UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Press Release


UN/CEFACT announces important improvements in the exchange of data across industries and applications

Geneva, 17 December 2009 --

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT), a Working Party of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, has approved version 3.0 of two important standards that are used to develop data definitions for use across industries, across applications and across different hardware/computer platforms.

These new versions incorporate five years of lessons learned from a wide variety of implementers using earlier versions and are based on business requirements from different industries and stakeholders in both the private and public sectors.

The Core Components Technical Specification (CCTS) version 3.0 defines the rules for building core components which are  building blocks for use in databases, data models and data exchange. Core components define format and the semantic (linguistic) meaning of data using the rules in the CCTS to build units of data ranging from basic concepts to more complex ones (for example from “postal code” to “address” to  “customer address” ). The new CCTS version 3.0 will enhance the development and use of these common semantic building blocks

Traditionally, data has been designed for specific applications and databases without regard to its ability to be interchanged with other systems (i.e. its interoperability). Past standards for the exchange of business data between applications and databases have focused on static message definitions and have not allowed either sufficient interoperability or sufficient flexibility. A more flexible and interoperable method for standardizing business semantics has long been required.

CCTS v3.0 addresses the problem of the lack of information interoperability (i.e. information having both a compatible format AND the same meaning) within and between applications and databases in the e-business arena. It is particularly well suited for enabling cross-industry interoperability.

Core components based on CCTS v3.0 provide conceptual and logical data models that are completely syntax (“message” structure) neutral and independent. CCTS is well suited for creating new business vocabularies as well as restructuring existing business vocabularies to achieve true semantic interoperability of data.

Together with CCTS v3.0, UN/CEFACT has approved the Core Components Data Type Catalogue Version 3.0. This Catalogue defines the types of data (i.e. value domains) for basic data elements and is the key to ensuring that the core components designed using CCTS 3.0 are logical data models and completely syntax independent.

The release version 3.0 of the CCTS Data Type Catalogue and the Core Components Technical Specification as well as the ongoing work on the Core Components Library within the UN/CEFACT Forum, was welcomed by a broad number of supporting governments, Standards Development Organizations, private sector companies, and solution providers who actively contribute to the development and implementation of core components standards known as the CCTS Common Methodology Standards Stack.

The CCTS Version 3.0 is available from the UNECE website at: http://www.unece.org/cefact/codesfortrade/CCTS/CCTS-Version3.pdf

The CCTS Data Type Catalogue Version 3.0 is available from the UNECE website at: http://www.unece.org/cefact/codesfortrade/CCTS/CCTS-DataTypeCatalogueVersion3p0.pdf

For further information please contact:

Mr. Mark Crawford
UN/CEFACT Applied Technologies Group (ATG)
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: + 1 703 670 0920

Mr. Tom Butterly
Global Trade Solutions Branch
UNECE Trade and Timber Division
E-mail: [email protected]
Phone: +41 (0) 22 917 1178

Ref: ECE/TRADE/09/P12