Industry Consortia Gather to Collaborate on Specification Development: HR-XML, OASIS, OMG™, UN/CEFACT and XBRL.org Host Interoperability Summit Series

Boston, MA, USA; 14 August 2001 -- Standards groups and consortia from around the world will gather in Orlando, Florida, 6-7 December 2001 for the Interoperability Summit, the first in a series of inter-consortia meetings aimed at identifying common ground and coordinating development of electronic business specifications. Hosted by HR-XML, OASIS, Object Management Group (OMG), UN/CEFACT and XBRL.org, the Interoperability Summit Series will identify intersections between major horizontal and vertical groups in order to promote acceptance of common models and approaches.

"Duplication of effort and overlap of specifications are major deterrents to interoperability," said Patrick Gannon, president and chief executive officer of OASIS. "We believe that if everyone communicates and collaborates on common issues, we'll all be more productive in achieving our own specific goals. The summit series will provide a forum to identify and coordinate the work that affects us all."

"Interoperability across platforms, languages and deployment technologies is of critical importance to CIOs today," said Dr. Richard Soley, chairman and chief executive officer of the OMG. "OMG's Model Driven Architecture™ is specifically designed to attain that goal, and lack of agreement on vertical-market models is the major roadblock to achieving the goal. OMG is proud to be one of the sponsors of the Interoperability Summit event and to act as one of the hosts for this first meeting."

Each Summit in the series will focus on a specific modeling topic or business domain. The first meeting will target Human Resources (HR) management, with future summits dedicated to other wide-reaching, horizontal business functions. A second Summit on Procurement is planned for 2002.

"Human resources is an excellent starting point for the Interoperability Summit Series, since HR shares many common components and has many external interaction points and dependencies with other standards efforts," said Chuck Allen, director of HR-XML Consortium.

Allen cited an example of kind of overlap the Summit is targeting. "Recently, the National Association of Purchasing Managers (NAPM) decided to create an XML specification for the procurement of temporary staffing. That very same week, HR-XML announced a draft of our specification for temporary staffing. While it's clear both groups need to create specifications based on the unique needs of their applications, it is also obvious some of the objects, processes and models involved could be common to both. The Interoperability Summit will help us all identify this kind of overlap, so we can devote our resources to solving domain-specific requirements."

Capt. Valerie Carpenter, USN program manager of the DIMHRS project (a Department of Defense-wide military personnel system) agreed. "The lack of cross domain standards has long been an obstacle to meaningful interoperability."

The Interoperability Summit is open to all industry groups, standards bodies and consortia that have a vested interest in the modeling topic. In addition to HR-XML, OASIS, OMG, UN/CEFACT and XBRL.org, the Orlando meeting is expected to attract representatives from ACORD, BASDA, Health Level Seven, IDEAlliance, IFX, IMS Global Learning Consortium, Open Applications Group and the NAPM XML Initiative. Other groups are welcome and may register at http://www.omg.org/interop/.

"The opportunity to agree on cross-consortia models benefits everyone," added Klaus-Dieter Naujok of IONA, member of the UN/CEFACT Steering Group. "Participants in the Interoperability Summit Series will learn and share information about modeling tools, methodologies and approaches to meta-data management. The Summit will give us all the opportunity to disseminate information about our own models and modeling goals and work proactively with other consortia representatives to ensure capability across industries and business functions."

"XBRL.org is about bringing together the stakeholders in areas of business reporting and helping bridge interoperability of business data between disparate systems and speed the flow of information to the capital markets. Supporting integration between other XML efforts and XBRL.org expertise in the accounting and investment fields can only help make this happen with far greater impact," said Louis Matherne, co-chair of the XBRL.org steering committee.

About HR-XML
HR-XML (http://www.hr-xml.org) is a global, independent, non-profit consortium dedicated to enabling e-commerce and inter-company exchange of human resources (HR) data worldwide. The work of the Consortium centers on the development and promotion of standardized XML vocabularies for HR. HR-XML's current efforts are focused on standards for staffing and recruiting, compensation and benefits, training and work force management. HR-XML is represented by its membership in 17 countries.

About OASIS
OASIS (http://www.oasis-open.org) is the international, not-for-profit consortium that advances electronic business by promoting open, collaborative development of interoperability specifications. With the United Nations, OASIS sponsors ebXML, a global framework for electronic business data exchange. OASIS operates XML.ORG, the non-commercial portal that delivers information on the use of XML in industry. The XML.ORG Registry provides an open community clearinghouse for distributing and locating XML application schemas, vocabularies and related documents. OASIS serves as the home for industry groups interested in developing XML specifications. OASIS technical work embraces conformance, security, business transactions, repositories and other interoperability issues.

About OMG
With well-established standards covering software from design, through development, to deployment and maintenance, the Object Management Group (OMG) supports a full-lifecycle approach to enterprise integration. Based on the established Object Management Architecture (OMA) and emerging Model Driven Architecture (MDA), OMG's standards cover application design and implementation. OMG's Modeling standards include the UML (Unified Modeling Language) and CWM (Common Warehouse Metamodel). CORBA, the Common Object Request Broker Architecture, is OMG's standard open platform. OMG also issues the CORBAservices and a rapidly-growing set of industry-specific standards in vertical markets including healthcare, telecommunications, biotechnology, transportation and a dozen other areas. The OMG is headquartered in Needham, MA, USA, with an office in Tokyo, Japan as well as international marketing offices in the UK and Germany, along with a U.S. government representative in Washington, DC.

About UN/CEFACT
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.

About XBRL.org
XBRL.org (www.xbrl.org) is an international group developing the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), an XML-based framework for the preparation and exchange of business reports and data. The initial goal of XBRL is to provide an XML-based framework that the global business information supply chain will use to create, exchange, and analyze financial reporting information including, but not limited to, regulatory filings such as annual and quarterly financial statements, general ledger information, and audit schedules.

For more information:
Carol Geyer
Director of Communications
OASIS
carol.geyer@oasis-open.org
+1 978.667.5115 x209