ebXML - Terminology
This chapter provides the definition of most of the terms used in ebXML specifications. You must have seen many of them in the previous chapters and we are repeating them here just for your reference.
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A business process is something that a business does, such as buying computer parts or selling a professional service. It involves the exchange of information between two or more trading partners in some predictable way.
A business process is formally described by the Business Process Specification Schema (a W3C XML Schema and also a DTD). It may also be modeled in UML.
Collaboration Protocol Profile (CPP)
A CPP provides all the necessary information about how a particular trading partner intends to do electronic business. A CPP is stored in ebXML registry with a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) and business partners can find each other's CPP through registry.
A business collaboration is a choreographed set of business transaction activities, in which two trading partners exchange documents.
A business transaction is the atomic level of work in a business process. It either succeeds or fails completely.
Choreography is expressed in terms of states and the transitions between them. A business activity is known as an abstract state, with business collaborations and business transaction activities known as concrete states. Choreography is described in the ebXML business process specification schema using activity diagram concepts such as start state, completion state, etc.
Business documents are composed of business information objects, or smaller chunks of information that have been previously identified.
Trading Partner Agreement (TPA)
A trading partner agreement is a contract defining both the legal terms and conditions and the technical specifications for both partners in a trading relationship. A CPA is derived from the CPP's of trading partners.
ebXML Business Process Specification Schema (BPSS)
An ebXML BPSS defines an XML document that describes how an organization conducts its business. It is a declaration of the partners, roles, collaborations, choreography, and business document exchanges that make up a business process.
Registry and Repository
An ebXML registry serves as the index and application gateway for a repository to the outside world, and it contains the API that governs how parties interact with the repository.
A core component is a basic, reusable building block that contains information representing a business concept.Some examples of core components for parts of a purchase order are "Date of Purchase Order," "Sales Tax," and "Total Amount."
Business messages are the actual information communicated as part of a business transaction. A message contains multiple layers. At the outside layer, an actual communication protocol must be used (such as HTTP or SMTP). SOAP is an ebXML recommendation as an envelope for a message "payload." Other layers may deal with encryption or authentication.
A set of standard "parts" that may be used in larger ebXML elements. For example, core processes may be referenced by business processes.
Message Service Interface (MSI)
MSI is an application interface for business applications to invoke ebXML message handler functionality for sending and receiving messages. Similar to ODBC, JDBC, and other abstract service interfaces, it exposes the message handler functionality as a defined set of APIs for business application developers.
Message Service Handler (MSH)
An MHS includes has basic services such as ebXML message header processing, ebXML message header parsing, security services, reliable messaging services, message packing, and error handling.
Message Transport Interface (MTI)
MTI is designed to send ebXML messages over a variety of network and application-level communication protocols. The transport interface transforms ebXML specific data to other forms carried by network services and protocols. It involves a complete exchange between two parties, piggybacking on top of existing protocols in the network stack.