UN Core Component Technical Specification (CCTS)

The Core Component Technical specification (CCTS) was developed by UN/CEFACT and ISO Technical Committee (TC) 154. It provides a methodology for semantic data modeling in a syntax independent form. It is used by many organisations who require a specification to allow them to model their business messages in a consistent and reusable object model.

The specification states that business information should be classified using to the following headings:

  • Dictionary Entry Name (Mandatory). This is the unique official name of the entry.
  • Definition (Mandatory). Describes the entry.
  • Business Term (Optional). This lists any business terms used for the entry
Example: Dictionary Entry Name - Person. Tax. Identifier Type
Definition - The registered national tax identification of a person
Business Term - Income tax number, national register number, personal tax register number, social security number, national insurance number

The specification also requires the following formal naming rules as defined in ISO 11179, which are based on UML and Object oriented programming:

  • Object Class. This represents the logical grouping to which the entry belongs. A Class is usually a noun such as a Person, Transport Equipment or Place.
  • Property Term. This represents the distinguishing characteristic of the Object Class. For example most classes will have an Identifier and a Name, which are Property Terms.
  • Representation Term. describes the form in which the entry is represented. For example Person. Name would be text, Delivery. Date would be a date format.
If the Object Class is Goods and the Property Term is Delivery Date, and Representation Term is Date, then the Dictionary Entry Name will be Goods. Delivery. Date

Each Entry is aligned with UML terms so it can easily be contained in a Class Diagram. The UML Class itself is the Aggregate because it has many properties (attributes) and relationships between classes are called Associations. In Object Oriented programming these would be called Classes, Properties and Relationships.

Therefore CCTS provides a standard way to describe data and their relationships for both Programmers and Data Modellers. Once the business information is stored in this way, it can also be easily transformed into syntactical forms such as XML or UN/EDIFACT. There are specialist systems such as GEFEG FX which can help modellers create implementable Data models. Also because of the close relationship with UML, it can be represented in various UML Editors, such as Enterprise Architect. Effectively this means code can be created directly from information constructed using the specification which assures interoperability.

Pages that cite the UN CCTS:

Data Model
ISO Trade Standards
Standardization of Messages
Technical Specifications
UN Core Component Library (CCL)
UN/CEFACT XML Naming and Design Rules (NDR)