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XML Schemas Based on EAN-UCC Standards

Uniform Code Council Releases First XML Schemas Based on EAN-UCC Standards

Globally Developed and Endorsed, New Schemas to Bring a Global Language of e-Business to the Internet for Streamlined Business-to-Business Transactions

Lawrenceville, NJ, USA. June 25, 2001.

The Uniform Code Council, Inc. (UCC), leaders in facilitating efficient international business, today announced that the first eXtensible Markup Language (XML) schemas based on standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) will be available beginning July 2, 2001. Developed by the UCC and EAN International with the input of some of the world's largest companies, the schemas will provide business-to-business users with a global language of e-business to conduct efficient Internet-based electronic commerce. Initially developed for fast-moving consumer goods, the schemas are designed for seamless adoption by other industries. When fully implemented, these standards will expand the global user base for electronic commerce and enable companies of any industry, size, or geography to streamline their e-business processes via improved interoperability and efficient data transmission.

This breakthrough effort is in response to the global need for an open e-business solution that can fully exploit the power, speed, and reach of the Internet. The EAN-UCC XML schemas are the first steps in a global solution that will reduce costs and bring greater clarity and functionality to Internet-based e-business processes. The UCC and EAN International will make XML the cornerstone of an open, global electronic commerce standard that bridges legacy EDI systems with Internet-based users and enables all companies to maximize their e-business opportunities.

The first suite of XML standards are based on a core set of schemas that are shared across all industries. The standards include Item, Party, Purchase Order, Despatch Advice, Invoice, Charges, and Payments. Their development was based on Simple e-Business (Simpl-eb), a growing global business practice that involves a common definition of e-Business data and processes across the value chain. Each XML schema has an extensible, modular design to enable multi-industry adoption and implementation, as well as industry-specific customization.

By establishing a global business-to-business standard for XML, the UCC and EAN International seek to bring order to the Internet with a user-driven solution that addresses the needs of all industries. "These standards have been developed with a broad range of user groups and have been endorsed by our users, including member companies of the Global Commerce Initiative," said Ted Osinski, Vice President of Electronic Commerce for the UCC. "This support will drive the initial global implementation of these standards and pave the way for companies of all sizes to leverage the benefits of XML." In addition to the Global Commerce Initiative, the leading retail business-to-business trade exchanges have also agreed to implement these standards via UCCnet.

"The UCC and EAN International committed early on to bringing a full suite of integrated XML standards to the global marketplace. These much-needed standards have enormous potential to break down barriers between trading partners and bridge international gaps in business-to-business electronic commerce," said Michael Haas, Vice President of Information Management and CIO for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. "They will enable companies around the world to talk with all of their trading partners using the same efficient communications protocol. I encourage all companies to adopt these standards as rapidly as possible. The faster we implement the standards, the faster we all realize the full promise of business-to-business e-commerce."

The UCC and EAN International bring nearly 30 years of experience in multi-industry standards development to this effort. The EAN-UCC System is recognized as one of the most important innovations in the history of commerce, enabling nearly one million member companies in 23 major industries to conduct efficient business in more than 141 countries around the world. Both organizations share a history that is user-driven and consensus based, ensuring that standards and solutions seamlessly cross over industries and national borders. Osinski added, "Standards are critical if the Internet is to achieve its potential to streamline the supply chain and facilitate true global, electronic commerce. These XML schemas will bring a unified global voice to Internet-based e-business."

In addition to these breakthrough advancements in XML, both organizations remain strongly committed to a conversion strategy that enables users to protect their investment in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). In December 2000 and January 2001, the UCC and EAN International successfully completed global XML pilots to ensure transparent e-trade between XML users and EDI-based systems. The organizations will continue to enhance the EDI/XML bridge so that all companies will be able to fully leverage their investment in electronic commerce, as well as expand and enhance their e-business processes.

The UCC and EAN International will continue to work with user groups to develop additional schemas based on identified business requirements. In order to help educate the user community, the UCC will begin offering online XML training beginning in fall 2001. The new online education program, jointly developed with Drake Certivo, a leading high-tech education company, will provide users with comprehensive training and certification in the use of EAN-UCC XML standards.

The first series of EAN-UCC XML schemas will be available for download on July 2, 2001 from the UCC web site at For more information about the XML schemas or the UCC's upcoming online XML training program, please contact the Uniform Code Council at 937-435-3780 or via e-mail at

The mission of the Uniform Code Council, Inc. is to take a global leadership role in establishing and promoting multi-industry standards for product identification and related electronic communications. The goal is to enhance efficient supply chain management, thus contributing added value to the customer.

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See the references.

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