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ebXML Integrates SOAP Into Messaging Services Specification

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Boston, MA, USA, Geneva, Switzerland; February 22, 2001 - UN/CEFACT and OASIS announced efforts are now underway to integrate SOAP 1.1 and SOAP with Attachments specifications into the ebXML Messaging Specification. SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is designed to provide the underpinnings for messaging requirements. This development by ebXML will result in an open, widely adopted global standard for reliably transporting electronic business messages over the Internet.

"The convergence of these two specifications marks a significant step forward for interoperability," commented Klaus-Dieter Naujok, chair of ebXML and member of the UN/CEFACT Steering Group. "We're committed - not only to integrating ebXML Messaging with SOAP - but also to completing this work in time to meet our original goal of delivering ebXML in May 2001."

"Having the messaging infrastructure of ebXML built on SOAP is a strong signal that standards convergence is both desired by the industry and doable," said Dr. Robert S. Sutor of IBM, Vice-Chair of ebXML and a member of the OASIS Board of Directors. "As ebXML evolves, we will continue to explore how we can cooperate with others to help develop the foundational open standards for business on the Internet."

The ebXML Messaging Specification encompasses a set of services and protocols that allow an electronic business client to request services from electronic business servers over any application-level transport protocol, including SMTP, HTTP and others. ebXML defines a general-purpose message, with a header that supports multiple payloads, while allowing digital signatures within and among related messages. Although the header is XML, the body of the message may be XML, MIME or virtually anything digital.

"By adopting SOAP in their messaging layer, ebXML puts to rest any worries about interoperability between SOAP and ebXML. This takes advantage of SOAP's role as a key component of XML-based messaging," said Andrew Layman, XML Architect of Microsoft.

"The ebXML Messaging Services Specification retains all the secure, reliable messaging functionality that has been developed to date," explained Rik Drummond of the Drummond Group, ebXML Messaging Services Project Team Leader. "By incorporating SOAP into ebXML, we streamline acceptance and reduce the cost of product implementation for all companies, regardless of their size."

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 the international, not-for-profit consortium that advances electronic business by promoting open, collaborative development of interoperability specifications. OASIS serves as the home for industry groups interested in developing XML specifications. OASIS sponsors include Adobe Systems, Access360, Aerospatiale, AND Data Solutions, Arbortext, Auto-trol, Aventail, Baltimore Technologies, B-Bop Associates, BEA Systems, Bentley Systems, Boeing, Bowstreet, Bridge, Chrystal Software, Cohesia, Commerce One, Critical Path, DataChannel, Dataloom, Defense Information Services Agency, Deutsche Post AG, Documentum, EADS Airbus, eCredit.com, empolis, Enigma, Excelergy, eXcelon, Extensibility, Extricity, First Call, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, icomXpress, Informix, Infoteria, Innodata, Interwoven, IPNet Solutions, ISOGEN, ITEDO, Jamcracker, JetForm, Logistics Management Institute, Mediaplex, Mercator Software, Micrografx, Microsoft, Netegrity, Netfish, Netscape/AOL, NextPage, NII Enterprise Promotion Association, Nimble Technology, NIST, ObjectSpace, Pick Systems, Pearson Education, Planet 7 Technologies, Popkin Software, ProNet Technology, Reuters, Sabre, SAP, Securant Technologies, Sequoia Software, SilverStream Software, SoftQuad, Software AG, Sterling Commerce, StreamServe, Sun Microsystems, Tamalpais Group, Thomas Technology Solutions, TIBCO, Virtual Access Networks, Visa, Wavo, webMethods, Whitehill Technologies, Xerox, XML Global, XMLSolutions and XyEnterprise.

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Carol Geyer
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