SBR Adopts International eCommerce Standards
Following extensive community consultation, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has adopted international eCommerce standards for SuperStream. The Standard Business Reporting (SBR) program has also announced that it will replace its proprietary interface with the open standard ebMS 3.0/AS4 profile.
Making this move will make it easier for software developers to provide SBR-enabled software and encourage more businesses to take up electronic commerce.
The ebMS 3.0/AS4 profile open source standard is based on SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) web services specifications. It uses an enhanced message packaging mechanism that offers additional features such as compression push and pull models of message delivery, the ability to carry any format of business data, and a flexible configuration model allowing bilateral agreement on features to be used. For high volume situations, ebMS3 also offers solutions to handling bulk data and transaction bundling.
Australian Business Register (ABR), Deputy Registrar Mark Jackson—who holds whole-of-government responsibility for the SBR program, AUSkey and the ABR—said these are all very useful features that are needed not just for SuperStream, but more broadly as the Australian Government seeks to include an increasing range of interactions in Standard Business Reporting (SBR).
“In talking to the developer community, the very clear message has been that they want to see the same standards used in both the business-to-government and business-to-business spaces”, Mr Jackson said.
“With growing interest in ebMS3 in jurisdictions such as the European Union, this shift offers the potential for the products and experience of the Australian industry to be saleable overseas.”
The Government is currently undertaking a number of initiatives to further expand the use of SBR, including the ATO’s commitment to expand its use of SBR technology to rationalise its online reporting channels by 2015.
Earlier this month, the ATO engaged IBM to provide system integration services to design, develop and implement its eCommerce platform. This engagement will enhance and integrate the ATO’s existing investments in the SBR and Bulk Data Exchange (BDE) capabilities.
In addition to enhancing the eCommerce platform, IBM will also transition forms and services from the Electronic Lodgement Service (ELS) onto a SBR’s modern platform and data standard which will prepare the ATO for future initiatives to provide greater access to prefill information and real time services.
“There are economic opportunities offered by a rich messaging platform compatible with any business process and business data format for e-commerce within and external to Australia”, Mr Jackson concluded.