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RE: Edi complexity, does ebxml really reduce it?

  • To: <bry@i...>,<xml-dev@l...>
  • Subject: RE: Edi complexity, does ebxml really reduce it?
  • From: "Dale Moberg" <dmoberg@c...>
  • Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 10:36:37 -0700
  • Thread-index: AcRotyByqgG8brkaTKyz7u5DzoTGOwARNtzA
  • Thread-topic: Edi complexity, does ebxml really reduce it?

edi first pass rite

>From: bry@i... [mailto:bry@i...] 
> Basically my understanding is that ebxml just wrapped the edi model in
xml, so I have a hard time seeing how it 
> could be simpler. 

There was originally some hope that ebXML specifications could be used
to produce a solution more attractive to small and medium sized
businesses that would be less trouble to use. Probably this would
require forms-based applications, with options to save in desktop
formats ( .txt, .xml, .csv, .xls, etc). Actually ebXML ended up defining
functionality beyond what is usually defined by EDI standards. So from
that standpoint, it is not simpler. Whether it promotes simpler
solutions for end users is debatable, but there are venders pursuing
simplified ways to make use of ebXML under the covers (of forms) so that
the complexity of ebXML is largely concealed from end users. I think it
is safe to say that it is probably not simpler for implementers (by
implementers, I mean the software venders or open source providers, not
the end-user deployers).

> Also am wondering about CPAs in Ebxml, it strikes me that this process
could actually be somewhat onerous, does
> anyone know of any case studies etc. on problems with making CPAs
between two companies?

I like your understated scepticism.

There are actually a number of distinct processes that can be adopted
when using CPPA formats and techniques. For example, a large company may
specify the CPA template(s) it wishes its community to use. That
template may be mostly filled in using a form accessible to community
members. In such cases, no matching up of capabilities or selection of
preferences is needed. You are of course right to indicate that if
matching capabilities or selecting preferences gets involved, CPA
formation and negotiation can benefit from human assistance at various
points. A dissertation just completed by Sacha Schlegel documents a
number of the "tricky points" that arise in dealing with the problem in
a fairly general way. But CPPA is probably less general than some other
approaches within the policy, preference, constraints, capabilities
area. It is to be expected that these more general approaches will also
be "somewhat onerous." (WSPL, XACML, and Son-of-WS-Policy to mention the
obvious ones.) And I haven't yet mentioned the RDF/OWL based approaches
that might also be applicable in these areas. The first pass using RDF
can be expected to be a bit onerous as well.


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