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OASIS TC Call For Participation: UBL

Date:      Wed, 12 Sep 2001 14:55:35 -0400
From:      "Karl F. Best" <>
To:, ...
Subject:   OASIS TC Call For Participation: UBL

A new OASIS technical committee is being formed. The OASIS Universal Business Language Technical Committee (UBL TC) has been proposed by the following members of OASIS: Jon Bosak, Sun Microsystems; Thomas Becker, SAP; Mavis Cournane, CSW Informatics; Hermann Duengelhoef, SAPMarkets; John Evdemon, Vitria; Bob Glushko, Commerce One; Arofan Gregory, Commerce One; Paul Grosso, Arbortext; Eduardo Gutentag, Sun Microsystems; Eve Maler, Sun Microsystems; Duane Nickull, XMLGlobal; Sue Probert, Commerce One; Karsten Riemer, Sun Microsystems; Gunther Stuhec, SAP; Elvira Wallis, SAPMarkets; James Werner, Boeing; Lauren Wood, SoftQuad; and the Individual OASIS members Sid Askary, Doug Bunting, Adam Cheyer, Bill French, Matthew Gertner, Tim McGrath, and Mike Rawlins.

The proposal for a new TC meets the requirements of the OASIS TC Process (see, and is appended to this message. The proposal, which includes a statement of purpose, list of deliverables, and proposed schedule, will constitute the TC's charter. The TC Process allows these items to be clarified (revised) by the TC members; such clarifications (revisions), as well as submissions of technology for consideration by the TC and the beginning of technical discussions, may occur no sooner than the TC's first meeting.

To become a member of this new TC you must 1) be an employee of an OASIS member organization or an Individual member of OASIS; 2) notify the committee chair, Jon Bosak (, of your intent to participate at least 15 days prior to the first meeting; and 3) participate in the first meeting on 29 October, 2001. You should also subscribe to the TC's discussion list. Note that membership in OASIS TCs is by individual, and not by organization. You must be eligible for participation at the time you time you notify the chair.

The private mail list is for committee discussions. TC members as well as any other interested OASIS members should subscribe to the list by going to the mail list web page at, or by sending a message to with the word "subscribe" as the body of the message. (Note that subscribing to the mail list does not make you a member of the TC; to become a member you must contact the TC chair as described in the preceeding paragraph.)

A public comment list will be available for the public to make comments on the work of this TC; the public may subscribe to this list by going to the mail list web page at, or by sending a message to with the word "subscribe" as the body of the message.

The archives of both of these mail lists are visible to the public at

Karl F. Best
OASIS - Director, Technical Operations
978.667.5115 x206

Proposal: OASIS UBL TC


The name of this Technical Committee shall be the UBL (Universal Business Language) TC.


The aims of the UBL TC shall be as follows:

1. To avert a crisis in electronic business caused by competing XML business-to-business document standards by choosing as a starting point an existing XML business document library as the basis for creating a new "Universal Business Language" that will be a synthesis of existing XML business document libraries.

2. To begin with xCBL 3.0 as the starting point and to develop the standard UBL library by mutually agreed-upon changes to xCBL 3.0 based on industry experience with other XML business libraries and with similar technologies such as Electronic Data Interchange.

3. To develop UBL in light of standards/specifications issued by UN/CEFACT, ISO, IEC, ITU, W3C, IETF, OASIS, and such other standards bodies and organizations as the UBL TC may deem relevant.

4. To harmonize UBL as far as practical with the ebXML specifications approved in Vienna (May 2001), with the work of the Joint Core Components initiative (a joint project of ANSI ASC X12 and the UN/EDIFACT Working Group), and with the work of other appropriate business information bodies.

5. To vest ownership of UBL in OASIS, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the adoption of structured information standards, and to make it freely available to everyone without licensing or other fees.

6. Ultimately, to promote UBL to the status of an international standard for the conduct of XML-based electronic business.


The primary deliverable of the UBL TC is a coordinated set of XML grammatical components that will allow trading partners to unambiguously identify the business documents to be exchanged in a particular business context.

As currently envisioned, the UBL work will take place in two phases:

1. A first phase to align the vocabulary and structures of UBL with the work of the Joint Core Components initiative and with the vocabulary and structures of other already existing business libraries such as RosettaNet and OAGIS.

2. A second phase to implement a mechanism for the generation of context-specific schemas for basic business documents and their components through the application of transformation rules to a common XML source library.

If the work actually does take place in this form, then it is estimated that the first phase will take roughly a year to complete and that the second phase will take roughly another year. If the two phases can be combined or run in parallel, then it is estimated that delivery of an initial set of specifications will take one to two years.


The TC shall conduct its proceedings in English.


The first meeting of the TC shall take place 29 October 2001 through 2 November 2001 at facilities in Menlo Park, California, donated by Sun Microsystems, or at an alternative location in the San Francisco Bay Area chosen to accommodate the number of participants who register to attend. The date and time of record for establishing initial voting membership under the OASIS TC process shall be 29 October 2001 at 2 p.m. Pacific Time.

The TC shall meet in person no more often than six times a year and by telephone at such other times as its members may determine.

It is the intention of the sponsors of the TC to adopt a meeting schedule that will maximize contact between the persons engaged in the UBL work, business experts engaged in the work of UN/CEFACT and ANSI ASC X12 core components discovery and analysis, and persons engaged in the work of other organizations attempting to define standard XML business grammars.

Prospective participants in the UBL TC should be ready to commit to a schedule calling for as many as four meetings annually in North America and as many as two meetings annually in Europe or Asia.

TC Proposers

The following persons eligible to participate in OASIS technical committees state that they are committed to the meeting schedule and purpose stated above:


The TC shall be chaired by Jon Bosak.

Meeting Sponsors

The default sponsors of telephone meetings during the first year of operation of the TC and face-to-face meetings held at certain North American locations (primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area) during the first year of operation of the TC shall be Commerce One and Sun Microsystems. Other meeting sponsors, if any, shall be disclosed on the publicly visible TC mailing list.

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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