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Electronic Business using eXtensible Markup Language (commonly known as ebXML) is a family of XML based standards sponsored by the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). ebXML was created to provide an open, XML-based infrastructure that enables the global use of electronic business information in an interoperable, secure, and consistent manner by all trading partners. Standards bodies like the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) were also involved in the initial development.[1][2]


ebXML was started in November 1999 as a joint initiative between the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). At that time, the groups viewed several roadblocks to allowing "anyone, anywhere to do business with anyone else"[3]:

The ebXML initiative was conceived due to the widely held need to enable enterprises of any size and in any geographical location to conduct business electronically in a simple, cheap reliable way. There are technologies that currently exist to perform electronic trading, such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), (and it should be noted they perform this task very well) but they are often costly to implement, the information itself is not human readable and the these technologies often require the use of private, fee paying networks.

The group created a set of technical and business principles that guided their development during the core design phase of the project, including avoiding proprietary solutions and including multilingual support. The core project also envisioned five layers of data specification, including XML standards for business processes, core data components, collaboration protocol agreements, messaging tools, and registries and repositories.[1] The core part of the project was completed in May 2001, laying out the architecture and base standards. After the core work was completed, the two organizations agreed to split further development responsibilities for the various specifications but continued oversight through the group's Joint Coordination Committee (JCC).[3][4]

After completion of the specifications by the two organizations, five portions of the work were submitted to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 154 for approval. The ISO approved the following five ebXML specifications as the ISO 15000 standard, under the general title Electronic Business Extensible Markup Language (ebXML). The first four were approved in 2004[5], with the fifth, the CCTS, realizing approval in 2005:

  • ISO/TS 15000-1:2004: Collaboration-protocol profile and agreement specification (ebCPP)[6]
  • ISO/TS 15000-2:2004: Message service specification (ebMS)[7]
  • ISO/TS 15000-3:2004: Registry information model specification (ebRIM)[8]
  • ISO/TS 15000-4:2004: Registry services specification (ebRS)[9]
  • ISO/TS 15000-5:2005: ebXML Core Components Technical Specification, Version 2.01 (ebCCTS)[10]

The OASIS technical committees and UN/CEFACT retained the responsibility for maintaining and advancing the above specifications. Note that while the ebXML standards adopted by ISO and OASIS seek to provide formal XML-enabled mechanisms that can be implemented directly, the ebXML architecture is based on concepts and methodologies that can be more broadly applied to allow practitioners to better implement e-business solutions.

In 2007, several public organizations were stated to have implemented ebXML standards, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Department of Defense, The Port of Hong Kong, the government of Norway, and the government of Denmark.[11]


Collaboration-protocol profile and agreement

The ebCPP is composed of two elements: the profile and the agreement. These XML-based documents specify a trading agreement between trading partners. Each trading partner will have their own profile that describes their abilities, including the messaging protocols or security capabilities they support. The agreement is the intersection of the two profile documents, and it describes the formal relationship between the two parties.[6]

Message service specification

The ebMS describes a communication-neutral mechanism that message service handlers (MSHs) must implement in order to exchange business documents. ebMS is built as an extension on top of the SOAP with Attachments specification. The SOAP message contains the meta-data required to exchange the business document in a secure and reliable manner, while the business payload is attached to the SOAP message. Multiple business payloads may be attached to a single message. ebMS is neutral in communication protocol, although the most common underlying protocols are HTTP and SMTP.[7]

Registry information model specification

The ebRIM defines the ebXML registry's information model. The registry "describes objects that reside in a repository for storage and safekeeping ...[but] does not deal with the actual content of the repository."[8] The objects are described as metadata, which is then organized into metadata classes. The registry is then implemented as either a SOAP binding using HTTP or as an ebXML messaging service binding.[8]

Registry services specification

The ebRS defines not only the interface between the registry and its associated clients but also the protocols used during interface, the message definitions, and the associated XML design. The ebRS also acts as the core repository of definitions for future registry requirements. The registry itself enables the transmission of information between involved parties and allows tighter business process integration as a result.[9]

Core components technical specification

The ebCCTS is an evolving specification that originally was viewed as a spec that

presents a methodology for developing a common set of semantic building blocks that represent the general types of business data in use today and provides for the creation of new business vocabularies and restructuring of existing business vocabularies. It provides a way to identify, capture and maximize the re-use of business information to support and enhance information interoperability across multiple business situations.[12]

This specification set the standard for OASIS' Universal Business Language (UBL), a library of standard electronic XML business documents.[13]


This article reuses numerous content elements from the Wikipedia article.

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 "About ebXML". OASIS Open. 2006. http://www.ebxml.org/geninfo.htm. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  2. Mertz, David (1 June 2001). "Understanding ebXML". developerWorks. IBM. http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/x-ebxml/. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "About ebXML". European Committee for Standardization. 3 February 2009. http://www.ebxml.eu.org/about_ebxml.htm. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  4. "The ebXML Project". European Committee for Standardization. 3 February 2009. http://www.ebxml.eu.org/the_ebxml_initiative.htm. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  5. Mimoso, Michael S (6 April 2004). "OASIS: ISO approval may spark ebXML critical mass". SearchSOA. TechCrunch. http://searchsoa.techtarget.com/news/958429/OASIS-ISO-approval-may-spark-ebXML-critical-mass. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "ISO/TS 15000-1:2004". International Organization for Standardization. http://www.isotc154.org/standards/isots-15000-12004. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 "ISO/TS 15000-2:2004". International Organization for Standardization. http://www.isotc154.org/standards/isots-15000-22004. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "ISO/TS 15000-3:2004". International Organization for Standardization. http://www.isotc154.org/standards/isots-15000-32004. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "ISO/TS 15000-4:2004". International Organization for Standardization. http://www.isotc154.org/standards/isots-15000-42004. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  10. "ISO/TS 15000-5:2005". International Organization for Standardization. http://www.isotc154.org/standards/isots-15000-52005. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  11. Kotok, Alan (February 2007). "Adoption of ebXML: Hiding in Plain Sight". ebXML Forum. http://www.ebxmlforum.net/articles/Adoption%20of%20ebXML%20Hiding%20in%20Plain%20Sight.html. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  12. Cover, Robin (29 October 2004). "Digital Artefacts Europe Contributes Open Source Implementation for ebXML Core Components". Cover Pages. http://xml.coverpages.org/ni2004-10-29-b.html. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  13. OASIS Universal Business Language TC (8 May 2014). "UBL Conformance to ebXML CCTS ISO/TS 15000-5:2005 Version 1.0". OASIS. http://docs.oasis-open.org/ubl/UBL-conformance-to-CCTS/v1.0/cn01/UBL-conformance-to-CCTS-v1.0-cn01.html. Retrieved 28 August 2014.