eCo specification released: e-commerce interoperability framework
18:57, 12 Oct 1999 UTC | Edd Dumbill

CommerceNet have announced eCo, a specification intending to build bridges between proprietary electronic commerce solutions.

Supported by major software companies such as Microsoft, Sun and IBM, as well as leading banks, the specification has two parts: eCo Architecture and eCo Semantic Recommendations.

The Architecture presents a variety of levels, from "Data Element" to "Market", at which an e-commerce business can describe itself. eCo provides DTDs and Schemas to support all its specifications.

The Semantic Recommendations "describe best practices for developing XML based e-commerce documents". The recommendations also define XML building blocks which will enable the interoperability of future e-commerce specifications. "Starter" documents provided include purchase orders and invoices.

First impressions of the eCo framework indicate that it is a significant development which will speed the adoption of XML-based technology within electronic commerce.

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