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ebXML Initiative Releases First Technical Specifications for Public Comment

Boston, MA. March 15, 2000.

The first ebXML Initiative Technical Specification has been released for public comment. The ebXML Requirements Specification is available for download from the ebXML web site at

This ebXML Requirements Specification represents the work of the ebXML Requirements Project Team. It defines ebXML and the ebXML effort, articulates overall business requirements for ebXML, and defines specific technical infrastructure requirements that will be addressed by the various ebXML Project Teams in preparing their deliverables. The document includes general guiding principles for the development of other ebXML Technical Specifications. Major requirements identified in the specification include:

  • general Business Requirements which relate to the need for a single consistent approach to use XML;

  • the need to support both vertical and horizontal solutions regardless of the user's level of sophistication;

  • the need to support a range of basic, low cost solutions for Small or Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as complex solutions appropriate to large enterprises;

  • a general specification for developing XML-based schematas;

  • the need for globalized solutions that will accommodate national and international process requirements;

  • completely open accessibility, enabled by a registry and repository;

  • the need for an architecture that will ensure and maximize interoperability by supporting common business process, common semantics, a common vocabulary and common character encoding;

  • consistent transport, routing and packaging methodologies to ensure secure sending and receiving of messages over the Internet; and

  • digital signature and other security related capabilities.

The specification is available for the full ebXML Work Group and all interested parties in the general public. Comments should be emailed as plain text in the body of the mail message or as an attachment to Mike Rawlins, ebXML Requirements Project Team Leader at or Mark Crawford, ebXML Requirements Project Team Editor at The review period closes 27 March 2000. The specification will undergo a second cycle of revision and review prior to the expected final approval at the May ebXML meeting in Brussels.

The ebXML vision is to create a single global XML framework solution. It is a joint effort of the United Nation/CEFACT organization and OASIS. Participants represent 14 countries, 83 companies, government agencies and several national and international standards organizations. More than 500 people around the world participate via Internet mailing lists.

Following the public comment period, the final Requirements Specifications will be approved by the full ebXML Plenary during its meeting in Brussels 8-12 May 2000. Full details about the ebXML Initiative, its project teams and meetings is at Technical Specifications will be available for download from the ebXML web site as they are released.

About ebXML

ebXML ( is an International Initiative established by UN/CEFACT and OASIS in late 1999 with a mandate to undertake a 15-18 month program of work to research and identify the technical basis upon which the global implementation of XML (Extensible Markup Language) can be standardized. The goal is to provide an open technical specification to enable XML to be utilized in a consistent and uniform manner for the exchange of electronic business data in application-to-application, application-to-person and person-to-application environments.


UN/CEFACT ( is the United Nations body whose mandate covers worldwide policy and technical development in the area of trade facilitation and electronic business. Headquartered in Geneva, it has developed and promoted many tools for the facilitation of global business processes including UN/EDIFACT, the international EDI standard. Its current work programme includes such topics as Simpl-edi and Object Oriented EDI and it strongly supports the development and implementation of open, interoperable global standards and specifications for electronic business.


OASIS ( is a non-profit, international consortium dedicated solely to product-independent data and content interchange. Focusing on product interoperability, OASIS embraces the complete spectrum of structured information standards including XML, SGML and CGM. OASIS sponsors include Adobe Systems, Aerospatiale, AND-USA, Arbortext, Bentley Systems, Boeing, Bowstreet, Chrystal Software, Cohesia, Commerce One, CommerceNet, CompTIA, Corel, DataChannel, DMSi, Documentum, Dun & Bradstreet,, Enigma, eXcelon, Extricity Software, GCA, Health Level Seven, IBM, InformIT, Informix, InterCAP, Interleaf, Interwoven, ISOGEN, ITEDO, JetForm, Keyfile, Microsoft, NextPage, NII Enterprise Promotion Association,, NIST, Object Management Group (OMG), Open Applications Group, Oracle, Pick Systems, ProNet Technology Partners, Reed Technology, Reuters, Sabre, Sequoia Software, SoftQuad, Software AG, STEP, StreamServe, Sun Microsystems, Synthbank, Wavo, Webb Interactive Services, Whitehill Technologies, Xerox, XMLSolutions and XyEnterprise.

For More Information Contact:

Carol Geyer
Media Relations Consultant
Tel: +1.412.963.1479


Hans Hansell
Head UN/CEFACT Secretariat
Tel: +41 22 917 2457

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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