OASIS releases draft of free e-commerce data standard

The industry-wide consortium Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) has released the first draft of a royalty-free data representation standard for electronic commerce, the group said in a statement Monday.

The draft, prepared by OASIS’ Universal Business Language (UBL) Technical Committee, contains specifications for XML (Extensible Markup Language) representations of seven key business documents: order, order response, simple order response, order cancellation, despatch advice, receipt advice, and invoice.

The UBL specifications will be widely applicable in general business, in the accounting, customs, taxation, and shipping industries, and anywhere that supply-chain management (SCM) is involved or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) currently used, OASIS said.

The specifications are general in nature and can be customized via extensions to suit particular business environments, OASIS said.

OASIS stressed that the specifications represent a first draft rather than a full OASIS Open Standard or an OASIS Committee Specification. The UBL committee will accept comments on the draft proposals until the middle of April, OASIS said.

OASIS, whose members include virtually all the major IT vendors, is involved in promoting standards ranging from ebXML, a global framework for e-business data exchange, XML, UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration), CGM Open, LegalXML and PKI (Public Key Infrastructure). It is also involved in trying to promote multilingual transactions by formulating standards for translating content between different languages.