Reference Architecture history

In response to a request made by the European Commission DG Enterprise and Industry (now DG Grow) eBIZ was launched in 2008 to boost the use of e-Business in the fashion industry.Originally called the “eBIZ-TCF project” this action focused on harmonising past experiences and existing public standards without developing a yet another new solution.

The result was the eBIZ Reference Architecture, a guide for interoperability and technical describing a framework of existing specifications.

The eBIZ Reference Architecture was tested with 17 test-pilots made up of more than 150 companies which exchanged data in real business operation across the full chain. Pilots run between 2009 and 2010 and provided sound, business-proven, suggestions to improve the Reference Architecture.

Many, but not all, the requirements for digital data exchange in the Textile/Clothing and Footwear sectors are covered with specifications including data models and communication protocols. Information addresses both the manufacturer-retail supply chain (downstream) and the manufacturer-supplier networks (upstream)

Many of technical specifications are cross-referenced directly from their sources.

As the use of commonly agreed open standards is key to achieving connectivity and interoperability between systems, the development work takes into account the standardisation activities of organisations such a s CEN/ISSS, OASIS and GS1. The eBIZ Reference Architecture also recommends the use of protocols recognised by W3C, ISO and OASIS and its open approach supports many models such as ASP, P2P, Hub, etc.

At the business level, particularly those relating to some of the highly specialised manufacturing networks, many specifications have been adopted from those developed by various previous projects (listed below). In addition to drawing on the experiences of some of these projects, the specifications for downstream eBusiness (data from manufacturer to retail) are based on the EDI technologies from the WWS Profile with business scenarios and data models created in the Universal Business Language (UBL).

The first version of the eBIZ Reference Architecture was released in December 2009.

The second, upgraded, version of the eBIZ Reference Architecture (compatible with the previous one) was published on 24th July 2013 under the CEN eBIZ Workshop.

This new version expands the previous on: RFID, eInvocing, Business models, yarn technical dataand other aspects.

This new version is also an official CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) document published by CEN, the European Committee for Standardization.


Project Sector Supply Chain Origin
TexWeave Textile/Clothing Up/Downstream CEN/ISSS
Texspin Textile/Clothing Upstream CEN/ISSS
Moda-ML Textile/Clothing Upstream FP6
eTexML Textile/Clothing Downstream National, France
Visit Textile/Clothing Upstream FP5
IPSA Textile/Clothing Upstream Regional, Italy
EFNET Footwear Downstream CEN/ISSS
SHOENET Footwear Upstream FP6
CECMADESHOE Footwear Up/Downstream FP6
SHOEBIZ Footwear Up/Downstream SHOENET development
CEN eBIZ Workshop Textile/Clothing / Footwear Up/Downstream eBIZ 2010 development