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First Draft of a Royalty-Free Data Representation Standard for Electronic Commerce

UBL Schemas Released For Public Review

Date:      Mon, 27 Jan 2003 11:29:27 -0800 (PST)
From:      Jon Bosak <>
Subject:   UBL Schemas released for public review

UBL Schemas Released For Public Review

The first draft of a royalty-free data representation standard for electronic commerce has been released by the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) Technical Committee.

The UBL Library Content 0p70 Public Review release can be found at:

A zip file containing the entire review set packaged for local installation can be downloaded from:

Intended to become international standards for electronic trade, the UBL schemas contained in the review package specify machine-readable XML representations of familiar business documents. The seven basic documents covered in this release include Order, Order Response, Simple Order Response, Order Cancellation, Despatch Advice, Receipt Advice, and Invoice. Together, they can be used to implement a generic buy/sell relationship or supply chain whose components fit existing trade agreements and are immediately understandable by workers in business, supply-chain management (SCM), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), accounting, customs, taxation, and shipping.

These generic schemas are intended to work in a wide variety of business contexts through custom extensions. Automated context configuration will be addressed in a later phase of the effort. The schemas are also designed be used in their generic form in many ordinary business contexts without further modification.

The business context in which the generic document types are designed to function is detailed in the materials accompanying the release. Other documentation includes the entire semantic model on which the schemas are based, a description of the methodology by which the schemas were created, and UML diagrams to aid in software design. The package also contains alternative ASN.1 specifications for the UBL schemas that allow ASN.1 tools to be used for UBL document transfers. Additional supplementary materials will be made available in a following package update to be announced separately.

The UBL schemas reflect a number of inputs, the most important of which are the commercial xCBL schemas from Commerce One and SAP; the ebXML Core Components Specification; early XSL stylesheet implementations; and early feedback from the UBL Liaisons ( UBL schema design follows the UBL Naming and Design Rules developed by the UBL NDR Subcommittee ( The definition of UBL semantic content, based on existing practice in EDI and electronic marketplaces, has taken place in close alignment with ebXML Core Components methodology to ensure optimal integration into the ebXML semantic registry.

As works in progress, the materials in the Library Content 0p70 Public Review package do not yet have the status of an OASIS Standard or an OASIS Committee Specification. The construction of experimental prototypes based on these materials is encouraged for the purpose of generating input back to the committee process, but implementers are strongly advised against basing commercial or mission-critical applications on the draft specifications.

The OASIS UBL Library Content Subcommittee invites interested parties to comment on this release directly to the Library Content Subcommittee Editor, Bill Meadows (, using the recommended feedback form at:

This release comment period applies from Monday, January 27th until Monday, April 14th 2003. We welcome all comments and will ensure to advise of our dispositions to any suggestions.

The work of the OASIS UBL Technical Committee is open to public view through the mail archives linked from the UBL home page:

Formal input to UBL from industry data exchange organizations is provided through the UBL Liaison Subcommittee:

Input from the general public is accepted through the ubl-comment mail list:

Interested parties are invited to comment on the work of the UBL TC by subscribing to the ubl-comment list using the OASIS list manager:

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. General references in "Universal Business Language (UBL)." See other references in the 2003-01-27 news item "UBL Technical Committee Releases First Draft of XML Schemas for Electronic Trade."

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