ebXML established its own development processes to be as open as possible, by not charging membership fees to take part in the development of the specifications and allowing open public comments on all draft specifications. In the specifications themselves , the requirements focus on the openness of operations of registries and their associated repositories, two key elements in the ebXML architecture. In this case, openness means being available and accessible to do business, not just democratic .
Registries list the business process models, message formats, industry schemas and vocabularies, core components , trading partner profiles, and other objects needed by trading partners to conduct electronic business. Repositories store the actual business artifacts themselves whose definitions the registry provides. The registry acts as the access point and index to the repositories, both for human-readable lookups and automated data transfer. The design of ebXML anticipates that companies will likely have many interactions with registries in the course of learning about an industry's requirements for e-business, listing their companies' characteristics and needs, and discovering the capabilities of trading partners .
Registries will be maintained by industry groups or standards organizations, or as for-profit enterprises if the business opportunities arise. But their availability needs to be assured, if ebXML is going to work globally.
In this case, openness means being available and accessible to do business, not just democratic.
Like the web itself, ebXML registries and repositories need to be distributed rather than centralized into one or a few centers. A centralized approach simply could not handle the anticipated high volume of traffic. Likewise, many companies will need to access several registries to conduct business electronically . For example, an industry registry would likely provide most of any company's vertical business processes and schemas, but the company will likely do business with banking, accounting, or transportation companies, which may mean accessing those registries as well. The need for a distributed series of registries clearly supports the ebXML openness and availability requirements.