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UN/CEFACT Forms e-Business Transition Ad hoc Working Group

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Geneva, Switzerland and Boston, MA, USA, 30 July, 2001 - UN/CEFACT and OASIS, sponsors of the ebXML electronic business specifications, today reaffirmed their continuing role in pioneering the development of XML standards for electronic business. The announcement by the UN/CEFACT Steering Group (CSG), of a new group builds on the success of the ebXML initiative. ebXML specifications, which provide a standard method for companies to exchange business messages, conduct trading relationships, communicate data and define and register business processes, were recently approved, marking a successful conclusion to the 18-month initial development phase.

The new group, called the e-Business Transition Ad hoc Working Group (eBTWG) will identify specific work items to facilitate the completion of the activities related to the ebXML Business Process and Core Components projects and oversee the further development of those items. In addition, this group will be responsible for developing and maintaining the UN/CEFACT e-Business architecture to ensure consistency with the ebXML architecture specification.

Within twelve months, the CSG expects to establish a new permanent working group which will provide a single forum for UN/EDIFACT and ebXML standardization, united through the development of common business process and information models. Given that the formation of the permanent group requires full consideration and consultation with user communities, it has been agreed that in the interim the eBTWG will serve as a bridge from the recently completed ebXML initiative to the future Electronic Business Working Group (ebWG).

The CSG has appointed Mr. Klaus-Dieter Naujok, the former chair of ebXML, as the Chair of the new group and Mr. Pierre Georget and Mr. Ralph Berwanger as Vice Chairs. Mr. Georget is the Chair of the UN/EDIFACT Working Group (EWG) and Mr. Berwanger is the Vice Chair of ANSI ASC X12 and a member of the EWG Management Team.

Mr. Ray Walker, Chair of the CSG, welcomed the decision, "We are delighted to announce the formation of the eBTWG as it allow us to continue the excellent work of ebXML, while at the same time enabling us to consult with our user communities about the best way to establish a permanent group in the very near future."

Mr. Klaus-Dieter Naujok, the newly appointed Chair of the eBTWG, agrees, "The eBTWG provides a great opportunity for taking ebXML work items to the next level. Many organizations worldwide have committed to the ebXML initiative and through UN/CEFACT, this will ensure that global standards for using XML to conduct electronic business will become a reality."

The establishment of the eBTWG follows the recent accord between OASIS and UN/CEFACT to manage the continued development of ebXML work items. In broad terms, OASIS will be responsible for the ebXML technical infrastructure and UN/CEFACT will be responsible for development of business and information content. Both OASIS and UN/CEFACT will collaborate on ebXML deliverables through a joint Coordination Committee.

The first meeting of the eBTWG will be held in California, USA, the week commencing 8th October 2001. Full details of the meeting will be posted shortly on the eBTWG web site www.ebtwg.org

About ebXML
ebXML (www.ebxml.org), sponsored by UN/CEFACT and OASIS, is a modular suite of specifications that enables enterprises of any size and in any geographical location to conduct business over the Internet. Using ebXML, companies now have a standard method to exchange business messages, conduct trading relationships, communicate data in common terms and define and register business processes.

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. With the United Nations, OASIS sponsors ebXML, a global framework for electronic business data exchange. OASIS operates XML.ORG, the non-commercial portal that delivers information on the use of XML in industry. The XML.ORG Registry provides as an open community clearinghouse for distributing and locating XML application schemas, vocabularies and related documents. OASIS serves as the home for industry groups interested in developing XML specifications. OASIS technical work embraces conformance, security, business transactions, repositories and other interoperability issues.

For more information contact:

Mr. Klaus-Dieter Naujok

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