The organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Systems last week approved the UBL 1.0 beta for public implementation testing.
Jon Bosak, chairman of the Universal Business Language technical committee at OASIS and a distinguished engineer and XML architect at Sun Microsystems Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., said the UBL 1.0 beta package is intended to provide the specifications needed to test UBL implementations before his committee decides whether to recommend it to OASIS for standardization.
UBL is an international effort to define a royalty-free library of standard electronic business documents based on XML, Bosak said.
The implementation testing phase began last month and will end in February, when the UBL TC will hold its next meeting during the week of Feb. 23 in Washington. The UBL TC will incorporate the results of implementation testing through its recently formed implementation subcommittee.
Bosak said the UBL TC plans to submit UBL 1.0 to OASIS for standardization in April or May. Upon approval by OASIS, the group will push the UBL specification through to the International Organization of Standards for recognition as an international standard.
In addition to the implementation panel, other new subcommittees include the code list, the Japanese localization and the Chinese subcommittees.
"The fact that you can use XML to create an unlimited number of markup languages leads some people to think that the purpose of XML is, in fact, to create an unlimited number of markup languages," Bosak said. "But an unlimited number of languages would get us nowhere.
"The purpose of XML is to give groups of experts what they need to define a relatively small number of markup languages, each one designed to be the standard language for a given problem space. Its only through semantic standardization that you can get interoperability. UBL is intended to be the starting point for a standard markup language for basic business documents," Bosak said.
In addition to the UBL 1.0 beta, the OASIS TC has released the UBL data model, UBL XSD (XML Schema Definition) component library (consisting of 240 data elements), UBL XSD document schemas, XML example instances, Unified Modeling Language class diagrams and more.