Reference Architecture history and versioning

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



The permanent Board of eBIZ managed by EURATEX co-ordinates the maintenance of eBIZ with the support of ENEA as technical secretariat.

New requirements are collected and evaluated within draft versions while periodically, after a validation/standardisation activity (like the CEN CWA process), new versions may be delivered (intervals of 2-4 years).

An eBIZ version is made of:
– collaboration processes analysis (reference samples);
– different templates for the different kind of messages, XML documents, (XML Schemas, used to validate the documents) and the related User guides;
– a dictionary of terms and their coding;
– optionally stylesheets (XSL) showing the message contents and samples.

Back compatibility rules for the eBIZ versions

  • New versions are and will be back-compatible (incremental approach).
  • Decoding values tables frequently updated (incrementally).
  • The technical secretariat collects new requirements and translates them into DRAFT proposals useful for the next releases.


Official and draft versions

The Official version of eBIZ (the last one is 2013) is public and cannot be modified; it is available on-line.

An official version can be used also after the release of a new one, nevertheless the current official version should be always used as the reference for any new implementation:

The Draft version, instead, is a working version, available to the involved people and might be published for comments.
It can be modified many times before being proposed for the release of a new official version.

XML documents and software of draft version can be freely downloaded and used.

WARNING: before to embed them into products and commercial packages, please be aware that they could exist only temporarily and not being included in the next official version.

Comments are welcome on all the versions (the last official and the draft ones): the comments must be addressed to the staff (https://ebiz-tcf.eucontact/ )

Currently available DRAFT Versions: