UBL stands for Universal Business Language. Jon Bosak is known as “the father of XML.” His vision on how XML can serve as the base for business interactions:
Bosak suggests replacing traditional EDI with a multi-layer package, built on standards at all levels:
transport – the Internet
a document-centric architecture – XML
royalty-free XML B2B tag set – UBL
royalty-free B2B infrastructure – ebXML
royalty-free office productivity format – OpenOffice
Bosak described the combination of open source software and open standards as critical to making this project feasible – “Open source may be the way to get this off the ground, enabling later commercial possibilities.”
Bosak noted several key advantages of ebXML for open source development, particularly its exemption from an IBM patent on electronic trading partner agreements, courtesy of the UN/CEFACT and OASIS involvement in the development process. Combined with the similarly royalty-free Universal Business Language (UBL), a vocabulary for describing business documents, developers can create standard business communications systems without concerns over intellectual property. Some tools, notably freebxml, are already available.
These low-cost systems can then make it possible for small businesses to join global trade networks and their cheaper transaction costs without the up-front investment of EDI. Bosak hopes that a more open global trading network will mean a more equitable globe, bringing SGML’s social values to many more people than ever worked with SGML.
This is the approach we need to take for our eBusiness suite in Emergic.