EbXML moves closer to completion

Bringing the pending technology closer to a final specification, ebXML (e-business XML) standards bodies kicked off a week's worth of meetings and working groups here today. ebXML is a specification for XML-based global infrastructure for e-business transactions, being driven by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) and the United Nations' Center for Trade Facilitation and E-business (UN/CEFACT).

The working groups at the conference aim to further a number of ebXML pieces, including the Technical Architecture, Registry Information Model, and Registry Services specification, all of which currently are out for review.

Working groups this week will also develop core competencies of ebXML, such as the Implementation Model methodology, as well as messaging and business processes.

The goal is to have the final specification ready to be voted on by April 23. ebXML for the last 15 months has been driven by OASIS and UN/CEFACT, under a relationship intended to last 18 months.

"This is an incredible area right now in terms of standards, with companies doing all sort of things," said Bob Sular, vice chairman of the ebXML organization.

Sular pointed to the industry movement toward Web services, and the efforts of Microsoft Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., and Hewlett-Packard Co. specifically, as catalysts of change in the industry that the standards bodies need to consider in the future.

"It's become more complicated to run this and figure out how to make it work," Sular said.

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