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The following press release was issued on Wednesday:

Organizations from Around the World Gather to Launch ebXML Global Electronic
Business Initiative

Boston, MA, USA and Geneva, Switzerland—1 December 1999-- The Electronic
Business XML Initiative (ebXML), a joint effort of the United Nation/CEFACT
and OASIS, attracted the participation of major industry standards
organizations and companies from around the world at its inaugural meeting
in San Jose, CA, USA.  ebXML is an open, vendor-neutral initiative to
establish a global technical and semantic framework that will enable XML to
be used in a consistent manner for the exchange of electronic business data.
More than 120 representatives from organizations as varied as ACORD,
Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, Commerce One, DataChannel, DISA,
UN/EDIFACT, IBM, OAG, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Inc. and others joined
together to launch the ebXML initiative.

"A primary objective of ebXML is to lower the barrier of entry to electronic
business in order to facilitate trade, particularly with respect to small-
and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and developing nations," said Ray
Walker, Chair of UN/CEFACT’s Steering Group and Special Advisor on Trade
Processes and Electronic Business to the UK Department of Trade & Industry,
"The success of global electronic business is analogous to the success of
the telephone--unless everyone has simple and inexpensive access, it won't

"ebXML is an independent, vendor-neutral forum through which anyone can
contribute to a single, global XML framework for electronic business," said
Klaus-Dieter Naujok (Harbinger Corporation), chair of the ebXML Initiative.
"This open technical specification will enable XML to be used in a
consistent and uniform manner, contribute to a level playing field, and
rapidly increase responsible growth in electronic business.”

"OASIS and UN/CEFACT have come together on ebXML to minimize the
fragmentation in XML specifications for industry that might otherwise
occur," said Robert S. Sutor (IBM), vice-chair of the ebXML Initiative.
"The scope and significance of ebXML is so far-reaching that many standards
organizations, vendors and users are already committed to working together
to realize its potential."

“This cross-industry initiative is proof that the technology industry, often
a hotbed of competition, can work together for the benefit of the end
consumer,” said Bill Smith (Sun Microsystems), president of the OASIS board
of directors and director of the ebXML Initiative. “Through the ebXML
Initiative, OASIS and UN/CEFACT have entered a strong, important union whose
impact will be far-reaching and positive.”

Directors of ebXML include Klaus-Dieter Naujok and Ray Walker of UN/CEFACT
and Robert S. Sutor and Bill Smith of OASIS. The Advisory Board includes Jon
Bosak of Sun Microsystems, co-author of the XML 1.0 specification, and is
being expanded to include key industry players from around the world. Laura
Walker, executive director of OASIS, will serve as secretary of the board.

Project teams were identified at the inaugural meeting and began work on the

·	ebXML Requirements
·	Business Process Methodology
·	Technical Architecture
·	Core Components
·	Transport/Routing and Packaging
·	Registry and Repository
·	Technical Coordination & Support
·	Marketing, Awareness & Education

ebXML project teams will teleconference until the next face-to-face meeting,
scheduled for 31 January - 4 February 2000, in Orlando, Florida.  Subsequent
meetings are scheduled for 8 - 12 May in Brussels, Belgium, 7-11 August in
the United States and 6-11 November in Tokyo, Japan.

"If a practical, easy and affordable electronic commerce solution is
critical to the success of your nation, organization, or business, you
should be involved in ebXML,” said Laura Walker, executive director of
OASIS. "This collaboration by two of the world’s most influential
organizations, both of which are dedicated to vendor-independent trade
facilitation, is a critical element in enabling a truly accessible, global
and interoperable infrastructure for electronic business. ebXML will make a
deeply meaningful, highly valuable contribution to the future of the digital
world. We encourage interested organizations to learn more about the effort,
including details on how to get involved, by visiting http://www.ebxml.org."

About ebXML
ebXML (www.ebXML.org) is an International Initiative established by
UN/CEFACT and OASIS with a mandate to undertake a 15-18 month program of
work to research and identify the technical basis upon which the global
implementation of XML (Extensible Markup Language) can be standardized.  The
goal is to provide an open technical specification to enable XML to be
utilized in a consistent and uniform manner for the exchange of electronic
business data in application-to-application, application-to-person and
person-to-application environments.

UN/CEFACT (www.uncefact.org) is the United Nations body whose mandate covers
worldwide policy and technical development in the area of trade facilitation
and electronic business.  Headquartered in Geneva, it has developed and
promoted many tools for the facilitation of global business processes
including UN/EDIFACT, the international EDI standard. Its current work
programme includes such topics as Simpl-edi and Object Oriented EDI and it
strongly supports the development and implementation of open, interoperable
global standards and specifications for electronic business.

OASIS (http://www.oasis-open.org) is a non-profit, international consortium
dedicated solely to product-independent data and content interchange.
Focusing on product interoperability, OASIS embraces the complete spectrum
of structured information standards including XML, SGML and CGM. OASIS
sponsors include Adobe Systems, Aerospatiale, AND-USA, Arbortext, Bentley
Systems, Boeing, Chrystal Software, Cohesia, Commerce One, CommerceNet,
Corel, DataChannel, DMSi, Documentum, Dun & Bradstreet, eCredit.com, Enigma,
Excelergy, Extricity Software, GCA, IBM, InformIT, Informix, InterCAP,
Interleaf, Interwoven, ISOGEN, ITEDO, JetForm, Keyfile, Larson Software,
Microsoft, NextPage, NII Enterprise Promotion Association, NIST, Object
Design, Object Management Group (OMG), Open Applications Group, Oracle,
ProNet Technology Partners, Reed Technology, Reuters, Sabre, Sequoia
Software, SoftQuad, Software AG, STEP, Sun Microsystems, Synthbank, System
Development, Wavo, Xerox, XMLSolutions and XyEnterprise.

For more information: Carol Geyer, Program Manager, OASIS, +1.412.963.1479,

Carol Geyer
Tel: +1.412.963.1479

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