By Paul Krill

Infoworld (U.S.)

Universal Business Language 1.0, which is intended as a common XML message format for e-commerce, is now available for public implementation testing in a beta format, according to an official of OASIS.

The UBL 1.0 Beta proposal has been approved as an OASIS Committee Draft by the OASIS Universal Business Language Technical Committee. A formal announcement is expected from OASIS this week, said Jon Bosak, chairman of the OASIS UBL Technical Committee, in an e-mail. The beta proposal is intended to provide specifications needed to begin implementation testing of UBL in advance of OASIS recommending it as a standard.

UBL was designed to be a business vocabulary for ebXML, which is an OASIS proposal for next-generation business-to-business and supply chain management systems.

Proposed UBL 1.0 deliverables include: naming and design rules for representation of ebXML Business Information Entities (BIE);a UBL BIE library in the form of standard XML schema elements for common business data structures such as “party,” “address,” and “line item”; a set of basic business documents assembled from the BIE library, such as UBL Order, UBL Receipt Advice, and UBL Invoice; a set of formatting specifications for rendering basic business documents in human-readable form; and guidelines for extending UBL within specific industry contexts.

The implementation testing phase began last week and will end in February, two weeks prior to the UBL TC meeting in Washington, Feb. 23 to Feb. 27. OASIS plans to release UBL 1.0 next year.