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OASIS to Develop UBL

OASIS Members Form Technical Committee to Develop Universal Business Language

Companies Unite on International Standard for XML-Based Electronic Business Documents

Boston, MA, USA. October 17, 2001.

OASIS, the XML interoperability consortium, today announced its members have formed the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) Technical Committee to define a common XML business document library. UBL will provide a set of XML building blocks and a framework that will enable trading partners to unambiguously identify and exchange business documents in specific contexts. Uniting disparate efforts underway by companies and standards groups around the world, the OASIS UBL Technical Committee intends to enhance and harmonize overlapping XML business libraries and similar technologies to advance consensus on an international standard.

"Agreement on a common set of XML business-to-business document standards is essential for successful electronic commerce," said Jon Bosak of Sun Microsystems, chair of the OASIS UBL Technical Committee and organizer of the working group that created XML. "Our goal in creating UBL is to quickly develop a synthesis of existing XML business libraries using the OASIS open collaborative process."

"Anything that supports convergence and reusability of the wildly proliferating -MLs in every business domain is absolutely critical to realizing XML's promise," said Rita Knox, analyst, Gartner. "Custom XML-defined transactions in every line of business perpetuates proprietary solutions. Vocabulary-level clearinghouses and repositories are essential to interoperability and an approach end-users are beginning to understand and are ready to adopt and support."

"Commerce One is pleased to submit xCBL 3.0, our XML component and business document library, to the OASIS UBL Technical Committee as a starting point for this work," said Dr. Mary Loomis, Senior VP of Engineering. "Our company vision and products have always been based on open XML specifications to enable interoperability between business services and B2B marketplaces. Since xCBL's inception in 1998 we have granted royalty-free licenses to anyone who wants to use it and will make this submittal to the OASIS UBL TC royalty-free also. We are confident that OASIS is the appropriate place to advance the UBL standard, because of the consortium's broad industry representation and international focus."

Karl Best, director of technical operations for OASIS, emphasized, "The consortium urges all organizations that have developed XML business documents to join this important effort. Our aim is to encourage the widest possible range of participation in UBL."

Initial members of the OASIS Universal Business Language Technical Committee include Arbortext, Boeing, Commerce One, SAP, SoftQuad Software, Sun Microsystems, VerticalNet, Vitria, XML Global and other OASIS Contributors and Individual members. Information on joining OASIS can be found on

OASIS will host an open mail list,, for public comment on UBL. Completed work will be freely available to the public without licensing or other fees.

Industry Support for UBL

"Sun is very supportive of the Universal Business Language (UBL) being developed at OASIS," said Bill Smith, Director, XML Technology Center, Sun Microsystems. "UBL will provide a much needed set of common XML based semantics for business communications. We see this work as a complementary and very important component of the XML standards framework being defined by the industry now for electronic business."

"We are pleased to be a part of the OASIS UBL initiative," said Hugo Daley, Vice President of Technology Strategy for Verticalnet. "As a premier provider of software for business process visibility and event management across enterprise networks, Verticalnet is committed to advancing open standards that promote business interoperability. The success of UBL should radically reduce the cost of deploying our next generation software for extended enterprise management."

"XML Global is a committed and active supporter of the OASIS UBL initiative," said Duane Nickull, CTO of XML Global Technologies, Inc. "With our company's leading edge ebXML work, and experience with registries and business component taxonomies, I am pleased to be able to offer my services and insights to the UBL TC with the objective of seeing this initiative evolve into a workable and effective business solution."


OASIS is the XML interoperability consortium, advancing collaboration, convergence and adoption of open specifications for structured information exchange. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. OASIS is the home for XML conformance, web services, security, business transactions, electronic publishing, topic maps and other interoperability specifications development.

OASIS and the United Nations jointly sponsor ebXML, a global framework for electronic 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.

OASIS has more than 400 corporate and individual members in 100 countries around the world. OASIS sponsors include Accenture, Access360, Adobe Systems, Agital, Airbus, Altova, Arbortext, Auto-trol, Aventail, Baltimore Technologies, B-Bop Associates, BEA Systems, Bentley Systems, The Boeing Company, Bowstreet, Business Logic Corporation, Chrystal Software, Cincom Systems, Citrix Systems, Cohesia, Commerce One, Critical Path, CrossLogix, Cyclone Commerce, DataChannel, Dataloom, Deutsche Post AG, Documentum,, empolis, Engage, Enigma, Epicentric, Excelergy, eXcelon, Extricity Software, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Identrus, Informix, Infoteria, Innodata, Intel, Interwoven, IONA, IPNet Solutions, ITEDO Software, Ivis Group, Jamcracker, Logistics Management Institute, Mediaplex, Mercator Software, Microsoft, Neocore, Netegrity, Netscape/AOL, NextPage, NII Enterprise Promotion Association, Nimble Technology, NIST, Novell, ObjectSpace, Oblix, OpenNetwork Technologies, Oracle, Pearson Education, Popkin Software, Republica, Reuters Limited, SAA Consultants, Sabre, SAP, Securant, SeeBeyond, Silverstream, SoftQuad Software, Software AG, Sterling Commerce, StreamServe, Sun Microsystems, Sybase, Tata Consultancy Services, The Tamalpais Group, Thomas Technology Solutions, Tibco, Unisys, US Defense Information Systems Agency, VerticalNet, Virtual Access Networks, Vitria, webMethods, Whitehill Technologies, Xerox, XML Global, XMLSolutions and Xyvision Enterprise Solutions.

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 "Universal Business Language (UBL)."

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