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Subject: Re: [ubl-comment] UBL op70 Schemas released for public review

Hello Mounir,

We are very grateful indeed for the comments of CEN/ISSS regarding
UBL version 0p70.  As noted in the review response you enclose
from Freddy De Vos, I and several other UBL members will be in
attendance at the UN/CEFACT Forum meeting in San Diego.  I can
assure the authors of those comments that meeting with the TBG
groups to discuss UBL is very high on our list of priorities.

The disposition of the CEN/ISSS comments will be taken up after
our return from San Diego.  The procedure we have established is
to devote ourselves during the review period ending 14 April to
the collection and categorization of comments (which due to the
number of comments received is proving as big a job as we
anticipated), to order the comments for disposition during the
week following, and then to have all the comments out to the
members of the UBL TC during the week of 21 April in preparation
for the TC meeting at APACS in London 28 April through 2 May.
Since OASIS is a publicly visible process, members of CEN/ISSS can
of course monitor this work through the ubl and ubl-lcsc mail
archives, but it's unlikely that the disposition of specific
comments will occur before then.

I will, however, attempt to respond to the more general questions
posed in the CEN/ISSS comments, with the proviso that I am
speaking outside of our TC process as an individual and in the
hope that other members of the TC will supplement and clarify
these remarks if necessary.  The CEN/ISSS reviewers ask:

|  - We would like to have a proper understanding of the reasoning
|    behind the architecture of the Class Diagram and the
|    messages. Is it possible to have the business/information needs
|    of the users as well as conclusions reached by the working
|    group that developed the diagrams? Are there reports or
|    summaries of meetings that we could follow through the design
|    process?

To take the last part of this first, all of the UBL subcommittee
meetings are recorded in the archives:


If one wishes to understand the reasoning behind the current
release, however, then I think one will do better to consult the
position papers prepared by the members of the Library Content
Subcommittee and the Naming and Design Rules Subcommittee.
Current versions of those documents are linked to from the
subcommittee portals:


|  - On which base have these message been constructed? Are they
|    based on business process diagrams? On concrete examples from
|    an industry sector?

The emphasis in UBL is on industry experience rather than formal
process descriptions.  However, you will find the trading scenario
assumed by the current version quite well diagrammed in the
section of the release package titled "Initial UBL Business
Scenario."  See Section 5 under


|  - In some instances it is said that the messages have only to be
|    developed for the purpose of creating the library of business
|    information entities. In other instances, including your
|    e-mail, the messages are presented as core messages for
|    everybody i.e. to be actually used, starting point for more
|    dedicated messages, This is creating confusion and should be
|    clarified.

UBL is attempting to define both a library of reusable XML schema
components (BIEs) and a set of basic generic business document
schemas assembled from those components.  If we could produce only
one of these deliverables, then of course it would be the BIE
library.  But we believe it to be of importance to produce not
just the library but also some normative documents based upon it.

I cannot speak for the rest of the TC, but my personal interest in
the basic documents is to promote the entry of small and
medium-size businesses into electronic commerce.  It is my belief
that standardized XML versions of such universally employed
business documents as purchase orders and invoices will provide
the easiest and quickest migration path into electronic commerce
for businesses all over the world.  For this reason, I personally
find the basic trading scenarios and document examples in Section
D.5 and the formatting specifications and stylesheets in Section
D.4 the most interesting parts of the review package, even though
they are secondary deliverables from a technical standpoint.  It
is my hope that the release of version 1.0 of the basic UBL
document schemas and supporting materials later this year will
have an effect on electronic commerce not unlike the effect that
the even simpler and more limited HTML tag set had on electronic
publishing a decade ago.

Satisfying the use cases encountered in EDI will, of course,
require the standardization of a much larger number of more
specialized document schemas.  UBL is intended only as the
starting point for this work, which is expected to take place in
industry groups having the necessary domain expertise.

Best regards,

Jon Bosak
Sun Microsystems
Chair, OASIS UBL Technical Committee

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