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Subject: ebXML Sets Standard for Electronic Trading Partner Agreements

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

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

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