To provide an open XML-based infrastructure enabling the global use of electronic business information in an interoperable, secure and consistent manner by all parties" – ebXML Mission Statement
ebXML is a standardisation effort co-sponsored by UN/CEFACT and OASIS. The underlying idea is to create a modular framework that makes it possible for companies of any size and in any geographical location to do business with each other over Internet. It standardises ways to exchange messages, create relationships, data communication and communicating business processes. In the long run it is supposed to make it easy to create shrink wrapped business software that can take part in a single global electronic marketplace. This is a much cheaper and easier solution than EDI, although companies that have already invested in EDI can continue using that and ebXML in parallel.
Main source: http://www.ebxml.org/