UBL TC Charter

The following charter for the OASIS Universal Business Language Technical Committee is taken from the proposal to create the TC submitted to OASIS 28 August 2001.


The aims of the UBL Technical Committee are as follows:

  1. To avert a crisis in electronic business caused by competing XML business-to-business document standards by choosing as a starting point an existing XML business document library as the basis for creating a new "Universal Business Language" that will be a synthesis of existing XML business document libraries.
  2. To begin with xCBL 3.0 as the starting point and to develop the standard UBL library by mutually agreed-upon changes to xCBL 3.0 based on industry experience with other XML business libraries and with similar technologies such as Electronic Data Interchange.
  3. To develop UBL in light of standards/specifications issued by UN/CEFACT, ISO, IEC, ITU, W3C, IETF, OASIS, and such other standards bodies and organizations as the UBL TC may deem relevant.
  4. To harmonize UBL as far as practical with the ebXML specifications approved in Vienna (May 2001), with the work of the Joint Core Components initiative (a joint project of ANSI ASC X12 and the UN/EDIFACT Working Group), and with the work of other appropriate business information bodies.
  5. To vest ownership of UBL in OASIS, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the adoption of structured information standards, and to make it freely available to everyone without licensing or other fees.
  6. Ultimately, to promote UBL to the status of an international standard for the conduct of XML-based electronic business.


The primary deliverable of the UBL TC is a coordinated set of XML grammatical components that will allow trading partners to unambiguously identify the business documents to be exchanged in a particular business context.

As currently envisioned, the UBL work will take place in two phases:

  1. A first phase to align the vocabulary and structures of UBL with the work of the Joint Core Components initiative and with the vocabulary and structures of other already existing business libraries such as RosettaNet and OAGIS.
  2. A second phase to implement a mechanism for the generation of context-specific schemas for basic business documents and their components through the application of transformation rules to a common XML source library.

If the work actually does take place in this form, then it is estimated that the first phase will take roughly a year to complete and that the second phase will take roughly another year. If the two phases can be combined or run in parallel, then it is estimated that delivery of an initial set of specifications will take one to two years.