Doc spec plug for e-commerce

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Doc spec plug for e-commerce

Looking to provide a catalyst for e-commerce, Oasis has ratified version 1.0 of Universal Business Language (UBL), which defines a common XML library of business documents for use in online transactions. 

Approved as an Oasis standard, the organisation's highest level of ratification, UBL 1.0 is a royalty-free technology to provide a common set of business-to-business document standards for use in e-commerce. It is designed to plug into existing business, legal, auditing and records management practices to eliminate the rekeying of data, and providing an entry point into e-commerce for small and medium businesses. 

"The goal of UBL 1.0 is pretty simple," said Jon Bosak, chairman of the Oasis UBL technical committee. "The goal is to define a standard set of XML schemas for common business messages like purchase orders, invoices and shipping notices." 

In development for six years, UBL 1.0 offers a cheaper alternative to costly EDI systems, according to Bosak. 

Serving as the first standard implementation of the ebXML core components technical specification, UBL provides a library of documents such as purchase orders. Also part of UBL are reusable data components. In addition to the original English definitions, UBL data definitions have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Spanish. 

IT companies that contributed to UBL include NEC, Oracle, SeeBeyond and Sun. Bosak said IBM and Microsoft had not participated in the development of UBL 1.0.

Paul Krill writes for InfoWorld


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