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UN/CEFACT Announces Successful Completion of ebXML Standards Work

UN/CEFACT Announces Successful Completion of ebXML Technical Standards Work Programme with OASIS

UN/CEFACT Continues Development of Technology- and Implementation-Neutral E-Business Standards

Geneva, Switzerland. August 21, 2003.

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) announces the successful completion of the ebXML technical standards work with the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). UN/CEFACT continues to capitalize on the gains made from ebXML in the further development of technology-neutral and implementation-neutral global e-Business standards for government, industry and commerce.

UN/CEFACT and OASIS have since 1999 been working on a joint initiative to expand the use and growth of the Internet by developing the next generation of electronic business standards based on XML (Extensible Markup Language). The ebXML (electronic Business with XML) initiative called for an 18-month worldwide open development project to create a technical framework enabling the use of XML as a consistent means for the exchange of electronic business data. The original ebXML initiative concluded in May 2001 with full community approval of a framework of technical specifications.

For the past two years, UN/CEFACT and OASIS have enjoyed a close working relationship to finalize the set of ebXML specifications, and in May 2003 the UN/CEFACT Plenary adopted these as UN/CEFACT Technical Specifications.

"Working closely with our colleagues at OASIS has been a unique opportunity for UN/CEFACT to lead the development of global technology standards and help drive awareness of how XML and Internet technology support government, industry and commerce" says Ray Walker, Chair of the UN/CEFACT Steering Group. "We are extremely proud of our OASIS working relationship and we remain open to working with OASIS in the future."

UN/CEFACT, which is based at UNECE in Geneva and has a global remit, has led the development of international standards for electronic transactions. Its experience and its ability to bring together world-class experts and match trends in information technology with business requirements, in an open and transparent way, gives it a unique viewpoint.

"Recognition that the next technology trend is just around the corner resulted in the recent UN/CEFACT Plenary meeting directing a new work programme to move UN/CEFACT closer to web services" said Dr Christian Fruhwald, Chair of UN/CEFACT. "This new work, known as UN/CEFACT Business Collaboration Framework (BCF), will allow UN/CEFACT to identify the growing needs of government, commercial and industrial organizations as they approach their global information exchange requirements."

"Going forward we expect to make use of much of our ebXML technical work as we continue to develop UN/CEFACT's technology neutral and implementation neutral global e-framework. We hope to use the newly established liaisons with the OASIS Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) Technical Committee (TC), plus the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) and our UN/CEFACT Techniques and Methodologies Business Process Working Group to align our efforts, and eliminate duplication of work", says Klaus-Dieter Naujok Chair of UN/CEFACT Techniques and Methodologies Group and former Chair of the ebXML Project.

For more information, please contact:

Santiago Garcia-Mila
Chair, UN/CEFACT Communications and Promotions Group
Tel: +34 933 306 88 00

Klaus-Dieter Naujok
Chair, UN/CEFACT Technologies and Methodologies Group
Tel: + 1 925.706.2954

Ray Walker
Chair, UN/CEFACT Steering Group
Tel: +44 208 297 1836

Hans A. Hansell
Deputy Director, Trade Development and Timber Division, UNECE
Tel: +41 22 917 2457

Posted to:
UN/CEFACT TMG General Discussion List

Source: See also the text posted to the UBL Chairs SC list Thursday, 21-August-2003 19:02:21 -0700, PDT.

Klaus-Dieter Naujok                  UN/CEFACT/TMG Chair
Global e-Business Advisory Council   Principal Advisor
Business Web Site          
Personal Web Site          
TMG Web Site               

Note on UN/CEFACT and UBL

On 2003-08-21, Klaus-Dieter Naujok (UN/CEFACT/TMG Chair) posted a note on "UN/CEFACT's Position re: UBL" thus:

UN/CEFACT's position re UBL post its announcement of 21-August-2003 regarding the successful conclusion of the ebXML initiative:

UN/CEFACT recognises that the UBL community will be concerned about today's announcement. However, UN/CEFACT remains committed to its position as elaborated in an email from Ray Walker, Chair of its Steering Group to Jon Bosak, the Chair of the OASIS UBL technical committee on 18 July.

Specifically, UN/CEFACT will support only one document-centric approach to XML content and its desire is that UBL will be the foundation for that approach.

In addition, subject to the agreement of OASIS, the brand UBL will be formally recognized in the official UN/CEFACT naming of this product.

We hope that we will be able to use the Seoul UN/CEFACT Forum meeting to finalise any remaining detail.

Followup on UBL

Followup from Klaus-Dieter Naujok 21-Aug-2003 14:30:21 -0700 clarifying "UN/CEFACT will support only one document-centric approach to XML content and its desire is that UBL will be the foundation for that approach..."

My answer is using text from the July 2003 CSG meeting where this topic and forward direction was developed [viz]:

"There will only be one UN/CEFACT XML document-centric solution and UN/CEFACT will not support multiple XML document-centric approaches. UN/CEFACT has received input (contributions) from many other organizations regarding the development of such a solution. As an open, international, organization UN/CEFACT will take all such input into account. However, our intention has always been that UBL will be the foundation for UN/CEFACT's document-centric approach using XML."

[...] At the moment there is no UN/CEFACT specification for creating XML Business Documents. Ones UN/CEFACT has an approved specification that defines the rules for creating XML Business Documents, UN/CEFACT groups will develop content (documents) based on that specification. This is identical to the process UN/EDIFACT messages are being developed. Any outside organization is welcome to participate in that work instead of branching out developing their own XML Business Documents using the UN/CEFACT XML document design rules.

[On UBL, see: "Universal Business Language (UBL)."]

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. For the OASIS announcement, see "OASIS ebXML Update." See also: (1) OASIS website; (2) UN/CEFACT Techniques and Methodologies Group (TMG) website; (3) general references in "Electronic Business XML Initiative (ebXML)."

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