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Subject: Fw: European group chooses UBL for cross-border procurement standard


European group chooses UBL for cross-border procurement standard

BY Brian Robinson
Published on Jan. 24, 2007

A group of Northern European countries has chosen a recently
ratified version of the Universal Business Language (UBL) as the
basis for cross-border electronic procurement transactions, with a
view to making it the anchor of the European Unionís eProcurement

The Northern European Subset (NES) chose UBL 2.0, approved by
members of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured
Information Standards last month, as the only specification that
currently fits the need for an Extensible Markup Language-based
standard that covers the entire range of online procurement needs
from catalog to invoice.

The NES countries -- Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and
Finland, with some contribution from the United Kingdom Ė are
developing a northern European strain of the UBL 2.0 standard. The
final version is expected by the end of February.

Denmark in particular has been a pioneer in XML-based procurement
and in the use of the UBL standard. The Danish government expects
to install a major service-oriented electronic commerce network
nationwide by the end of this year to replace its current
proprietary Electronic Data Interchange value-added network.

Thereís been a Danish version of UBL since early 2005, and
companies that sell goods and services to public institutions in
the country have had to use the standard since then.

"In Denmark, we see UBL 2.0 as a backbone for the future of
eProcurement, and we have already seen the first real [enterprise
resource planning] implementation of the Danish customization of
UBL 2.0," Marie Munk, deputy director general of the Danish
National IT and Telecom Agency, said at last monthís UBL 2.0

NES sees UBL as a steppingstone to a unified eProcurement standard
within the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and
Electronic Business organization, and as the basis for a unified
EU eProcurement standard.

To that end, itís invited other European countries to join NES and
intends to hold a workshop Feb. 15 in Brussels to inform other
countries about its work.

Such a standard will be needed if the EU is to succeed in
implementing its plans for a common eProcurement infrastructure by
the end of 2010. The current road map calls for specifications for
the platform to be finalized in the second half of 2009.

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