ebXML - Core Components


"A Core Component captures information about a real world business concept, and relationships between that concept and other business concepts. A Core Component can be either an individual piece of business information, or a family of business information pieces. It is core because it occurs in many different areas of industry/business information exchange"

...Definition form xbXML simplified by Eric Chiu

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.

In general, core components are used in many different domains, industries, and business processes. In the ebXML environment, core components are the building blocks for XML semantics and business vocabulary that are used in messages and documents.

From a specific business document in a business process, we can refer to a core component, which holds a minimal set of e-business information. If the business processes are the verbs in e-business terms, the core components represent the nouns and adjectives.

A core component can be used across several business sectors, but it also can become context-specific to a business domain, such as an individual industry area.

A core component works with a registry, since it is storable and retrievable using a standard ebXML registry. A central core component library serves as a reference document for common business practices across industry business processes.

Tools and References

The list of essential references and tools for core components provided by ebXML for the business and technical analyst is as follows:

  • Context and the Re-usability of Core Components: This document contains context definitions, the sources of classification value lists, and a pictorial model depicting the relationships of core component and context descriptor.

  • Catalog of Context Drivers: This document provides a catalog of context drivers.

  • Document Assembly and Context Rules: This describes the procedures and schemas for assembling documents using contextually driven core components.

  • Core Components Dictionary: This document is divided into sections. Each section begins with the information on the applicable category and core component type.

  • Core Components Editor and Browser: These tools help analysts browse existing core components and integrate them to define the format of the XML messages exchanged between trading partners and to properly define and apply the context rules.

Core Components Examples:

  • Core component A:

    • Vendor (Industry1)
    • Manufacturer (Industry 2)
    • Supplier (Industry 3)
  • Core component B:

    • Distributor (Industry 1)
    • Wholesaler (Industry 2)
    • Merchant (Industry 3)
  • Core component C:

    • Store (Industry 1)
    • Outlet (Industry 2)
    • Retailer (Industry 3)


Core Components are -

  • Uniquely identifiable.
  • Reusable low-level data structures
    • -e.g., party, address, phone, date, currency
    • -Context-sensitive
  • Used to define business process and information models.
  • Facilitates interoperability between disparate systems.
  • A core component in ebXML can contain another core component.