
> ======================================
> The following provides:
> * a brief recap on XML Messaging
> * a more detailed explanation of ebXML, and
> * a brief evaluation of some of the advantages and disadvantages, as I
> see it, for using either to develop specifications like "XML Messaging"
> ==================
> On 25th January an Internet Draft titled "Requirements for XML Messaging
> Version 1.0 Release 00" was published (see
> txt).
> The objective of XML Messaging is to provide "... a generic approach to
> reliable, resilient, secure, tamper resistant, authenticated exchange of
> or other electronic documents over insecure, unreliable transport
> mechanisms"
> The requirements document suggested the development of a set of related
> specifications that met the above requirement within the IETF Trade
> Group.
> So far I have received a few emails volunteering to get involved but no
> other feedback.
> =====
> "ebXML" stands for "electronic business XML" and is a joint effort between
> the United Nations/CEFACT group and OASIS (more from
> The objectives of ebXML are
> * a worldwide project to standardize XML business specifications
> * develop a technical framework that will enable XML to be utilized in
> a consistent manner for the exchange of all electronic business data
> * industry groups currently working on XML specifications have been
> invited to participate in the 18-month project
> * inaugural meeting - 15-17 November, in California, 100 + attendees
> * follow up meeting - 31 Jan - 4 Feb in Orlando, Florida 120+
> attendees
> UN/CEFACT stands for the "United Nations Centre for the Facilitation of
> Procedures and Practices for Administration, Commerce and Transport" (more
> from: http://www.unece.org/cefact/). It is the management body for
> "UN/EDIFACT - United Nations Directories for Electronic Data Interchange
> Administration, Commerce and Transport" (more from
> http://www.unece.org/trade/untdid/welcome.htm).
> The important thing about UN/EDIFACT is that they developed EDI and bring
> with them the whole EDI community. The EDI community now wants to move to
> XML so that the automation benefits that EDI has brought to large
> filters down to smaller and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
> A number of groups have been set up within ebXML to work on a variety of
> different areas (see
> One of these is called the Transport Packaging & Routing team (see
> http://www.ebxml.org/project_teams/transport.htm). In the workshop last
> the TP&R team defined the scope of its work as follows:
> * provide an envelope and header for routing of message content
> * define template sequences for the exchange of messages
> * provide support for payloads of any type of digital data
> * adopt security protocols that enable:
> * non repudiation of sending of messages and acknowledgements
> * privacy and integrity of communications between parties
> * authentication of senders of messages
> * control over access to services
> * support verifiable audit trails
> * provide mechanisms for reporting on errors or other problems
> * develop a messaging protocol for reliable message delivery
> * definine the information required that describes how to interact
> with a service
> * develop a default method of usage that enables bootstrapping of
> services
> ... and objectives of:
> * to enable any party to carry out integrated eCommerce transactions
> with any other party anywhere in the world using their hardware and
> vendor of choice
> * to persuade a wide variety of vendors to implement the approach
> * to not reinvent the wheel - re-use where possible
> * to enable existing "messaging" solutions to "bridge" to the ebXML
> solution
> * to scale from SMEs to large companies
> * to scale from low power to high end solutions
> Membership of the working group is completely open and there are no
> fees - just like the IETF. The specifications of the working group, like
> other ebXML deliverables, will completely freely available with no
> restrictions (also just like the IETF) and will be published under a
> Nations" banner.
> The method of working of the group is a mixture of email lists (see:
> http://www.ebxml.org/participate.htm), weekly telephone calls and regular
> meetings 3-6 times a year - this is more intensive than the IETF.
> Finally, perhaps the most imporant objective of the ebXML Transport,
> and Packaging work group is to try and get existing related initiatives in
> the messaging area to converge. Although no firm commitments have yet been
> made, organizations as diverse as IBM, EDIINT and RosettaNet have
> participated actively in the meetings and email lists.
> =============================
> Some of the advantages and disadvantages that I see are as follows:
> * ebXML has already made some good progress in developing it's ideas
> since it was formed and has a method of working that should result in the
> faster development of specifications - i.e. it has momentum
> * ebXML's focus is business-to-business eCommerce -  which is probably
> narrower than the general internet focus of the IETF
> * ebXML, although sponsored by the United Nations, is not an
> established standards setting authority such as the IETF
> * both are equally open and the results produced by either should be
> equally freely available for use.
> In my view it does not make sense for both the IETF Trade Working Group
> the ebXML initiatives to continue.
> Views and opinions of the members of this group will be welcomed.
> David Burdett

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