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XML Serialization of Core Components – Phase 2

The [UN/CEFACT Core Component Technical Specification | ] is the bedrock of the [CCTS Standards Stack | ]. At the other end of that stack lies the [UN/CEFACT XML Naming and Design Rule Specification | ]. [UN/CEFACT | ] uses the XML NDR specification to provide for XML serialization of its CCTS based core component library into XML Schema for B2B messages. As with CCTS, the XML NDR specification plays a key role for SAP in defining the XML serializations of the [SAP Netweaver™ Core and Global Data Types | ].  UN/CEFACT is now embarked on developing the next version of the NDR specification, and SAP will play a key role in that effort. 


The UN/CEFACT XML NDR specification is a UN/CEFACT profile of the W3C XML Schema Definition (XSD)Language specification.  The NDR specification provides for XML syntax serialization of syntax neutral core components in a precise and consistent manner using a well documented, unambiguous rule set. Following these rules, one can transform syntax neutral data model components such as a shipping address from:

Shipping Address. Details
      Shipping Address. Identification. Identifier
      Shipping Address. Line One. Text
      Shipping Address. Line Two. Text
      Shipping Address. Building. Name
      Shipping Address. Building. Identifier
      Shipping Address. City. Name
      Shipping Address. Country Sub-Division. Identifier
      Shipping Address. Country. Identifier
      Shipping Address. Postcode. Code

To its corresponding xsd element and type expressions:

Moving Forward

UN/CEFACT is currently engaged in developing the next version of the CCTS.  As the NDR specification is a companion specification, it is logical that work begin on the next version of the NDR as well.  In recognition of this, UN/CEFACT has announced the formation of the NDR project team, and described the project effort to create version 3.0 of the NDR specification. That project definition specifies three key components to the NDR project:

    • Driving convergence between the UN/CEFACT XML NDR and those of other standards bodies interested in establishing formal relationships with UN/CEFACT – to include OAGi, GS1 Global, RosettaNet, CIDX, ACORD, AIAG, and OASIS UBL
    • Establishing relationships between UN/CEFACT and the other organizations with the W3C XML Schema Working Group to drive user-based requirements in XSD
    • UN/CEFACT defines the scope of the NDR project as providing “rules and guidelines for normative-form schema design, instance design, and markup naming that is consistent with the UN/CEFACT Core Components and related technical specifications. These rules and guidelines will be used to create UN/CEFACT schema expressions of business models, and may also be used by other organizations consistent with their business requirements. Specifically, the project will create UN/CEFACT:

    1. XML markup Naming Conventions
    2. XSD Schema structure rules
    3. XML Schema documentation rules
    4. XML Instance rules as appropriate
    5. XML rules for UN/CEFACT Core Data Types
    6. XML rules for Code Lists
    7. Extension and customization guidelines”


The set of deliverables for the NDR project will include:

    1. XML markup naming conventions
    2. Optimized XSD Schema design rules that can support UML to XML, XML context assembly, and handcrafted XML schema
    3. XSD Checklists

Initial Contributions

A number of Initial contributions have been made to the project team to include:

    1. GS1 XML Design Rules
    2. OASIS Universal Business Language Technical Committee Naming and Design Rules
    3. UN/CEFACT Core Components Technical Specification V3.0 (Draft)
    4. UN/CEFACT Unified Context Methodology
    5. UN/CEFACT Core Components Message Assembly
    6. ACORD XML Design Rules and business requirements
    7. CIDX XML Design Rules and business requirements
    8. OAGI XML Design Rules and business requirements
    9. RosettaNet Design rules and business requirements

In addition, a call for contributions will be made for leading XML standards efforts to share their existing XML design rules.  SAP is engaged in reviewing its NDR requirements and will be providing input as well.


Members of the team will be required to have technical expertise in XML, XSD, Core Components, UML, Context Assembly and/or business functional knowledge skills. The project team will be headed by Mark Crawford of SAP and will include Gunther Stuhec of SAP.  UN/CEFACT members and representatives of key vertical industry standards bodies identified above will also be participating.  Other experts are encouraged to participate in this important work.  Our meeting schedule looks like this:


    1. Weekly on Thursdays at 11:00 EDT for 1.5 hours

Face To Face Schedule

    1. 15-19 January – SAP Offices Washington, D.C.
    2. 26-30 March – Dublin Ireland
    3. June – Tentative SAP Headquarters Waldorf
    4. September – Stockholm, Sweeden

Assigned Tags

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