March 06, 2021
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History of the NES group

As part of the Northern European cooperation on e-commerce and e-procurement, representatives from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, UK and Iceland set up a working group for developing a NES subset of UBL 2.0 documents.

The focus of NES is to define the specific use of UBL 2.0 electronic procurement documents domestically and between countries internationally.  The definition covers semantic interoperability within and between all business sectors, public and private.

NES members are also closely involved in the international UBL 2.0 process.

The primary goals of the working group are;
  1. To establish a subset of UBL 2.0, which defines our needs of domestic and cross border trading, and takes into consideration both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) scenarios. In this context, the subset includes schemas, business rules and the relevant scenarios of use.
  2. To support and influence the development of UBL 2.0 in terms of making the results of the working group part of the international UBL 2.0 process.
  3. To promote international recognition and usage of UBL 2.0, including a promotion of UBL adoption in UN/CEFACT.

The NES Group has invited other countries to join and take part in further work.

The NES deliverables

Key deliverables

These are the key deliverables of the NES Group:
  • Business processes and scenarios based on a common application of UBL applicable for both domestic and cross border trade.
  • Business rules and recommendations for the use of the UBL XML documents.
  • A common subset of the UBL XML documents reflecting the needs expressed in the business rules.
  • Formal rules for validation of the business rules expressed as Schematron
  • General guidelines and code lists for the use of UBL.

NES Profiles

The NES Profiles defined in the first phase of the work are:

The NES Libraries

The NES Group takes the UBL 2.0 Common Library and defines subsets of each of the documents. These subsets form the NES Common Library, which can be used directly in profiles (such as in Profiles 7).

The NES Libraries Architecture
The NES Libraries Design Architecture

For each profile, it is possible to further define a subset of the NES Common Library. This is done for example in profiles 3-6, where the Basic Invoice, Basic CreditNote and Basic Order libraries are applied.

A lower level library can not extend cardinality or add new classes of entities that are not part of the library directly above it. As an example, the UBL Common Library contains the entity Party, which has a Party Identifier which is unbound, meaning that it can be repeated as needed.

The NES Common Library also contains the Party entity, but restricts the Party Identifier so that is can only be repeated once.

At the NES Basic Invoive Library level, the Party entity is still defined, but the Party Identifier can not be used at all. It would be impossible to extend the cardinality of the party identifier so that it could be used unbounded.