Joint D41/D43

Virtual Enterprise Reference

Architecture and Methodology


Executive summary

This document, D412/D43 Virtual Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology (VERAM), is a result of the merging of the two main deliverables of work package 4 of the IMS Globemen project: D41 Reference Architecture (deliverable D412 for the European Globemen project) and D43 VME Guidelines. IMS Globemen is an inter-regional project aiming to develop methods, tools and architectures to support inter-enterprise operations in one-of-kind industries, in different lifecycle phases.

This deliverable describes an architectural framework VERAM including a description/elaboration of its elements. The emphasis in this deliverable is to define an architectural framework, which will be a body of knowledge that supports future practical work in the area of global engineering and manufacturing in enterprise networks, supported by methodologies/guidelines.

This document is organised as follows:

-        A first introduction to the document is given in Chapter 1.

-        Chapter 2 introduces a vision for collaborative commerce and positions this deliverable in the overall context of the Globemen project and the Globemen vision in particular.

-        Chapter 3 describes the basic concepts applied in Globemen. This includes “one-of-a-kind-production”, the concept of the Virtual Enterprise (VE) and the Virtual Enterprise Reference Architecture (VERA) developed in Globemen.

-        In Chapter 4 a so-called life history example is presented to give a possible scenario about how an enterprise network could evolve over time, and to point out the need for preparing and setting up networks and VEs. The life history example in Chapter 4 highlights the potential for preparing and reusing existing knowledge related to enterprise networks and VEs.

-        As a means to structure relevant knowledge Globemen developed the VERAM (Virtual Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology) architectural framework. VERAM is presented in Chapter 5 and serves as the basis for the remainder of the document.

-        Each of the components in the VERAM framework is subsequently discussed in detail in Chapters 6 to 10.

o      Chapter 6 introduces the contingency factors consisting of situational factors and design parameters.

o      Chapter 7 elaborates the modelling components of VERAM.

o      Chapter 8 addresses applications and infrastructure.

o      Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 both address guidelines for how to use the VERAM components to facilitate a fast and efficient set up of enterprise networks and VEs applying the VERAM components. Whereas Chapter 9 introduces general considerations, Chapter 10 goes more into details.

-        Finally, conclusions are given in Chapter 11.

-        Appendix A introduces the prototypes of the Globemen industrial partners.

-        Appendix B present results from a questionnaire filled by Globemen industrial partners.