Facilitating Business-to-Business Electronic Commerce for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
One way to facilitate effective business-to-business electronic commerce for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is to provide a brokering service that is tailored to the needs of SMEs. While many of the larger companies use EDIFACT for their electronic business exchanges, SMEs have to be more flexible and demand a less rigid system. In this paper we will present an architecture of a modular broker system that supports the whole EC-process, i.e. providing intelligent search mechanisms for locating new business partners, supporting electronic negotiation via structured message exchanges, and coordinating the fulfilment of the contract. Such a broker system thus requires facilities for mediating the exchange of information between the different modules of the system. The mediating role is fulfilled by a repository that manages the data of the modules. The repository also provides access to heterogeneous information coming from external sources. The external information is integrated using sophisticated metadata management. Furthermore, the repository allows to monitor the contents of the external sources and provides notification services to the users of the broker system.
First Intl. Conference on Electronic Commerce and Web Technologies, EC-Web 2000, Greenwich, UK, September 2000, pp 442-451, Springer Verlag