United Nations and OASIS Join Forces to Produce

 Global XML Framework for Electronic Business

(Geneva, Switzerland / Boston, Mass. USA   - 15 September 1999)


The United Nations body for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT) and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) have joined forces to initiate a worldwide project to standardize XML (extensible markup language) business specifications.  UN/CEFACT and OASIS have established the Electronic Business XML Working Group to develop a technical framework that will enable XML  to be used in a consistent manner for exchanging  all electronic business data.  Industry groups currently working on XML specifications will participate in the 18-month project.  Results of the Electronic Business XML Working Group will be placed in the public domain on XML.org. and uncefact.org


OASIS President, Bill Smith (Sun Microsystems) explains,   "To be effective for global business, it is vital that XML specifications are based on a common framework.  Because that  framework does not yet exist,  there are many--often competing--efforts under way worldwide. This new Electronic Business XML Working Group will end the confusion and duplication of effort that currently exists".


Ray Walker, Chairman of the UN/CEFACT Steering Group adds, "This is good news especially for small and medium-sized companies, developing countries and economies in transition.  In the long term, this initiative will contribute to the growth of world trade."


Carol Cosgrove-Sacks, Director, Trade Division, UN/ECE said Athe opportunities for business development that can result in matching the existing EDI technology with XML are very exciting. By incorporating the new technique into its existing operations, companies will be able to offer a more coherent and efficient service to their customers. The aim of this significant development is to enable large and small international supply chains to be linked to the Internet in an innovative way@.


The Electronic Business XML Working Group will be led by Klaus-Dieter Naujok of the Harbinger Corporation, a senior member of the UN/CEFACT Steering Committee, and Robert S. Sutor of IBM,  Chief Strategy Officer of OASIS.


Editor=s Notes

(Extensible Markup Language) offers exciting new opportunities for the exchange of business data, be that application-to-application, application-to-person or person-to-application.  Structural and semantic information that can be added with XML allows computers to do a great deal of processing on the spot.  The combination of more efficient processing, more accurate searching and more flexible linking is set to revolutionize business on the Web.


OASIS (www.oasis-open.org) is a non-profit, international consortium dedicated solely to product-independent data and content interchange. Focusing on product interoperability, OASIS embraces the complete spectrum of structured information standards including XML, SGML and CGM.  OASIS operates XML.org (www.xml.org), the first global XML industry portal featuring the XML.org Registry and Repository that offers automated public access to XML schemas for electronic commerce, business-to-business transactions, and tools and application interoperability.  OASIS sponsors include Adobe Systems, AND-USA, Arbortext, Bentley Systems, Boeing, Chrystal Software, Compaq, DataChannel, DMSi, Documentum, Dun & Bradstreet, Enigma, Extricity Software, GCA, IBM, Inso, InterCAP, Interleaf, Interwoven, ISOGEN, ITEDO, Keyfile, Larson Software, Microsoft, NextPage, NIST, Object Design, POET Software, Reed Technology, Reuters, Sabre, SoftQuad, Software AG, STEP, Sun Microsystems, Synthbank, System Development, Wavo, Xerox, XyEnterprise and Zeh Graphics Systems.




For more information: Carol Geyer, Program Manager, OASIS, +1.412.963.1479, geyer@oasis-open.org or Hans Hansell, Chief,  UN/CEFACT Secretariat, +41 22 917 2457 Hans.Hansell@unece.org