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Subject: [ubl-cefact] UBL response to the UN/CEFACT proposal

UN/CEFACT proposes "that the OASIS UBL TC and UN/CEFACT core
component and related syntax activities be incorporated into the
work plan of the UN/CEFACT Applied Technologies Group (ATG)."  In
its larger outlines, this is not unlike the proposal made by UBL
proponents immediately following the Vienna ebXML meeting in May
2001.  But after more than a year of development, UBL is far
beyond the startup phase, and this has to be recognized in any
discussion of how the work is to be continued.

We should begin by observing some basic points of agreement.

 - We support the adoption of ebXML and we agree that the delivery
   of a single internationally recognized ebXML payload format
   will greatly accelerate that adoption.  The UBL effort began
   with the desire to provide this standard ebXML format.

 - We support the definition of a standard semantic registry for
   electronic commerce, and we agree that UN/CEFACT is the
   appropriate owner of that registry.

 - We consider UN/CEFACT to be an appropriate international
   standards body for the maintenance of UBL.

 - We favor the transfer of UBL to UN/CEFACT ATG if such a
   transfer can be accomplished in a way that does not slow down
   the creation of the first set of UBL deliverables and that
   endorses the UBL work products as UN/CEFACT technical

After much discussion, the team appointed by the OASIS UBL TC to
negotiate with UN/CEFACT representatives has formulated the
following plan to effect the transfer of UBL to UN/CEFACT with
what we hope is a minimum of disruption to our delivery schedule.

 - Work on UBL Naming and Design Rules and Library Content will
   continue in the current OASIS organizational structure until
   completion and OASIS standardization of version 1.0 of the
   following items of work: the UBL Naming and Design Rules, the
   UBL component library, and an initial set of UBL document
   schemas.  We are currently estimating completion of these work
   items in 2Q2003 and OASIS standardization in 3Q2003.  It is our
   intention to complete these items in time to become ATG items
   of work at the meeting of the UN/CEFACT Forum in September

 - To maximize the utility of UBL 1.0 and minimize changes wrought
   by subsequent harmonization efforts in UN/CEFACT, UN/CEFACT
   will commit to a formal review of the UBL component library and
   the initial set of UBL schemas during the review cycle
   currently planned to begin in January 2003 and end in March
   2003.  In furtherance of this goal, all relevant TBG domain
   groups will be requested to appoint liaisons to the UBL Liaison
   Subcommittee in order to coordinate the organized review of UBL
   draft deliverables.

 - To promote alignment with common design principles, UN/CEFACT
   will commit to a formal review of the UBL Naming and Design
   Rules during the review period from January through March of
   2003, conveying input through the already existing liaison from
   ATG to UBL.  We expect the UBL NDR to achieve the status of
   Committee Specification in early 2Q2003, making it available
   for use in UN/CEFACT at that time.

 - To promote UN/CEFACT input to the initial set of UBL schemas,
   the UBL TC will request a temporary fee-waived individual OASIS
   membership for any voting member of UN/CEFACT ATG or TBG who
   requests direct participation in the UBL work.

 - Work on UBL Context Methodology and Context Drivers will
   continue for the duration of the schema work in order to
   provide guidance for certain detailed design decisions with a
   dependency on the later development of a completed Context

 - Upon completion of the initial set of deliverables and their
   publication as OASIS standards, OASIS will grant UN/CEFACT an
   unlimited, perpetual, royalty-free license to continue
   development of the standards and to publish works derived from
   those standards as UN/CEFACT specifications.

 - Ownership of the UBL name and logo as applied to version 1.0
   will remain with OASIS; ownership of the UBL name and logo as
   applied to later versions of the work will vest in UN/CEFACT.

 - UBL will be formally recognized by both OASIS and UN/CEFACT as
   the preferred XML payload syntax for ebXML.

 - The plan outlined above will become effective when approved by
   UN/CEFACT, OASIS, and the OASIS UBL Technical Committee.

This plan has what we believe to be the following advantages:

 - It fulfills all obligations to current UBL stakeholders,
   including the organizations that have contributed resources to
   UBL, the organizations that have appointed liaisons to the UBL
   effort, and OASIS itself.

 - It delivers on promises made to the world business community
   over the last year and a half, including companies and
   organizations that have begun building products based on the
   expectation of UBL delivery within the stated timeframe.

 - It maintains momentum for the concept of an internationally
   standardized XML business payload format, a concept that has
   been established through numerous presentations and media
   exposure, thus greatly facilitating both the adoption of ebXML
   and the future maintenance of a single XML payload standard by

 - It maintains the participation of experts currently engaged in
   the work under the terms and conditions they originally agreed
   to and preserves the buy-in that UBL has gained from major
   industry data exchange organizations, while at the same time
   establishing, through immediate joint agreement, a clear
   direction for future development calculated to secure the
   participation of additional resources from the international
   business community and general acceptance of UBL as the format
   that will be progressed in UN/CEFACT.

 - It avoids near-term logistical problems that would be created
   by requiring CC and UBL participants to engage in both efforts
   on the same meeting schedule.

 - It sets aside difficult and time-consuming process revision
   issues that would have to be resolved if the work were
   transferred to UN/CEFACT in mid-cycle.

 - It avoids the legal complications that would attend the
   transferral of the intellectual property represented by UBL in

 - It allows OASIS to realize a concrete return on its
   considerable investment in UBL.

 - It preserves the extensive subcommittee structure and
   leadership that the UBL TC has developed to carry out its
   objectives for long enough to complete the initial work on
   schedule, while leaving to UN/CEFACT the choice of organization
   and leadership appropriate to the further evolution of the

 - It maintains, for the time being, OASIS infrastructure services
   (mailing lists, archives, web sites, publicity, process
   administration, and conference organization) that UN/CEFACT
   does not currently appear to be in a position to provide.

 - It maintains commitments by current participants to provide
   meeting and phone conference facilities.

 - It rapidly establishes an initial standard XML payload syntax
   to "prime the pump" for ebXML adoption without restricting
   UN/CEFACT's ability to evolve the standard in whatever
   direction shall seem to it most advisable.

 - It rapidly provides a comprehensive set of XML Naming and
   Design rules optimized for UN/CEFACT Core Components.  These
   design rules have been created by a combination of XML and Core
   Component Technical experts and provide UN/CEFACT with a unique
   opportunity to both jumpstart its XML development efforts and
   ensure that future XML schema development is consistent with
   UBL schemas.

By ensuring the timely delivery of an initial set of standard
ebXML schemas within a framework that clearly gives UN/CEFACT
authority over the long-term direction of the work, we believe
that this plan captures the intent of both groups in a way that
will best advance the cause of a single global marketplace based
on international standards.

Jon Bosak
For the UBL negotiating team:

   Karl Best
   Jon Bosak
   Mark Crawford
   Arofan Gregory
   Stig Korsgaard   
   Lisa Seaburg
   Gunther Stuhec

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