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Subject: Re: [ubl-comment] To define propietary business documents

Hi Tim,

Thanks indeed for your suggestions. There is little support I can seek to
apply UBL at this early stage.

I try to follow very closely the UBL methodology and other CC documents
(e.g. design and naming rules). But I really couldn't get immediate
resolution from those documents.

In fact, I'm designing an XML Schema for a Dangerous Goods Manifest
that the Hong Kong Government requires shipping companies to submit.

The zip package UBL_LCSC_0p64.zip is the primary reference for my
modelling. It contains some (e.g. UndgId - UNDG number) but not all BIEs I
need to model. For other data items, such as the propietary
Shipping Agent Id that our Government uses, HK Berth Name and
Container Location, I need to do it myself. Here are some of my questions
and some difficulties:

1. How stable is the re-used types defined in the package? We may not
afford subtle changes on our defined schema from time to time if we decide
to follow and stick to the UBL/CC methodology. Also the parallel efforts
between UN/ECE CC and UBL give me two directions to follow. For example,
will UN/ECE CC work out another library, which forms a competing standard
with UBL.

2. I still have difficutlies in applying the UBL/CC methology, for example
the use of Id and Code types. (Should IMO Hazard Class use Id or Code? In
the 0p64 spreadsheet, Id is used.)

3. I can't access to the methodology (or tools) to translate BIEs to the
XML Schema. What I have is the Naming and Design Rules document.

4. The results derived from the methodology seem strange to me. For
example, I have to use VoyageId instead of VoyageNumber (a more common
business term) and PortCallDateTime instead of PortCallDate (they don't
need time). Also there are requirements to supply supplementary CCT
Components, e.g. Identification Scheme Name, whose values are not yet well
defined or standardized. Also, the resultant model gave me a much more
complicated message than a propietary methodology that I can use. The
complicated message may stop the users from adopting it.

I undestand it's only a matter of time for UBL to become stable but the
project schedule does not allow me to wait. In fact, it is an ebXML pilot
project in which I may decide whether to use the UBL/CC methodology to
design the message schema. But my difficulties really push me to use a
propietary methodology.

Dear all UBL experts, do you have any advise for me?

Thanks and Regards,


On Sun, 30 Jun 2002, Tim McGrath wrote:

> Thomas, it is very encouraging to hear that you are applying our work to
> real world applications.
> In broad terms what you are building is a context-specific extension of
> the UBL Library. The design of UBL is that you should be able to take
> the common BIEs and add these contexts as new BIEs to developed
> customized schemas. After all, a BIE is a Core Component in a specific
> context, the more context you have the more BIEs. Conetxts should be
> defined within sets of 'drivers'. To date we (via ebXML) have identified
> eight potential context drivers, these are:
> . Business Process - The business process as described using the ebXML
> Catalogue of Common Business Processes as extended by the user.
> . Product Classification - Factors influencing semantics that are the
> result of the goods or services being exchanged, handled, or paid for,
> etc. (e.g. the buying of consulting services as opposed to materials)
> . Industry Classification - Semantic influences related to the industry
> or industries of the trading partners (e.g., product identification
> schemes used in different industries).
> . Geopolitical - Geographical factors that influence business semantics
> (e.g., the structure of an address).
> . Official Constraints - Legal and governmental influences on semantics
> (e.g. hazardous materials information required by law when shipping goods).
> . Business Process Role - The actors conducting a particular business
> process, as identified in the Catalogue of Common Business Processes.
> . Supporting Role - Semantic influences related to nonpartner roles
> (e.g., data required by a third-party shipper in an order response going
> from seller to buyer.)
> . System Capabilities - This context category exists to capture the
> limitations of systems (e.g. in existing back office can only support an
> address in a certain form).
> The current UBL Library has place holders for most of these but as yet
> no population.
> In your case, it sounds to me as though you are dealing with a specific
> Business Process Role context. The theory is that you should define your
> context as attributes to the BIEs (e.g. Business Process Role value is
> "Partner = COMPANYXYZ"). A schema can then be assembled using the BIEs
> required for your context. In the next few weeks we shall be publishing
> a methodology document that attempts to formalise this process in more
> detail.
> Furthermore, UBL is also developing a context methodology engine which
> will procedurally transform schemas based on values for these context
> drivers. I suggest that someone from the UBL Context Methodology or
> Context Drivers sub-committee may be able to brief you on the current
> state of play. In fact, it may be very useful for you to provide input
> into their work as a 'use case'.
> I am afraid this does not give you an immediate resolution to your
> requirement but i hope you can keep in touch and maybe work with us on this.
> Thomas Lee wrote:
> >Dear UBL experts,
> >
> >I need to design business documents which have propietary data items for
> >
> >a specific organization. I hope to apply the UBL methodology to analyze
> >and model the documents into XML Schemas. Is it recommended or a common
> >practice to define a propietary set of CCs/BIEs (which in turn define
> >the
> >business documents that I need) from the CCs/BIEs already defined in
> >existing UBL library (translated from xCBL)? Does anyone of you have
> >similar experience to share with you? Can you recommend any materials
> >for
> >me to reference? Is there any formal modeling procedure that I can
> >follow for
> >my task?
> >
> >Regards,
> >
> >Thomas
> >
> >--
> >  Thomas Y.T. LEE
> >  Chief Technology Officer
> >  Center for E-Commerce Infrastructure Development (CECID)
> >  Department of Computer Science and Information Systems
> >  The University of Hong Kong
> >  E-mail: ytlee@csis.hku.hk  URL: http://www.cecid.hku.hk
> >  Tel: +852 22415388  Fax: +852 25474611
> >  Room 301, Chow Yei Ching Building
> >  Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong SAR, China
> >
> --
> regards
> tim mcgrath
> fremantle  western australia 6160
> phone: +618 93352228  fax: +618 93352142
> ----------------------------------------------------------------
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