OASIS approves XML business documents specification

OASIS has approved Universal Business Language (UBL) 1.0 as a Committee Draft, meaning the XML business documents specification is ready for implementation in commercial and open source efforts.

Approved by the organization's Universal Business Language Technical Committee, UBL 1.0 is designed to provide a universally understood commercial syntax for legally binding business documents to work within frameworks such as ISO 15000 (ebXML). Use of UBL in XML business documents is expected to lower the costs of integration and commercial software as well as provide an easier learning curve for XML business schemas.

UBL defines a generic XML interchange format for business documents that can be extended to meet the requirements of particular industries. It features a library of XML schemas for reusable data components, such as "Address" and "Payment." These schemas can be used in a generic order-to-invoice trading context. Support also is featured for customization of UBL in specific trading relationships.

In development for six years, UBL is available for use freely. It is intended to solve problems including:

-- The maintenance of multiple versions of common business documents such as purchase orders.

-- The development and maintenance of multiple adapters to enable trading relationships across domain boundaries.

-- The existence of multiple XML formats for integrating XML business messages with back office systems.

-- Difficulties in finding trained workers and tools expenses involved in supporting an arbitrary number of XML formats.

The UBL 1.0 Committee Draft is located at http://docs.oasis-open.org/ubl/cd-UBL-1.0/.

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