ebXML and UBL

The ebXML suite of specifications, many of them now standardized as ISO 15000, provides a complete XML-based infrastructure that enables EDI functionality over the free Internet. UBL provides a standard data format for the messages to be exchanged in such an infrastructure; however, UBL is designed to be agnostic with respect to the infrastructure, and UBL messages can be used in a very wide range of functional contexts, from complex service-oriented architectures (SOAs) to the simple exchange of documents via email.

The impetus to begin the OASIS UBL Technical Committee came from the desire of a number of ebXML participants to define a standard XML payload format for ebXML — that is, an XML counterpart to traditional EDI standards such as X12 and EDIFACT.

ebXML Core Components

UBL is the first international standards body implementation of the ebXML Core Components Technical Specification (CCTS 2.01, aka ISO 15000-5). The UBL library consists of ebXML CCTS Business Information Entities (BIEs). UBL XML schemas are defined through the application of UBL Naming and Design Rules (NDRs) to an underlying data model mapped to the Core Component types.

The OASIS UBL Technical Committee is also currently working with UN/CEFACT to converge the UBL library with the emerging UN/CEFACT Core Component library. UN/CEFACT is the international agency responsible for trade facilitation and EDI standards. Together, UN/CEFACT and OASIS developed ebXML.

Consistent with the Cooperation Agreement between OASIS and UN/CEFACT of June 2005, a collaboration statement has been issued by OASIS and UN/CEFACT that states:

  • UN/CEFACT recognizes UBL 2 as appropriate first-generation XML documents for eBusiness.
  • Future UN/CEFACT deliverables constitute the upgrade path for UBL, and the maintenance of UBL 2 remains with the OASIS UBL Technical Committee.
  • In the expectation that UN/CEFACT will produce its own integrated set of XML schemas, OASIS will produce no further major versions of UBL past UBL 2.
  • OASIS will grant UN/CEFACT a perpetual, irrevocable license to create derivative works based on UBL.

This UN recognition means that anyone requiring XML documents for eBusiness may safely adopt UBL as a suitable basis for now and into the future.


See also:

- ebXML XML.org

Why is there no Integer in the Core Component Data Types?

I presume it is not a good idea to define a new unqualified data type.

Presumably I have to define a qualified data type based on Numeric?

What will the NDR conformant XSD look like? I am thinking that maybe 'Numeric. Type' should allow an 'Expression' facet so that one can disallow decimal point ?

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