What is the need for ebXML CPPA?
The ebXML Collaboration Protocol Profile and Agreement OASIS Standard provides definitions for the sets of information used in business collaborations. One set of information (the Profile) contains data about the business partners' technical capabilities to engage in electronic business collaborations with other partners. The second set of information (the Agreement) contains data that has been agreed to configure the public, shared aspects of the protocols used in the business collaboration protocols. Version 2.0 of the specification is highly aligned with ebXML business process descriptions (ebBPSS) and the ebXML Messaging protocol (ebMS). Future versions will accommodate extensions that provide support for other business process notations and other business messaging protocols. A specification of the Negotiation protocol for Collaboration Protocol Agreements is nearing completion in 2003.
Who should be involved in this development?
The maintenance and enhancement of this OASIS Standard should be of interest to ISVs seeking interoperable and standardized approaches to the configuration of heterogeneous yet interoperable software for enabling business collaboration. It should be of interest to end users concerned with automation of the management of configuration information over the lifetime of a business collaboration community. It should also be of interest to those seeking documented configurations suitable for monitoring compliance of collaborators' performance in areas such as data confidentiality, reliability, authentication, acknowledgment, and timely response.
Who will benefit from ebXML CPPA and how?
This technology can benefit end users now in reducing the costs of initial collaboration setup and in the management of the lifecycle of the configuration information. Monitored agreements may also be of value in reducing costs of operation and in resolving service problems.
How does this work compare with related efforts at other standards organizations?
This work presumes that exchanges of business information in business collaborations will tend to be conducted in relatively static modes, with slowly changing configurations. Options and functionality will be deliberately changed, rather than dynamically reconfigured on a message-by-message basis. It also presumes that many businesses will be interested in monitoring the "messaging communications channel" parameters to see that agreed-upon levels of compliance and performance are maintained. It is also problematic how enthusiastically extremely dynamic modes of configuration (spontaneous collaboration) will be embraced by those interested in verification of agreed upon-behavior in business collaboration. Finally, the Negotiation protocol is to provide a highly automatic way to set up agreements for collaboration protocols, largely realizing the business advantages (lower management costs) promised by highly dynamic ("spontaneous") collaboration technologies.
In addition, many businesses tend to confine the supported technical interactions to the smallest number of profiles permitting secure and reliable connectivity. Security, reliability, diagnostic visibility, and change management are core concerns for business collaboration protocols, but are either neglected or specialized topics in basic technology or general purpose web services standards organizations.
When will ebXML CPPA be completed?
ebXML CPPA Versions 1.0 and 2.0 are complete. Version 2.0 is an approved OASIS Standard. An ebXML CPPA Negotiation specification is currently under development. A maintenance 2.1 version will fix several minor errors that have been detected and resolved and add enhanced extensibility points to the schema. Plans for a version 3.x will emerge as other ebXML specifications (ebXML Messaging and ebXML Business Process) move forward.