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Created: October 20, 2003.
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UN/CEFACT Announces V1.1 Release of ebXML Business Process Specification Schema.

A posting from Klaus-Dieter Naujok (UN/CEFACT/TMG Chair) announces the final release publication of UN/CEFACT ebXML Business Process Specification Schema Version 1.1. This ebXML BPSS specification was "developed in accordance with the UN/CEFACT/TRADE/22 Open Development Process (ODP) for Technical Specifications and has been approved by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) Techniques and Methodologies Group (TMG). It defines a standard language by which business systems may be configured to support execution of business collaborations consisting of business transactions. The document is based upon prior UN/CEFACT work, specifically the metamodel behind the UN/CEFACT Modeling Methodology (UMM) defined in UN/CEFACT Modeling Methodology -- Meta Model -- Revision 12. Over the last two years, interested parties from around the world have collaborated in the development of the Specification addressing a number of deficiencies implementers of Version 1.01 identified." As to the TMG's BPSS road map, "as agreed to by the TMG in March 2003, work on Version 2.0 and alignment with the UMM Meta-Model's Business Transaction View (BTV) will commence starting with the upcoming TMG meeting in December. Interested parties are invited to attend the meeting in Waidhofen/Ybbs (Austria), 8-12 December 2003." The UN/CEFACT TMG has also announced commencement of technical work on a Business Collaboration Framework (BCF) based upon the UMM Meta-Model; it is focused on the creation of a new e-business standard using a "technological and implementation neutral approach to the exchange of global information requirements."

Bibliographic Information

UN/CEFACT ebXML Business Process Specification Schema. Version 1.10. 18-October-2003. Approved for Implementation. Copyright (c) UN/CEFACT 2003. "This UN/CEFACT Technical Specification has been developed in accordance with the UN/CEFACT/TRADE/22 Open Development Process (ODP) for Technical Specifications. This document has been approved by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) Techniques and Methodology Group (TMG) for promulgation as a UN/CEFACT Technical Specification in accordance with the ODP." 114 pages. Earlier versions: (1) Review Draft "UN/CEFACT ebXML Business Process Specification Schema Version 1.09," 25-August-2003; (2) Version Approved for Implemenatation): "ebXML Business Process Specification Schema Version 1.01," 11-May-2001.

UN/CEFACT ebXML BPSS Version 1.10 Overview

"The BPSS technical specification supports the specification of Business Transactions and the choreography of Business Transactions into Business Collaborations. Each Business Transaction can be implemented using one of many available standard patterns. These patterns are defined in the UMM specification. A pattern is not executable, it rather specifies the type of the message exchange (request, response and signals) that applies for a given business transaction definition. It is a way to define classes of business transaction definitions. These patterns could potentially be related to different classes of electronic commerce transactions.

The current version of the BPSS technical specification addresses collaborations between two parties (Binary Collaborations). Collaborations involving more than two business partners (Multiparty Collaborations) have been deprecated.

The primary audience is technical implementers of ebXML. We define a business process analyst as someone who applies the UN/CEFACT Modeling Methodology (UMM) which defines a process that centers around interviewing business people. An additional audience are designers of business process definition tools who need to specify the conversion of user input in the tool into the XML representation of the Specification Schema..."

"BPSS Instances describe interoperable business processes that allow business partners to collaborate. These models must be executed by software components that collaborate on behalf of the business partners. The goal of the ebXML Business Process Specification Schema is to provide the bridge between e-business process modeling and specification of e-business software components. The ebXML Business Process Specification Schema technical specification provides for the nominal set of specification elements necessary to specify a collaboration between business partners, and to provide configuration parameters for the partners' runtime systems in order to execute that collaboration between a set of e-business software components. A business process specification created with the ebXML Business Process Specification Schema is referred to as a BPSS instance..."

UMM and the ebXML Business Process Specification Schema: "The UMM Meta Model is a description of business semantics that allows Trading Partners to capture the details for a specific business scenario (a Business Process) using a consistent modeling methodology. A Business Process specification describes in detail how Trading Partners take on shared roles, relationships and responsibilities to facilitate interaction with other Trading Partners. The interaction between roles takes place as a choreographed set of Business Transactions. Each Business Transaction is expressed as an exchange of electronic Business Documents. The sequence of the exchange is determined by the Business Process, and by messaging and security considerations. Business Documents are composed from re-useable Business Information Entities, expressed in an appropriate format (XML, EDI, UBL...)

The UMM Meta Model supports a set of Business Process viewpoints that provide a set of semantics (vocabulary) for each viewpoint and forms the basis for specification of the semantics and artifacts that are required to facilitate business process and information integration and interoperability. Using the UMM methodology and the UMM metamodel, the user may thus create a complete Business Process and Information Model. This model contains more information than what is required for configuring ebXML compliant software. Also the model is syntax independent and not directly interpretable by ebXML compliant software.

The ebXML Business Process Specification Schema provides an additional view of the UMM metamodel. This subset is provided to support the direct specification of the nominal set of elements necessary to configure a runtime system in order to execute a set of ebXML business transactions. By drawing out modeling elements from several of the other views, the ebXML Business Process Specification Schema forms a semantic subset of the UMM Meta Model. Using the ebXML Business Process Specification Schema the user may thus create a Business Process Specification that contains only the information required to configure ebXML compliant software, while other modeling elements of the UMM could be used to configure other software components such as a business process management system (BPMS)..." [excerpted from the V1.10 spec]

About UN/CEFACT Business Collaboration Framework (BCF)

The UN/CEFACT's Business Collaboration Framework (BCF) 'Business Driving Technology' is a "work product of the Techniques and Methodologies Group (TMG)... BCF is a set of specifications and guides, the center of which is the UN/CEFACT Modeling Methodology (UMM). The backbone of all documents in the BCF is the UMM Meta-Model (UMM-MM), which is a UML profile used to describe the UMM components the domain experts and analysts have at their disposal to describe and analyse individual processes.

In addition to the UMM-MM, the BCF consists of Business Collaboration Models (BCMs) based on libraries of Business Process/Business Collaboration patterns and Business Entities/Business Objects. The Business Collaboration Schema Specification (BCSS) is a semantic subset of the UMM-MM that reduces BCMs to Business Collaboration Schemas (BCSs) to which technology-specific production rules can be applied to generate run-time application software. BCSs, as well as the BCSS, are represented in technology-neutral and implementation-neutral format..."

"The goal of UN/CEFACT's Business Collaboration Framework (BCF) is to provide businesses with a solution to define their external information interchanges and related business activities (business collaborations) independent of the underlying implementation and infrastructure technology. Because the BCF is not dependent on any specific implementation technology, it protects the investment of Business Collaboration Model development against future changes in the underlying infrastructure. This paper provides a brief outline of the BCF and its relationship to other related concepts..." [from the BCF Overview and Brief Introduction]

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