A Survey and Analysis of Electronic Business Document Standards

No document standard is sufficient for all purposes because the requirements significantly differ among businesses, industries, and geopolitical regions. On the other hand, the ultimate aim of business document interoperability is to exchange business data among partners without any prior agreements related to the document syntax and semantics. Therefore, an important characteristic of a document standard is its ability to adapt to different contexts, its extensibility, and its customization. The UN/CEFACT Core Component Technical Specification (CCTS) is an important landmark in this direction.

In this article, we present a survey and an analysis of some of the prominent UN/CEFACT CCTS-based electronic document standards. We describe their document design principles and discuss how they handle customization and extensibility. We address their industry relevance and the recent efforts for their harmonization and convergence. We conclude by mentioning some emerging efforts for the semantic interoperability of different document standards.

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