1. Abstract

"Practical Universal Business Language Deployment" (formerly titled "Practical Use of UBL Artefacts") overviews the OASIS Universal Business Language (http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/ubl/) 2.1 suite of publicly-available files, process and methodology descriptions, deployment strategies and documentation from a technical perspective of the roles that all these artefacts play in information systems and how to work with each artefact with hands-on experience.

UBL is the product of an international effort to define a royalty-free library of standard electronic XML business documents such as purchase orders and invoices. Developed in an open and accountable OASIS Technical Committee with participation from a variety of industry data standards organizations, 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.

The second day overviews the customization of UBL in detail, including the conception, specification and deployment of subsets and extensions of UBL document models and schemas. Also included is creating your own non-UBL documents using the UBL library and adding non-UBL constructs to existing UBL documents. Hands-on exercises walk the student through the creation of conformant subset UBL schemas and validating instances with those schemas.

This is a course supporting the deployment and use of UBL artefacts, but this is not a course in the interpretation of specific UBL information items in a business context or the adaptation of financial systems to the semantics expressed by UBL.  The instructor is not in a position to offer financial or legal advice regarding the application or suitability of UBL to any particular scenario or purpose.

Hands-on exercises are provided in a turnkey fashion for a Java-based environment under either Windows command-line or Linux shell invocation.  Students may use any editing tool they wish for modifying the exercise files when completing the exercise objectives.

Attendees of the second day are encouraged to bring their customization requirements to class to exercise the concepts and tools with their own objectives in mind. Students will be creating customized subset schemas and associated documentation in class using the software tools provided as part of the curriculum.

2. Length

This course runs in either a one- or two-day format. Users of UBL and technical managers will probably find the one-day version will suffice, while those who specify customizations of UBL and the use of UBL for a community of users will probably find the two-day version necessary in order to cover the customization issues.

Note that while this UBL class refers to code lists, there is no detailed code list part of the syllabus. Candidate attendees of this UBL class, especially those responsible for specifying UBL for a community of users, may be interested the Practical Code List Implementation full-day hands-on class because that methodology for code lists supports the code lists defined in UBL.

This is an intensive class running 7 to 9 hours per day including the exercises. In markets where English may not be a strong language with students (e.g. China, Japan, etc.) or simultaneous or consecutive translation is needed, please double the number of elapsed days: the syllabus half-day segments will each be taught over a full day at the students' pace. This also leaves extra time for questions of clarification regarding language and the descriptions of the exercise solutions.

3. Expected Audience

This course is aimed at people needing to understand both conceptual and practical aspects of the files published by the UBL committee, as well as deployment methodologies and strategies. The one-day version of the course is more high level and has less technical detail than the in-depth second day of the course.

Those attending the second day of class use provided tools to specify subset customizations of UBL and create subset schemas for use when validating instances according to the requirements of a UBL customization.

4. Prerequisites

There are no formal prerequisites for this course, and the exercises are optional. The instructor assumes the student who participates in exercises understands they will be working with XML at the markup level. This is not a course to attend to learn XML in detail, but important aspects of XML for UBL are covered. The exercises are geared to engage students who are comfortable editing and working with software tools from command line invocation interfaces.

To participate in the hands-on exercises on the first day, attendees must have working knowledge of markup and a Java-equipped personal computer. Copies of the exercise materials are available on USB sticks at the course. Complete solutions are provided to research in place of attendees deriving the exercise solutions on their own. More details regarding the exercise and working environment are below.

Attendees must have a firm knowledge of the operating system environment as there is no time for coaching from the instructor regarding the command-line environments of today's operating systems.

5. Exercise environments

Any processors supporting the technologies being covered are acceptable for working the exercises on day one of this course. Note, however, that Java-based processors are brought to the course by the instructor and there is no time for coaching from the instructor on the use of other applications.

The first-day hands-on exercises require either OpenOffice (version 2 or 3) or Microsoft Excel to already be installed on the student's computer.

Some of the hands-on exercises require opening files in Portable Document Format (.pdf) such as supported by GSview available from http://www.ghostscript.com/GSview.html and by Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader available from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html.

6. Synopsis

There are many artefacts found and methodologies described in the Universal Business Language (UBL) deliverables. Without an awareness of the roles played by these, UBL can be perceived more complex or considered "too hard" to tackle successfully. This technically-oriented course is written for both the user of UBL and technical manager (the one-day class) and for either the implementer of information systems to specify and support customizations of UBL (the two-day class). For the implementer and specifying authority it is important to understand candidate opportunities to work with the artefacts and to gain hands-on experience in their use and applicability in the context of the documented methodologies and deployment strategies.

The following topics are covered through the class:

  • parties, document types and profiles - use case and business documents

  • information items - data description spreadsheets

  • model conventions - Naming and Design Rules

  • documents and document models - schema expressions

  • model semantics - data dictionary

  • XPath enumerations

  • reference to methodology for code list and value validation

  • customization and system design considerations

  • specifying customizations, profiles, subsets and extensions of UBL

  • adding custom documents to the UBL suite

"Practical Universal Business Language Deployment" successfully equips the attendee with an understanding of the components found in UBL deliverables and overviews methodologies and strategies to better understand their respective roles.

The hands-on exercises help cement concepts by leading the attendee to resolve basic, often initially frustrating, obstacles under the supervision of the instructor and collaboration with fellow students. Exercises cover important concepts with simple objectives. Attendees are invited to research completed exercise solutions without needing to derive the solutions on their own.

During the course the exercises are timed to cover breaks so that students can choose to balance work time with break time should extra exercise time be required, thus reducing the chance of delaying the progress of the course material.

Answers to all exercises are available to attendees.

Deliveries are either one day long or two days long. Attendees of the second day are encouraged to bring their customization requirements to class to exercise the concepts and tools with their own objectives in mind. Exercises lead the student through the specification of subset customizations of UBL 2.1 and the creation and exercise of conformant subset schemas.

While this is a course supporting the deployment and use of UBL artefacts, this is not a course in the interpretation of specific UBL information items in a business context or the adaptation of financial systems to the semantics expressed by UBL.  The instructor is not in a position to offer financial or legal advice regarding the application or suitability of UBL to any particular scenario or purpose.

7. Syllabi

The one- and two-day syllabi share the same content for the first day. It is the choice of the host to hold or of the student to attend one or two days of training based on your needs.

7.1. Day One Delivery Syllabus

 00:00   Course Introduction
         Instructor/Student Expectations
         Module 1: OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL)
         Exercise: Setup
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 2: Parties, document types and profiles
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 3: Information items
         Exercise: Spreadsheets
 01:00   Lunch

 00:00   Module 4: Naming and Design Rules (NDR)
         Module 5: Documents and document models
         Break (01:00)
         Exercise: Validation
 02:00   Break
 00:00   Module 6: Model semantics
         Module 7: XPath enumerations
         Module 8: Controlled vocabulary overview
         Module 9: UBL customization overview
         Question and answer session
 01:00   End of day

7.2. Day Two Delivery Syllabus

 00:00   Module 10: UBL customization
         Exercise: Conceiving a subset of UBL
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 11: Customization specification
         Exercise: Specifying a subset of UBL
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 12: Customization implementation
         Exercise: Instance validation
 01:00   Lunch

 00:00   Module 13: Introduction to Document Engineering
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 14: Customization extension
         Exercise: Specifying an extension to UBL
 01:00   Break
 00:00   Module 15: Customization extension
         Exercise: Your own UBL customization
         Question and answer session
 01:00   End of day
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