Internet News: ebXML vs. Web Services?

This article by Clint Boulton attempts to figure out the intersection between ebXML and web services. But are they really in conflict?

Giga Information Group analyst Uttam Narsu had this to say when apprised of the opinions expressed in this article:

“I’m reminded of the various blind men who examine parts of an elephant and conclude that it’s variously: a snake, a rope or two swords. The problem is also akin to the argument that software is needlessly complex and that “each Microsoft Word user only uses 10 percent of the features.” While that may be true, each user likely uses a *different* 10 percent subset of the features. In fact, I see the use cases as being quite distinct and also encompassing the differences between document-centric message exchange, application integration (typically asynchronous and at 4 different levels– data, logic, presentation and process) and, lastly, pure synchronous RPC-style interchanges.”

How does Narsu see the issue shaking out?

“So I see adoption of ebXML by the top tier of companies (95 percent of Fortune 1000 who are using ebXML, but only 2 percent of SMEs), and Web Services by almost everyone else. Each will have its place, and bridges will be built to insure interoperability– that path was laid when ebXML adopted SOAP 1.1 with Attachments as a base format for exchange). Adoption of ebXML by the core EDI using community seems to be a foregone conclusion (as long as UBL succeeds, and quickly). That’s because the parallel work ANSI ASC X12 did was *abandoned* in 1999 with the advent of ebXML. UBL is the likely realization of the ebXML business components, so in the long term, I imagine it will be the agreed upon standard.”

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