Groups get approval for ebXML specs

The two groups sponsoring the ebXML (electronic business extensible markup language) initiative say more than 200 IT organizations, end user companies and software vendors voted last week to approve a suite of ebXML specifications developed and tested over the past year and a half.

The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), a nonprofit, international consortium that creates interoperable industry specifications based on public standards, and the United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UNCEFACT), announced the news Monday following last week’s meeting, which took place in Vienna.

EbXML is a modular suite of specifications designed to enable companies of any size and in any country to conduct business over the Internet through the exchange of XML-based messages. It is aimed at facilitating global trade by enabling XML to be used in a consistent manner to exchange business data electronically.

OASIS and UNCEFACT joined forces in September 1999 and since then have been working to identify the technical basis on which the global implementation of XML could be standardized. The groups held proof-of-concept demonstrations in several cities around the world, and the Vienna meeting marked the culmination of that effort.

The suite of specifications approved in Vienna are the ebXML Technical Architecture, Business Process Specification Schema, Registry Information Model, Registry Services, ebXML Requirements, Message Service and Collaboration-Protocol Profile and Agreement.

Implementations of ebXML already are being announced, and the rate of deployment is expected to accelerate, said Patrick Gannon, chairman of the OASIS board of directors.

Gannon cited recent announcements of ebXML integration and support from industry groups, including RosettaNet, a consortium of more than 400 IT and electronics companies. RosettaNet plans to integrate support for the ebXML Message Service specification in future releases of RosettaNet’s Implementation Framework, the consortium announced in April.

The Global Commerce Initiative, which represents manufacturers and retailers of consumer goods, also has decided to base its new Internet protocol standard for trading exchanges and business-to-business communications on ebXML, Gannon said.

The ebXML specifications and technical reports are available for free at