ebXML: Global Standard for Electronic Business? (1/2) - exploring XML
ebXML: Global Standard for Electronic Business?
After examining the basic blocks with Universal Business Language and XML Common Business Language, what else is missing for electronic business? A whole lot more is incorporated into Electronic Business XML, ebXML for short.
B2B collaboration requires more than just an XML vocabulary. You have to deal with:
- Business semantics: What do the individual messages exchanged actually mean in real life?
- Negotiating terms and conditions: Business is always bartering of some sort.
- Interoperability: Different hardware and software systems need to come together in joint transactions.
- Security and Privacy: Some business might be private, and needs to stay that way.
- Reliability: To order or not to order, this is the question here.
ebXML provides concrete specifications to enable dynamic B2B collaborations.
ebXML aspires to become the global standard for electronic business, enabling anyone, especially small and medium-size enterprises, anywhere to do business with anyone else over the Internet. It is complementary to other existing B2B initiatives, from both the software developer community (e.g. UDDI, SOAP) and the business sphere (RosettaNet, TradeXchange, etc.).
The vision is to create a global electronic market place where enterprises of any size, anywhere can:
- Find each other electronically
- And conduct business
- Using XML messages
- According to standard business process sequences
- With clear business semantics
- According to standard or mutually agreed trading partner protocol agreements
- Using off the shelf purchased business applications
Such an end-to-end B2B XML Framework such as ebXML needs to cover many bases:
- Core Components
- Registry and Repository
- Collaborative Protocol Profiles (CPPs)
- Message Service
Let's look at each of them in turn.
Core components such as UBL or xCBL provide reusable low-level data structures such as party, address, phone, date, currency. They form a single, consistent lexicon used to define business process and information models that facilitates interoperability between disparate systems.
ebXML Registry and Repository
Finding a business party needs a yellow page service in the first place. While the registry is the index of all things ebXML, the repository is the holder. Both systems are based on a distributed model where the nodes can be maintained by industry groups, market places, exchanges, communities, or individual companies.
Registering your business in an ebXML Registry adds your offerings to the index of all information in the repository, having your business listed in a rich query facility for finding business partners. Your specifications, containing Collaborative Protocol Profiles, Core components, and Classification and categorization schemes all go into an ebXML Repository.
Universal Description and Discovery Interface (UDDI) is a new XML-based technology for building registries. UDDI will be one of the enabling technolgies to help you find ebXML services.
Produced by Michael Claßen
Created: Dec 24, 2001
Revised: Dec 24, 2001