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OBI Version 3.0

OBI Version 3.0 Supports High Volume XML Transaction Processing

New Specification Allows Users to Conduct Catalog-Based Purchasing Transactions With an Updated UN/EDIFACT and XML Expression of OBI's Trusted ANSI x12 EDI Process

Cupertino, CA, USA. April 11, 2001.

Open Buying on the Internet (OBI) Consortium today announced the release of its Version 3.0 framework, which adds high volume support for XML based transactions. Version 3.0 of the framework enables users to conduct catalog-based purchasing transactions using the rapidly evolving XML platforms, in addition to the more traditional back-end systems business document standards, EDI and EDIFACT.

Support of XML transactions now allows version 3.0 to encompass all the most common standards for electronic exchange of business transactions. "OBI has done the heavy lifting by supporting XML as a transaction processing standard," says Fred Sollish, Executive Director of the OBI Consortium.

The 3.0 framework represents the combined work of many leading eCommerce organizations, including CommerceOne, Ariba, SupplyWorks, EPIC Systems, Netfish, and iPlanet. Also contributing to the development of the spec are the leaders of high volume online commerce consisting of both buyers and sellers including Office Depot, BOC Gases, WW Grainger, Sun Microsystems, and several leading financial institutions including JPMorgan Chase, American Express, and VISA. In addition, several international consortia -- ebXML, LEXECOM, ECP-NL, and AIAG -- played an active role in building 3.0.

"With the addition of XML to OBI's options for integrating buying organizations with their suppliers, OBI now provides a solution that eliminates vendor lock.' The standard is now compatible with the widest range of existing online ordering applications," says David Liggett, senior vice president at EPIC Systems.

Version 3 also brings OBI to Europe and Asia. "Using EDIFACT makes it a true worldwide standard for e-procurement," says Fred van Blommestein, founding board member of Electronic Commerce Platform Nederland ECP-NL.

"OBI remains one of the key eCommerce standards in practical commercial use today, due to its usefulness, robustness, and adaptability," adds Jeff Herrmann, president and CEO of SupplyWorks, Inc. "We are pleased to see OBI continue to evolve to meet the needs of the marketplace."

In the near future, OBI is deploying a compliance program where implementers can test their ability to process OBI transactions regardless of the format, whether it is EDI (ANSI x12), UN/EDIFACT, and now XML. This program will make it easier for buyers to find suppliers and quickly begin doing business using OBI.

About the OBI Consortium

The Open Buying on the Internet (OBI) Consortium is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing open standards for business-to-business Internet procurement. The Consortium provides a forum for standards development, education, and compliance certification. OBI is managed by CommerceNet. For more information on OBI, visit

About CommerceNet

CommerceNet is a global, not-for-profit organization of leading business, government, technology, and academic minds working together on the advancement of e-commerce worldwide. As guided by its partners and sponsors, CommerceNet focuses on five initiative areas: Evolving Supply Chains; Next Generation Internet; Security and Internet Payment; Government, Public Policy and Advocacy; and Pervasive & Wireless Internet Access. In these areas, CommerceNet is developing important new technologies and practices that will chart the course for the way companies conduct business. For more information, visit


Fred Sollish
Executive Director, OBI
Phone: 408-446-1260 x238

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See discussion.

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