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ACORD Brings Insurance Industry to OASIS UBL Liaisons

Boston, MA, USA. April 19, 2002.

ACORD, the insurance industry standards organization, has become the latest industry group to appoint a representative to the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) Technical Committee. ACORD joins liaisons from a broad group of industry standards organizations in the subcommittee that provides guidance to UBL, the initiative to define standard XML business forms for electronic commerce.

"ACORD has been a long time advocate of working with other organizations to achieve interoperability across industries," said Gregory Maciag, CEO of ACORD. "Insurance is not only a vertical market, but also an integral part of international supply chain management. The UBL effort brings together major players in the standards arena to develop ebXML compliant solutions. This is very important to our industry."

Other organizations with liaisons to UBL include: ARTS, representing retail sales; ASC X12, representing EDI standards; EIDX, representing the electronics industry; RosettaNet, the information technology consortium; and XBRL, the accounting industry standards organization. UBL liaisons provide input to UBL and coordinate the review of standard XML business schemas as they become publicly available.

"Input from these pivotal industry groups ensures that UBL reflects the needs of the marketplace," said Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems, chair of the OASIS UBL Technical Committee and organizer of the working group that created XML. "Our goal of defining a common XML library for basic business documents like purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notices crosses all industries. Contributing to the development of UBL gives industry groups the opportunity to shape the outcome of our work together."

About UBL (

The OASIS UBL (Universal Business Language) Technical Committee is an open, publicly accountable, nonprofit initiative to define a common XML library for basic business documents like purchase orders, invoices, and shipping notices. UBL provides a standard set of XML building blocks together with a framework that will enable trading partners to unambiguously identify and exchange basic e-commerce documents in specific business contexts.

The OASIS UBL effort builds on the Electronic Business XML (ebXML infrastructure developed by OASIS and the United Nations. The ebXML specifications provide for XML registry services, reliable XML messaging, standardized trading partner agreements, a standard data dictionary, and a business context methodology. However, UBL documents are usable in a wide variety of other ecommerce frameworks as well.

UBL unites and harmonizes a number of currently existing XML and EDI business libraries into a set of internationally recognized de jure standards. Designed to solve major interoperability problems for both vendors and users, UBL will speed the entry of small and medium-size businesses into the electronic marketplace. UBL is freely available to everyone without legal encumbrance or licensing fees.

About ACORD (

ACORD (Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development) is a global, nonprofit insurance association whose mission is to facilitate the development and use of standards for the insurance, reinsurance, and related financial services industries. With offices in Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the United States, ACORD accomplishes its mission by remaining an objective, independent advocate for sharing information among diverse platforms. Affiliated with ACORD are hundreds of insurance and reinsurance companies and thousands of agents and brokers, related financial services organizations, software providers, and industry organizations worldwide.

About ARTS (

The Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS), a division of the National Retail Federation (NRF), is dedicated to the creation of an international, barrier-free technology environment for retailers. The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution, including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, and independent stores. NRF members represent an industry that encompasses more than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments with aggregate annual sales of more than $3.4 trillion. NRF's international members operate stores in more than 50 nations. In its role as the retail industry's umbrella group, NRF also represents 32 national and 50 state associations in the U.S. as well as 36 international associations representing retailers abroad.

About ASC X12 (

The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, accredited by the American National Standards Institute and comprised of cross-industry representation, develops robust e-business exchange specifications and electronic data interchange standards that interact with a multitude of e-commerce technologies and serve as the premier tool for integrating electronic applications. Through standards setting and active participation in emerging and technically relevant initiatives, ASC X12 facilitates the effective exchange of electronic information. Propelling global e-business, ASC X12 serves as the entry point for the United States into the United Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/EDIFACT), an international standard relating to the exchange of trade goods and services.

About EIDX (

The Electronics Industry Data Exchange Association (EIDX) is a section of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) that represents the majority of companies in the electronics industry. EIDX researches and develops information exchange methodologies for the electronics industry and develops and publishes business models and standards implementation guidelines that represent current and emerging practices.

About RosettaNet (

RosettaNet is an independent, self-funded, non-profit consortium dedicated to the development and deployment of standard electronic business interfaces to align the processes between supply chain partners on a global basis. More than 250 companies representing more than $1 trillion in annual information technology and electronic components revenues, currently participate in RosettaNet's standards development, strategy, and implementation activities.

About XBRL (

XBRL is an international consortium comprising accounting standards bodies, accounting firms, technology companies, financial information providers, corporations, and government regulatory bodies. The XBRL standard is freely licensed and permits the automatic exchange and reliable extraction of financial information across all software formats and technologies, including the Internet. XBRL does not require a company to disclose any additional information beyond that which they normally disclose under existing accounting standards, nor does it require a change to existing accounting standards.

About OASIS (

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, global consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business standards. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. OASIS produces worldwide standards for security, Web services, XML conformance, business transactions, electronic publishing, topic maps and interoperability within and between marketplaces.

OASIS has more than 400 corporate and individual members in 100 countries around the world. OASIS and the United Nations jointly sponsor ebXML, a global framework for e-business data exchange. OASIS operates, a community clearinghouse for XML application schemas, vocabularies and related documents. OASIS hosts The XML Cover Pages, an online reference collection for interoperable markup language standards.

For more information:

Carol Geyer
Director of Communications
Voice: +1.978.667.5115 x209

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: (1) "Universal Business Language (UBL)"; (2) "ACORD - XML for the Insurance Industry."

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