Archive for the ‘Universal Business Language’ Tag

An overview of UBL

Universal Business Language (UBL) is a library of standard electronic XML business documents such as purchase orders and invoices. UBL was developed by an OASIS Technical Committee with participation from a variety of industry data standards organizations. UBL is designed to plug directly into existing business, legal, auditing, and records management practices. UBL version 2.0 was approved as an OASIS Committee Specification in October 2006 and has been publicly released.

History of UBL 2.0 

UBL 2.0 is quite mature having its roots in the EDI standards, which first appeared in the 1960s. The ANSI institute developed the X12 EDI standard in 1979; widely used in the US and at about the same time the EDIFACT standard was introduced by UN/ECE (United Nations Economic Commission). EDIFACT became an ISO standard in 1987.

The predecessors of UBL as XML standards were the CBL and xCBL standards, the latter derived from EDIFACT and X12. UBL itself is created from the ebXML Core Component library, also derived from EDI and created by OASIS and standardized as ISO 15000-5 in September 2005

UBL 2.0 is the 6th generation XML standard:

  • G1 (1Q 1998): CBL 1.0 (VEO/NIST)
  • G2 (2Q 1999): CBL 2.0 (Commerce One)
  • G3 (4Q 2000): xCBL 3.0 (Commerce One og SAP)
  • G4 (1Q 2003): UBL 0.7 (OASIS)
  • G5 (4Q 2004): UBL 1.0 (OASIS)
  • G6 (1Q 2007): UBL 2.0 (OASIS)

UBL 2.0 was ratified as an OASIS standard in December 2007. According to plans UBL 2.0 will become a UN/CEFACT specification soon and will later become a UN/CEFACT standard. UN/CEFACT will take over development of UBL 2.0.

UBL 2.0 traces its origins back to the EDI standards and other derived XML standards. In total there are 31 documents covering business needs in the phases of presale, ordering, delivery, invoicing and payment.

Overview of UBL 2.0 Documents

The UBL 2.0 Standard includes 31 documents in total, roughly grouped here below:

  • Presale: Request for quotation, Quotation, Catalog request, Catalog, Catalog deletion, Catalog item update, Catalog pricing update.
  • Ordering: Order, Order response, Simple order response, Order cancellation, Order change.
  • Delivery: Bill of lading, Certificate of origin, Forwarding instructions, Packing list, Transportation status, Way bill, Receipt advice, Despatch advice
  • Invoicing: Reminder, Invoice, Self billed invoice, Credit note, Self billed credit note, Debit note, Self billed debit note, Statement
  • Payment: Remittance advice
  • Other: Application response, Attached document

Sources: http://www.unimaze.com and Wikipedia