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Process as Important as Product

The process for developing the ebXML specifications and technical reports became an important resource for ensuring the documents represented the needs of the user communities as well as a consensus of the participants in the exercise. Taking part in ebXML required only a visit to the ebXML Web site and signing up for one or more of the technical team mailing lists. That's all; the ebXML initiative did not levy a membership fee or require participation in the meetings held quarterly (the meetings did charge a nominal meeting fee to defray expenses). As a result, over two thousand individuals from hundreds of organizations worldwide took part in the ebXML initiative.

The ebXML initiative set a self-imposed deadline of 18 months that ended in May 2001. At that session, the ebXML sponsoring organizations, OASIS and UN/CEFACT took over direct management of the project teams, with OASIS responsible for the technical infrastructure activities and UN/CEFACT in charge of the business content groups, namely core components and business process. A joint coordination committee provides overall management of ebXML and looks after the marketing and further technical architecture development.

About this Article

Kotok and Webber are the authors of the book ebXML: The New Global Standard for Doing Business on the Internet, published in August 2001 by New Riders Publishing. The book has a separate Web site at www.ebxmlbook.com.

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