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Subject: FW: SOAP and ebXML

There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the convergence of XP
and ebXML on the public XML Protocol Activity mailing list. You can find
information about the XML Protocol Activity at:

Chris Ferris, John Ibbotson, David Burdett, Henry Lowe, Brian Eisenberg,
Krishna Shankar and several others have provided the XP community with clear
descriptions of what ebXML is all about in terms of requirements, design
goals, target market/audience, functionality provided, timelines and
intended use. You can review the archives to see the entire (SOAP and ebXML)
thread at:

In my duty as liaison I'm attaching my reply to the SOAP and ebXML thread. I
your feedback and participation in the XP discussions on the public mailing
To subscribe to the public mailing list, send an email to
with "subscribe" in the subject.

I encourage all ebXML TRP liaisons to pass this information along to their
respective ebXML groups.


Dick Brooks

-----Original Message-----
From: Dick Brooks [mailto:dick@8760.com]
Sent: Friday, December 08, 2000 6:49 PM
To: Satish Thatte; 'Krishna Sankar'; john_ibbotson@uk.ibm.com
Cc: xml-dist-app@w3.org; Dick Brooks
Subject: RE: SOAP and ebXML

All the discussion about convergence between XP and ebXML has helped me
understand the different perceptions of XP, ebXML and how the two relate or
could possibly converge. Very helpful discussion.

There's nothing I can add to what John, David, Brian, Henry, Satish, Ed and
others have already stated regarding the possibilities for
convergence/alignment between ebXML and XP. The idea to converge SOAP/ebXML
goes back quite awhile (Don Box are you out here?). Don and I had some
e-mail exchanges on this very topic as far back as February. Satish and I
had a similar exchange in August.

I believe an overwhelming majority of people agree that convergence is good,
however there are differing viewpoints of what convergence means.

I believe convergence must occur at three levels between XP and ebXML:

- Conceptual
- Technical
- Political

Conceptually I think of the Internet Protocols layering as a good model. For
the internet protocols IP, TCP and FTP have a very interesting parallel to
MIME, XP and ebXML,
consider this abbreviated excerpt from the OSI model showing Internet
protocols layering and my
correlation to ebXML, XP, etc.:


In the above depiction each lower layer provides services (and a foundation)
for a higher layer. FTP depends on TCP which depends on IP. This type of
arrangement is what I believe people would like to see happen with a
converged (XP/ebXML) standard. Speak now or forever hold your peace if I'm

I believe that in order for the groups to move forward on convergence we
must agree on a conceptual model which defines the  responsibilities and
services provided at each layer. This will enable us to define the
requirements and technical specifications of each layer. For example,
somewhere along the line somebody said IP would not provide reliable
delivery, the upper layer, TCP, adds reliability onto IP. Likewise in a
converged solution ebXML would build on the services of XP to deliver more
robust functionality.

After all the conceptual models are completed, requirements gathered and
technical specs written comes the easy part, writing the code (no stones
please it's intended to be humor). However, in order to begin any
discussion/design the business and political issues are addressed FIRST, for

- Who owns Intellectual property rights (licensing)
- Who owns change control (governance); Which standards body "controls" the
- Can individual "layers" be controlled by different standard bodies
- Vendor Certification for compliance (interoperability testing)
- I'm sure there are lots more, but these come to mind

IMHO, we must address the political/business issues FIRST so that we can
proceed with confidence into the Conceptual and Technical efforts.

Sorry for the long message, I hope you find it helpful.

Dick Brooks
Group 8760
110 12th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Fax: 205-250-8057

InsideAgent - Empowering e-commerce solutions

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