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ebXML: The New Global Standard for Doing Business on the Internet
by Alan Kotok, David Webber, David RR Webber

Availability: Out of Print--Limited Availability

Edition: Paperback

Editorial Reviews
From Book News, Inc.
This book is about doing electronic business (e-business) and a new initiative called electronic business XML (ebXML), designed to extend the benefits of e-business. It describes how the ebXML specifications can open new markets and higher productivity, and discusses the development of the specifications under the guidance of the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards and the United Nations Center for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business. Material is written to be accessible to both business and technical readers. Kotok is a reporter and writer on technology, business, and public policy. Webber is vice-president for business development with an XML technology company.Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

Product Description:

Businesses have come to realize that information resources and technologies are key corporate assets and decisions on these matters need to be made at the highest level in an enterprise (including public sector and not-for-profit organizations). As a result, when new standards come along with the potential for expanding collaborative e-business relationships that open new opportunities, improve cash flow, and reduce costs, business people need to know about them. That is the purpose of the new book, ebXML: the New Global Standard for doing Business On the Internet. The book describes this new set of specifications not only in terms of the technology, but also in terms of their impact on the way business really work.

Most of the larger enterprises in the world have done e-business for as long as 20 years, using a technology called electronic data interchange or EDI. While these larger companies have benefited from EDI, smaller companies rarely can afford the software or the internal management EDI requires. EbXML however, takes advantage of advances in Internet technologies and the large installed base of Internet-connected systems, to encourage the development of low-priced, plug-and-play solutions that many smaller companies can afford.

The book outlines the demanding and changing business conditions that make collaborative e-business imperative for growing numbers of companies, and show how ebXML is designed to meet these conditions. It offers an executive-level overview giving the ebXML specifications in a nutshell and scenarios of how ebXML can work in practice. The book then provides fuller descriptions of ebXMLs business requirements, XML, earlier work involving XML for business data exchange, related web services specifications, and more details of the ebXML technical architecture.

ebXML: the New Global Standard for doing Business On the Internet is the first book on ebXML, and the only extended work so far, either print or electronic, written for business managers. The technical documentation provides specific guidance for systems developers, but it is the business people who make the fundamental business decisions on using technology strategically, and this book addresses those concerns.

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Product Details
  • Paperback: 331 pages
  • Publisher: Sams; 1st edition (August 23, 2001)
  • ISBN: 0735711178
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds.
  • Average Customer Review: based on 8 reviews.
  • Amazon.com Sales Rank in Books: #544,172
    (Publishers and authors: improve your sales)

Look Inside This Book
Browse Sample Pages:
Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover

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Spotlight Reviews
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful:

Clear and in-depth description of ebXLM (and XML), July 5, 2002
Reviewer:Mike Tarrani "www.tarrani.com" (Deltona, FL USA) - See all my reviews
This book doesn't purport to cover programming. Instead it is a comprehensive guide that describes ebXML from business and technical perspectives, and does so is such a clear, well written manner that it deserves 5 stars. If you're more interested in writing ebXML applications you may want "ebXML Simplified" by Eric Chiu (ISBN 0471204757), which shows how and provides sample code.

What I most like about this book is the way the authors manage to integrate the technical details with the business value of ebXML without going over the heads of business users or talking down to IT professionals. I also like the fact that the book is kept up to date on the companion web site, and the additional information that is provided there to supplement what is covered in the book.

The highlights, in my opinion, are:

Chapter 2, ebXML in a nutshell. This chapter uses clear prose and illustrations to portray ebXML, how it fits into an enterprise solution, and all of the underpinnings. If you only read these 30 pages you'll come away with a solid understanding of what it is and how it works. The next chapter, ebXML at Work, takes this material a step further with case studies that are realistic.

All of Part II, which shows how ebXML fits into the much larger XML picture (including an interesting history of XML and how it evolved from SGML). History aside, this section ties together a number of related technologies, such as Java, XML, HTML and platforms. In fact, the four legs of a table metaphor that the authors use is one of the most elegant depictions of the interrelationships I've seen. They don't stay at high level, however. The book drills down into DTDs, and also does an excellent job of describing the business processes and technical architecture in terms that anyone can grasp. I especially liked the way UML and use cases were introduced.

