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Subject: FW: [ebxml-dev] ebXML starting point

 Biela is looking for answers to several questions related to ebXML, and
needs to have some of these items answered by the middle of next week.  Can
anyone help with providing some of the answers?

Kathryn Breininger
Boeing Library Services
425-965-0182 phone

-----Original Message-----
From: Wojtek Biela [mailto:wojtek@biela.pl] 
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 6:00 AM
To: ebxml-dev@lists.ebxml.org
Subject: [ebxml-dev] ebXML starting point


Please point me to a resource/other forum if this forum isn't the place to
ask those questions, but I failed to find this information on the web nor a
more appropriate mailing list to ask.

I'm a consultant/architect for a company what does retail sales through the
web, an e-commerce company, a quite large one, there are about 2 million
products and around 5-7 suppliers that supply them with products.

My problem:
Together we came to a point where we would like to embrace some more global
format, some standard while communicating with our suppliers (B2B). There is
a lot of communication going on. First of all we import various product
details, updates, stock information, prices it happens daily, then we need
to make orders for concrete products (when our customers order something on
our site). I'm interested in standardizing the latter communication (the
former too, but that's not so mission-critical for now). Up until now we've
been placing those orders using various methods that each of our suppliers
requested, one uses emails, other plain XML over HTTP, another one XML over
FTP, some other just wants us to send the data over HTTP as GET parameters.
We are now in the process of adding another supplier that uses EANCOM format
over FTP for the ordering process. This leads us to quite a chaos and that's
where some unifications ideas came in.

My question:
How should we proceed with this? I feel we need to develop things 
ourselves or use open-source frameworks. But how to approach this, I've 
read a dozen of articles on the web, and some specs from ebXML, and they 
are all very high level, none of them tell me how to start.

The infrastructure problem:
1. Repository: as for now I'm not sure I understand the ebXML registry 
idea, do we need one at all? Can't we just manually send our technical 
contracts to suppliers we want to cooperate with? If we indeed need a 
repo then do we need it all the time or just for process of establishing 
valid channels to our suppliers? In the specs I've found that the repo 
is supposed to be something global, but I haven't found any that we 
ought to use, are we supposed to start our own locally? (ebxmlrr?)
2. MQ: I see we'll need the ebMQ, that's quite obvious, we'll use Hermes 
for sure, as I understand it both parties will have to implement some 
connectors to send messages to each other through Hermes, right?

The message format problem:
1. I failed to find any spec/tutorial/example of how to express an order 
in ebXML, I found that we may use EANCOM and wrap it into a SOAP 
message, but I looked at ebXML in to run away from EANCOM in the first 
place, I found the EANCOM format more complicated than it should be in 
year 2006, I would rather see it in XML, but I didn't finds any specs on 
that. One of our supplier is using EANCOM but I don't want to force the 
others to use it. I would like to leave that as EANCOM wrapped into 
ebXML, but I'd like the new implementation of B2B interfaces that our 
suppliers will develop to use a more modern exchange format that would 
probably utilize XML.
2. I wanted to answer a few questions that by boss will ask me: is there 
in ebXML (like in EANCOM) any standardized way of ordering products 
(relates previous question), order response, invoice, credit note. Is 
there any standard way to manage internal stuff like item movement 
document (from one warehouse to another)?
3. what exactly need we implement ourselves (we do want to do it 
ourselves) to use ebXML other than installing Hermes, and maybe the 
ebmlrr repo?

Or am I just missing something, I just found ebXML a few days ago so 
there is such a possibility.
Please comment on this, point me to a resource that I missed or discuss 
this with me here, it's quite urgent as I am supposed to give a 
statement on this in the middle next week and I'm not quite sure I'm 
going to make the right assessment giving my current understanding of 
the subject

I'm sorry for such an essay but I wanted to give the best situation 
overview to cut the discussion as short as possible,.

Best regards and thank you all in advance
Wojtek Biela


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