Sunday, April 12, 2009

Is ebXML dead?

I have always found Google Trends a useful tool for analyzing the popularity of various technologies over time. I have been working with a client who has adopted ebXML as their business to business gateway technology. Although I had no say in this decision, I did not necessarily think that it was a poor decision.

I did not have much feel for the strength of ebXML in the B2B marketplace, so I was interested in performing some research.

ebXML seems a decent choice when compared to other possible choices such as EDI and AS2. I was however quite surprised when I looked at the trends for these technologies. The diagram below shows a comparison of:
from 2004 until 2009

EDI (dark blue line) has been decreasing in popularity to some degree over time, as might be expected, but it is still overwhelmingly more prominent than the other B2B technologies.

Because EDI is so much more prominent, I removed it from the equation for the graph below in order to get a clearer picture of how the other technologies stack up:

In 2004, ebXML was the most prominent of these technologies (light blue line). AS2 (yellow line) and RosettaNet (red line) were essentially neck-and-neck. Since 2007, however, AS2 has been gaining substantially in popularity. Throughout the entire time frame, ebXML has been losing popularity.

A better picture of the health of ebXML can be seen by graphing it individually:

ebXML has been in a long downward spiral for the last 4 years, and through that time its relevance seems to have diminished by a factor of 25.

Is ebXML dead? The outlook clearly does not look good, but subsequent posts will examine ebXML and its competitors in more detail. Google Trends does not provide a definitive answer to the question, but it does provide strong indications.

cisdal - simply integration


  1. EDI is a engineering firm which is in the news a lot. That's why it ranks up a lot higher. Look at the news results at the right of the graph at,as2,edi. I don't know about AS2 but I can imagine this phrase is being used not only for the AS2 technology. ebXML on the other hand is quite a unique name. So is this a fair comparison? I don't think so.

    I know this is a old post, but I couldn't resist commenting :).

  2. Also just try -,xml for a comparison.

    You will see that as a technology becomes part of the established ecosystems - then the number of search specific queries drops over time.