Extensible Markup Language (XML) has become the alternative choice for defining data interchange formats in new eBusiness applications on the Internet in the last few years. However, EDI implementations embody substantial experience in business processes, and companies with large investments in EDI integration will expect measurable ROI for the IT investment.
XML enables more open, more flexible business transactions than EDI. XML might enable more flexible and innovative "eMarketplace" business models than EDI. The ebXML specifications provide a framework in which EDI's substantial investments in business processes can be preserved in an architecture that leverages XML's new technical capabilities.
By addressing the problem from the standpoint of business workflow, ebXML technical architecture specifications standardizes common business processes as objects. A cornerstone of ebXML architecture was allowing these objects to be reused so that ebXML could provide for the means to unify cross-industry exchanges with a single consistent dictionary of business terms.