Electronic Business XML

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What Does Electronic Business XML Mean?

Electronic business XML (ebXML) is a technical framework enabling extensible markup language (XML) to be utilized for consistent enterprise data exchange. Data may be of any size and within any geographical location conducting business electronically. EbXML represents a collaborative effort of two organizations:

  • The United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT)
  • The Organization for the Advancement of Structures Information Standards (OASIS)

Enterprises conduct standard business by using ebXML over the Web through exchanging business messages, conducting trade relationships, communicating data in common terms and defining and registering business processes. There are five types of ebXML standards or specifications, as follows:

  • Business Process (ebBP) OASIS Standard
  • Collaboration Protocol Profile and Agreement (CPPA) OASIS Standard
  • Messaging Services (ebMS) OASIS Standard
  • Registry Information Model OASIS Standard
  • Registry Services Specification OASIS Standard
  • Core Components Technical Specification

This term is also known as electronic business using extensible markup language.

Techopedia Explains Electronic Business XML

EbXML began as a worldwide business specification to migrate electronic data interchange (EDI) applications and messages to XML. However, businesses found EDI expensive and difficult to implement. Thus, ebXML evolved and offers low cost data exchange capability by using XML over networks or the Internet. EDI requires high-cost leased lines.

The conventions established by ebXML are available publicly. This keeps costs low while encouraging software developers to develop applications based on common ebXML message structure and syntax. Without ebXML, businesses communicate with multiple message structures or syntax resulting in difficult data exchange. Businesses will either evolve or shift back to EDI being affected by its high cost.


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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.