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IBM's tpaML XML B-2-B Transaction Specification

IBM Selects XML.ORG for Vendor-Neutral Standardization of tpaML XML B-2-B Transaction Specification

XML.ORG, Sponsored by OASIS, Facilitates New Standard for E-Contracts

Boston, MA. January 31, 2000.

OASIS, the vendor-neutral organization for XML interoperability, announced that IBM has submitted its Trading Partner Agreement Markup Language (tpaML) for standardization within the OASIS XML.ORG initiative. Developed by IBM, the tpaML specification uses XML to define and implement electronic contracts.

The foundation of tpaML is the Trading Partner Agreement (TPA), which defines how trading partners will interact at the transport, document exchange and business protocol layers. A TPA contains the general contract terms and conditions, participant roles (buyers, sellers), communication and security protocols and business processes, (valid actions, sequencing rules, etc.). XML-based TPA documents capture the essential information upon which trading partners must agree in order for their applications and business processes to communicate.

"OASIS is pleased that XML.ORG has been offered the opportunity to facilitate the evolution of trading partner agreements in a non-proprietary manner via tpaML," said Laura Walker, Executive Director, OASIS. "This technology contribution is an important step in the rapid adoption of XML-based business-to-business standards."

"tpaML enables a variety of systems and processes to work together easily and effectively--which is essential for the next generation of e-business," said Marie Wieck, Director of XML Technology, IBM. "The submission of our specification for electronic contracts to XML.ORG is another proof point in our company-wide commitment to open standards."

tpaML is a complementary technology to ebXML, the Electronic Business XML initiative, which is a joint effort of the United Nations/CEFACT and OASIS to establish a global framework for the exchange of electronic business data.

Multiple software vendors and solution providers including CommerceQuest, DataChannel, Extricity, Geac/JBA, Harbinger, JDA, Infinium, Intelisys, Mincom, PeopleSoft, Sterling Commerce and Synquest have endorsed tpaML for potential use with their customers. OASIS welcomes representatives from all industries to join the consortium and help evolve tpaML as an essential component of B-2-B e-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, Corel, DataChannel, DMSi, Documentum, Dun & Bradstreet,, Enigma, Extricity Software, GCA, IBM, InformIT, Informix, InterCAP, Interleaf, Interwoven, ISOGEN, ITEDO, JetForm, Keyfile, Microsoft, NextPage, NII Enterprise Promotion Association, NIST, Object Design, Object Management Group (OMG), Open Applications Group, Oracle, ProNet Technology Partners, Reed Technology, Reuters, Sabre, Sequoia Software, SoftQuad, Software AG, STEP, StreamServe, Sun Microsystems, Synthbank, Wavo, Xerox, XMLSolutions and XyEnterprise.


XML.ORG ( is a vendor-neutral community for advancing XML industry standardization. Hosted by OASIS, the XML.ORG website provides news and information about the application of XML in electronic business environments. XML.ORG offers valuable online tools, such as the XML.ORG Catalog, a clearinghouse for industry-specific or cross-industry XML specifications. Sponsors of XML.ORG include DataChannel, Documentum, Commerce One, GCA, IBM, SAP, SoftQuad and Sun Microsystems.

For more information:

Carol Geyer
Media Relations Consultant
Tel: +1.412.963.1479

Prepared by Robin Cover for the The SGML/XML Web Page archive.

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