OASIS serves up messaging standard

Closing out what shaped up as a summer of standards proliferation, OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) last week conferred official status on yet another specification aimed at enabling companies to conduct business over the Internet.

Broadly speaking, ebXML (e-business XML) Messaging Service specification Version 2.0 is designed to provide a secure method for carrying out electronic transactions, according to officials at the Boston-based standards body. The OASIS Web site defines the spec as addressing the “transport, routing and packaging of business transactions using standard Internet technologies.”

The messaging spec joins two other ebXML specifications that have evolved into standards: ebXML Registry Service Version 2 and ebXML Registry Information Model Version 2.

A cadre of vendors had a hand in developing ebXML Messaging Service, including Commerce One Inc., Cyclone Commerce Inc., eXcelon Corp., Fujitsu Ltd., GE Global Exchange, IBM Corp., Intel Corp., Mercator Software Inc., SAP AG, SeeBeyond Corp., Sonic Software Corp., Sterling Commerce Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Sybase Inc., and webMethods Inc.

The specification is just one of many that standards bodies like OASIS and W3C, as well as industry organizations and vendors are pushing to fuel the automated exchange of information over the Internet, according to Jon Derome, senior analyst for business-to-business commerce and applications at Boston-based Yankee Group. Driven in part by the emergence of Web services, such standards run the gamut from the highly technical, such as ebXML Messaging Services, to those higher up the food chain, such as BPEL4WS (Business Process Execution Language for Web Services), WSCI (Web Services Choreography Interface), and BPML (Business Process Management Language) for business process automation, he added.

“Standards are evolving now that go all the way from determining how my computer will talk to your computer to how my business will best define a process that we can share with your business,” Derome said.