If you want a book that describes ebXML (and in a larger sense, XML) from business and technical perspectives this is the one to read.

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful:

Good for a business person, not so technical, September 25, 2001
Reviewer:"nee_km" (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
I was looking for the nuts and bolts of how to use the ebXML specification. This book is not for that.

However, its a good business and quasi-technical introduction to the concepts.

Good for IT Managers.

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Customer Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

poor focus, poor structure, March 29, 2004
Reviewer:Bram Desmet (Machelen a/d Leie, Oost-Vlaanderen Belgium) - See all my reviews
The main problem with the book is it's lack of focus. It's neither a book for business people trying to value ebXML, it's neither a book for technical people trying to get more detail about ebXML.
The business intro is poor. It's a collection of trends without much structure or insights.
The technical part is mainly an intro.
I was disappointed. Is mainly my problem, but I would advise future buyers to look for more focused books.

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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

very much an introduction, May 30, 2002
Reviewer:Damien Conroy (Tullamore, Offaly Ireland) - See all my reviews
I found this book nice to read but pretty poor in terms of practical information. If you're looking for material to waffle at a VC it's all here but don't expect to sit down and start writing applications after reading it...

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful:

Excellent synthesis of business and technology issues, January 17, 2002
Reviewer:Steven Forth (Vancouver, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
This book provides a nice combination of the technical underpinnings of ebXML with an explanation of the new business strategies that it makes possible.

Too many managers believe that they can conceive and implement an eBusiness strategy without understanding the underlying technologies. This hubris contributed to the recent rash of web business failures. The Kotok and Webber book does an admirable job in explaining the technical to the business mind and the business to the technical mind. And I believe that even many of the more technically inclined will benefit from the history of how ebXML came about and how it leverages but is fundamentally different from Electronic Data Interchange.

The global focus and variety of examples from both business and not-profit organizations is also a welcome widening of the normal discussion of eBusiness.

I would read this book before many of the supposedly more business savvy tomes on eBusiness.

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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful:

The first book, therefore a Must-Read, November 24, 2001
Reviewer:Bernd Eckenfels (Germany) - See all my reviews
Like we know it from Alan and David both are good in describing complicated technical stuff so you can comprehend it. Therefore this book is a good introduction into ebXML's concepts, and even in some eBusiness, EDI and Markup Background.

One will recognize David's previous work on XML/EDI in that book. Very good examples about (mainly) small companies which can benefit from electronical exchange of business information.

This book does not aim to help programmers to implement ebXML, but it does aim to understand management, business analysts, edi experts and programers the requirements of business.

Personally I missed a bit the practical help you could expect from a writer so deep into ebXML and EDI. So the examples of possible gains in business sound a bit constructed, and you always miss kind of proof, that especially ebXML is the tool to make the job done.

If you are a troubled EDI Expert and wonder, how to solve those every day problems you have with "missing informations", "ERP systems which do not have article data", or simple "expensive carriers", you might wonder yourself, where in the ebXML technology is the solution to those little details. There are a lot of good concepts, which eventuelly will help you (if they get explored in great detail).

In the book you will learn a lot about the joy of automatically setting up a ad-hoc busines, you will learn that you never again have trouble receiving foreign char sets and you will learn how detailed industrie organisations can describe common knowledge in UML. How easy business would be if.... But you might actually feel, that there is something missing, which is not described in this book.

So in short, it is a good book to get to know ebXML and therefore it is highly recommended. I especially recommend this book because it is one source to establish knowege inside your company, no matter if it is an programmer, business analyst, sales guy or the manager of information systems or business development.

As a small side note, dont know how you feel about the layout, but I needed to get used to it.

On the other hand this book is a GREAT jump-platform. Each chapter is closed with dozents of links and ressources as footnotes. Dont miss to ander off and actually follow those references.

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