NACS Brings Convenience Stores to OASIS UBL Liaisons
Boston, MA, USA. August 5, 2002.
NACS, an international trade association representing the convenience store and petroleum marketing industry, has become the latest industry group to appoint a representative to the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) Technical Committee. NACS 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.
NACS (http://www.cstorecentral.com/) is an international trade association representing 2,300 retail and 1,700 supplier company members. NACS member companies do business in nearly 40 countries around the world, with the majority of members based in the United States. The U.S. convenience store industry, with over 124,500 stores across the country, posted $283 billion in total sales for 2001, with $171 billion in motor fuel sales.
"The typical convenience store conducts more than a thousand customer interactions a day and must deal with a wide range of suppliers," said John Hervey, CTO of NACS. "Convenience stores are not only points of sale for many perishable and packaged goods but are also major retail outlets for gasoline and other petroleum products. We're looking to UBL to provide a uniform set of standards for transactions across the whole range of convenience store suppliers."
Other organizations with liaisons to UBL include: ACORD, representing the insurance industry; ARTS, representing retail sales; ASC X12 and the UN/EDIFACT Working Group, representing U.S. and international 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. See http://oasis-open.org/committees/ubl/lsc/ for details.
"Input from industry data exchange organizations 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 our library of UBL schemas allows industry groups to pool their resources in the design of common business documents and to focus their special expertise on the development of XML schemas for the documents that are specific to their own domain."
The OASIS UBL (Universal Business Language) Technical Committee defines 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.
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.
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