[XML-SIG] XML Schema and e-commerce

Paul Prescod paul@prescod.net
Tue, 25 Apr 2000 14:24:58 -0500

Laurent Szyster wrote:
> XML Schema is a "standard" candidate pushed forward by Microsoft
> for it's BizTalk e-commerce initiative. Basically, MS proposes to
> build a web of e-commerce document specifications.

Actually, this idea is pretty universally embraced. All of Microsoft's
competitors in e-business are also working on e-commerce document

> So, developping e-commerce interfaces with XML Schemas and XSLT
> stylesheets will not be significantly faster or less expensive
> than doing it with traditional EDI tools.

There are sociological and technical aspects to the problem. XML does
not magically solve the sociological aspects, but they will solve
themselves because they *must be solved*. People will get together, and
will define reasonable, maintainable document structures because
e-commerce cannot afford to fail. The number of players in the EDI world
were probably numbered in the hundreds and when standardization failed
they could afford point to point solutions. They *already* had to
negotiate and pay for point to point VANs so the cost of poor
standardization was not so high. 

Now that the networking costs have evaporated, small companies are not
going to allow the lack of standards to get between them and their
customers like amazon.com and general motors. OASIS, the UN, Microsoft
or *somebody* is going to work out the standards that allow these
players into the market. They have too much money to ignore.

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for himself
It's difficult to extract sense from strings, but they're the only
communication coin we can count on. 
	- http://www.cs.yale.edu/~perlis-alan/quotes.html