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The Promise of XML

When the Extensible Markup Language or XML came along, many advocates of business data exchange saw it as a simple yet powerful new technology tool to help bring the benefits of EDI to smaller enterprises that had previously been cut off from this technology. Its foundation on the Web, the wide availability of inexpensive tools, and its overall flexibility gave XML a ton of potential for achieving this dream.

To make that dream a reality, however, companies soon realized that they needed more than just technology in the shape of a markup language. They need a more comprehensive architecture of services and capabilities, mixed with a way of interchanging business terminology across industries, yet one that still makes e-business inexpensive and easy to operate. This tall order outlines the mission of the Electronic Business XML or ebXML initiative, an undertaking that has drawn the strong support of the industry groups and business consortia as diverse as automobile manufacturing, travel, and grocery retailing, as well as the legacy EDI standards organizations.

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