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ebXML Moves Forward on Defining Global Electronic Business Infrastructure

Meeting in Europe Produces Approved Requirements Specification and Proof-of-Concept Messaging Demonstration

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Brussels, Belgium; 15 May 2000 - Significant progress in standardizing a global XML electronic business infrastructure was unveiled at the latest ebXML meeting in Europe last week hosted by CEN/ISSS. Under the guidance of UN/CEFACT and OASIS, electronic business experts representing standards organizations, industry consortia and companies from around the world gathered in Brussels for a working meeting that marked the six-month point in the initiative's 18-month charter. Highlights of the meeting included the approval of the ebXML Requirements Specification and a proof-of-concept demonstration for the routing and enveloping of ebXML messages.

"We are very pleased with the ebXML progress to date," said Klaus-Dieter Naujok, Chair of ebXML and Member of the UN/CEFACT Steering Committee. "The roadmap to achieving interoperability and integration of business services has been defined. We are making great strides toward accomplishing our objectives through the approval of specifications and delivery of prototypes."

In an open plenary at the conclusion of the Europe meeting, participants approved the ebXML Requirements Specification defining the full scope of the initiative. Prior to the vote, the Specification had been available 60 days for public review.

"The Requirements Specification will serve as the foundation for the Initiative, setting the scope for the other ebXML project teams as they develop the technical specifications for the ebXML framework," explained Michael C. Rawlins, Leader of the ebXML Requirements Team.

The ebXML Transport, Routing and Packaging Project Team successfully demonstrated a proof-of-concept in which sample OpenTravel Alliance (OTA) business messages were exchanged between a small company and a large enterprise. The messaging prototype implemented the draft ebXML specification for exchange of business documents between trading partners using the everyday Internet Web and e-mail protocols, HTTP and SMTP. The demonstration also integrated output from the ebXML Business Process and Registry and Repository Project Teams.

"ebXML is not technology for technology's sake. Our motivation is to provide genuine business solutions that enable global trade," said Rik Drummond, leader of the ebXML Transport, Routing and Packaging Project Team. "We are very aware of the time-critical nature of our objectives. We're producing drafts, prototyping and integrating work from other ebXML project teams now so that we can give businesses the solutions they need as soon as possible."

"Support for the ebXML effort continues to grow at a tremendous rate. Representatives from virtually all the leading industry standards organizations actively participate in ebXML, and we are coordinating our development efforts with their work," noted Dr. Robert S. Sutor, Vice-Chair of ebXML and Chief Strategy Officer of OASIS. "The meeting in Brussels attracted almost twice as many attendees as our previous gathering, with participants from many European and global organizations."

Participation in ebXML remains open to all interested parties. Current information on all the ebXML project teams is available on www.ebxml.org.

About ebXML

ebXML (www.ebXML.org) is an International Initiative established by UN/CEFACT and OASIS in late 1999 with a mandate to undertake an 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 of ebXML is to facilitate open trade between organizations regardless of size by enabling XML to be used in a consistent manner to exchange electronic business data.


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, BEA Systems, Bentley Systems, Boeing, Bowstreet, Bridge, Chrystal Software, Cohesia, Commerce One, CommerceNet, CompTIA, Corel, DataChannel, DMSi, Documentum, Dun & Bradstreet, eCredit.com, Enigma, eXcelon, Extricity Software, GCA, Health Level Seven, IBM, InformIT, Informix, InterCAP, Interleaf, Interwoven, ISOGEN, ITEDO, JetForm, Keyfile, Logistics Management Institute, Mercator Software, Microsoft, NextPage, NII Enterprise Promotion Association, Nimble.com, NIST, Object Management Group (OMG), Open Applications Group, Pick Systems, POET Software, ProNet Technology Partners, Reed Technology, Reuters, Sabre, SAP, Sequoia Software, SoftQuad, Software AG, STEP, StreamServe, Sun Microsystems, Synthbank, Visa, Wavo, Webb Interactive Services, webMethods, Whitehill Technologies, Xerox, XMLSolutions and XyEnterprise.

For More Information Contact:
Carol Geyer
Media Relations Consultant, OASIS


Hans Hansell,
Head UN/CEFACT Secretariat
+41 22 917 2457

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