ebXML Not Greek to RosettaNet

High tech standards group to support e-biz spec for data transfer

 Santa Ana, CA  April 26, 2001  RosettaNet, the e-business standards body for the high-tech industry, today announced its intent to support the ebXML Messaging Service Specification for the secure transfer, routing and packaging (TRP) of electronic information.

Future releases of RosettaNet's Implementation Framework (RNIF), which serves as a guide for e-business process development and implementation, will include support for the ebXML Messaging Service Specification. This move will help support interoperability across industries, according to RosettaNet.

A messaging service standard typically specifies how information or an e-business transaction is physically packaged, transferred and routed securely via the Internet. As an underlying communication protocol, a single messaging service standard can be used universally, regardless of industry or geography, to transport electronic information between trading partners.

"While RosettaNet remains committed to developing business process standards required to support the complex needs of the high technology industry, we also want to realize interoperability across all supply chains," said Jennifer Hamilton, RosettaNet CEO. "To that end, we see tremendous value in ensuring our vertical supply chain standards are supported by a horizontal, universally accepted messaging service, such as the one developed under the ebXML initiative."

RosettaNet reportedly plans subsequent announcements of cross-industry XML standards cross-industry initiatives.

ebXML was established by the United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), a body charged with facilitating international trade and developing technical solutions for electronic business. OASIS, an international not-for-profit consortium promotes the open, collaborative development of interoperability specifications based on XML.

"Both RosettaNet and OASIS have a very 'open' philosophy, and our organizations are dedicated to presenting the e-business community with a unified, universal approach, rather than a fragmented one," said Laura Walker, executive director of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Systems (OASIS). "Collaboration makes good business sense and, in the end, will provide companies with more cost-effective, highly interoperable solutions."

In support of convergence at the messaging service level, RosettaNet has formed an architecture team headed by Dr. Arvola Chan, a principal architect on loan to RosettaNet from TIBCO Software, a RosettaNet partner.

"Converging to a single messaging service is an important milestone in achieving e-commerce across all supply chains," said Chan. "Working to deliver on the promise of e-commerce on a global scale is an honor and a challenge."

"RosettaNet relies heavily on the business and technical expertise of its partners," said Paul Tearnen, RosettaNet vice president of standards management. "We are fortunate to have someone of Dr. Chan's caliber heading up this important effort on behalf of RosettaNet."

RosettaNet's stance is that so many private companies and industry organizations today are proposing different vertical and horizontal standards in support of a common e-business language that it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate among the multitude of standards activities.

"There is currently no way to easily identify the e-business process challenge each standards organization strives to resolve. More importantly, it has oftentimes been difficult for standards bodies themselves to identify where their efforts may be complementary and where they may be overlapping," said Hamilton.

RosettaNet says that it has surveyed the XML-related standards space and, as a service to the industry, has developed a conceptual model that not only defines the components required for B2B business connectivity but also enables the comparison of horizontal and vertical XML standards efforts using nine distinct layers.


For an overview of the state of e-business standards, read "The Net Best Thing" column in the June 2001 issue of iSource Business.