ebXML Sets Standard for Electronic Trading Partner Agreements

Boston, MA, USA and Geneva, Switzerland;
September 5, 2000
ebXML, a joint initiative of the United
Nations/CEFACT and OASIS, announced plans to standardize electronic
contracts and trading partnerships using XML. The newly formed
ebXML Trading-Partners Project Team will develop a specification
to define the technical parameters of trading partner profiles
and agreements (TPA). The Trading-Partners team will complement
other ebXML project teams working to develop an open XML-based
infrastructure that will enable business information to be
exchanged consistently on a global basis.

Standardizing on a specification for the electronic
trading partner agreement is essential to widespread e-commerce,
said Klaus-Dieter Naujok of NextERA Interactive, chair of
ebXML and member of the UN/CEFACT Steering Committee. TPAs
capture critical information upon which organizations must
agree in order for their applications and business processes
to communicate. TPA will be a key element for interoperability
among B2B server implementations.

Martin W. Sachs of IBM, leader
of the ebXML Trading-Partners Project Team, defines an electronic
TPA as an XML document that records specific technology parameters
for conducting electronic business. Partner identification,
communications protocol, security for message exchanges (including
encryption, authentication, and non-repudiation), definition
of requests and responses are all part of a typical TPA.

Much of the new project team's initial focus
will be based on previously proposed OASIS technical work
surrounding tpaML (the Trading Partners Agreement Markup Language).
tpaML was originally developed by IBM.

OASIS recognizes the expediency of continuing
its tpaML development within the ebXML framework, explained
IBM's Robert S. Sutor, Ph.D., Vice Chair of ebXML and Chair
of the OASIS Board of Directors. ebXML and tpaML are a natural
fit. Accomplishments of other ebXML project teams will directly
feed into the TPA effort, and the final outcome will be an
integrated, interoperable set of ebXML standards.

Participation in ebXML is open and representatives
from all industries are invited to contribute to the development
of the initiative.

About ebXML

The Electronic Business XML
Initiative (www.ebxml.org) is a worldwide project to standardize
the exchange of electronic business data. Sponsored by the
UN/CEFACT and OASIS, ebXML will lower the barrier-of-entry
to electronic business and facilitate trade, particularly
for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and developing
nations. ebXML is supported by hundreds of industry consortia,
standards bodies and companies from around the world.


UN/CEFACT (www.uncefact.org)
is the United Nations body whose mandate covers worldwide
policy and technical development in the area of trade facilitation
and electronic business. Headquartered in Geneva, it has developed
and promoted many tools for the facilitation of global business
processes including UN/EDIFACT, the international EDI standard.
Its current work programme includes such topics as Simpl-edi
and Object Oriented EDI and it strongly supports the development
and implementation of open, interoperable global standards
and specifications for electronic business.


OASIS (http://www.oasis-open.org)
is the world's largest independent, non-profit organization
dedicated to the standardization of XML applications. OASIS
sponsors include Adobe Systems, Aerospatiale, AND Data Solutions,
Arbortext, Auto-trol Technology, B-Bop Associates, BEA Systems,
Bentley Systems, Boeing, Bowstreet, Bridge, BroadVision, Chrystal
Software, Cohesia, Commerce One, Corel, DataChannel, Dataloom,
DMSi, Documentum, Dun & Bradstreet, eCredit.com, Enigma,
eXcelon, Extensibility, Extricity Software, First Call, IBM,
InformIT, Informix, Interwoven, IPNet Solutions, ISOGEN, ITEDO, JetForm,
Keyfile, Logistics Management Institute, Mercator Software,
Micrografx, Microsoft,
Netfish, NextPage, NII Enterprise Promotion Association, Nimble
Technology, NIST, Oracle Corporation, Pick Systems, ProNet
Technology, Reuters, Sabre, SAP, Sequoia Software, SoftQuad,
Software AG, STEP, StreamServe, Sun Microsystems, Synth-Bank,
Visa, Wavo, Webb Interactive Services, webMethods, Whitehill
Technologies, Xerox, XMLSolutions and XyEnterprise.#

For more information:

Carol Geyer
Media Relations Consultant
+1 978.667.5115 x209