Universal Business Language

Type of document:
Universal Business Language (UBL) defines a generic XML interchange format for business documents. It provides a universally understood and recognized commercial syntax for legally binding business documents and to operate within a standard business framework such as ISO 15000 (ebXML) to provide a complete, standards-based infrastructure that can extend the benefits of existing EDI systems to businesses of all sizes. UBL also provides:
  • A library of XML schemas for reusable data components such as "Address," "Item," and "Payment" — the common data elements of everyday business documents.
  • A set of XML schemas for common business documents such as "Order," "Despatch Advice," and "Invoice" that are constructed from the UBL library components and can be used in generic procurement and transportation contexts.
Workflow stage:
1.2, 1.4, 1.5
Business value:

The widespread use of XML has led to the development of multiple industry-specific XML versions of such basic documents as purchase orders, shipping notices, and invoices. UBL is designed to provide a standard syntax for business documents.

UBL has the potential to deliver many benefits, including lowering the actual costs of business software by making them easier to develop, and lowering the cost of integrating the software into business environments.

UBL is designed to plug directly into existing business, legal, auditing, and records management practices, eliminating the re-keying of data in existing fax- and paper-based supply chains and providing an entry point into electronic commerce for small and medium-sized businesses.

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