OASIS announced that IBM has submitted its Trading Partner Agreement Markup Language (tpaML) for standardization within the OASIS XML.ORG initiative. Developed by IBM, the tpaML specification uses XML to define and implement electronic contracts. The foundation of tpaML is the Trading Partner Agreement (TPA), which defines how trading partners will interact at the transport, document exchange and business protocol layers. A TPA contains the general contract terms and conditions, participant roles (buyers, sellers), communication and security protocols and business processes, (valid actions, sequencing rules, etc.). XML-based TPA documents capture the essential information upon which trading partners must agree in order for their applications and business processes to communicate. tpaML is a complementary technology to ebXML, the Electronic Business XML initiative, which is a joint effort of the United Nations/CEFACT and OASIS to establish a global framework for the exchange of electronic business data. Multiple software vendors and solution providers including CommerceQuest, DataChannel, Extricity, Geac/JBA, Harbinger, JDA, Infinium, Intelisys, Mincom, PeopleSoft, Sterling Commerce and Synquest have endorsed tpaML for potential use with their customers. OASIS welcomes representatives from all industries to join the consortium and help evolve tpaML as an essential component of B-2-B e-business. The tpaML specification is posted for public access on www.ibm.com/developer/xml. www.oasis-open.org

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