GLOBEMEN EU WP4
Deliverable 411

Evaluation of state of the art technologies

 

Introduction

This deliverable report D411 was scheduled to be delivered by the EU team at month 3, i.e. end of March 2000, of the GLOBEMEN project. The deliverable was added during contract negotiations with the EC in Autumn 1999. Thus it is not defined as a deliverable for the whole inter-regional GLOBEMEN project. However, the contents of this state of the art assessment will be further elaborated and will be included in the WP1-3 requirement specifications which are defined as deliverables D11, D21 and D31 of the whole GLOBEMEN project. Some parts of this report will also be further elaborated for the reference architecture specification, deliverable D41.

The report gives an overview of the current practice of inter-enterprise business processes and information and communication technology (ICT) support at a functional and technical level. ICT is seen as the enabler for current and future virtual enterprise concepts and functionality. It includes topics such as tools, methods, and models, and can range from as wide as reference architectures to middleware technology.

To prepare the requirements definition studies in the first three work packages, this deliverable contains some directions for future work in Globemen. There are some statements included about the requirements from the partners concerning ICT support for inter-enterprise business processes, the gaps they see in the current state-of-the-art, and those gaps which should be addressed within Globemen. As such, this deliverable helps to clarify the scope of future work in Globemen.

This document is organised as follows. The next chapter contains some requirements as defined by the industrial partners in Globemen. Chapter 3 contains virtual enterprise concepts and constructs for background information. The frame for the remainder of the document is set in chapter 4, where ALIVE (Architecture for Layered Integration of Virtual Enterprises) is introduced. Each of the components in ALIVE is subsequently discussed in detail in the chapters 6 to 10. Chapter 5 discusses reference architectures and methodologies, which should guide a user to fill in the various types of integration as indicated by ALIVE. The first type of integration, inter-enterprise coordination, is not described in this deliverable, but in the various WP1-3 deliverables. The topic of modelling languages for business process integration is treated in chapter 6. Application integration is discussed in chapters 7 and 8, where semantical respectively syntactical standards are central. Standards for physical integration are briefly touched upon in chapter 9. In addition to the technical aspects, there is a range of non-technical prerequisites for integration in virtual enterprises. Chapter 10 considers these prerequisites. Finally, a discussion on the highlights of innovation in Globemen ends this document.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Table of Contents

1Introduction

3

2Requirements from industry

4

2.1Sales and Services

4

2.2Interenterprise Management

6

2.3Distributed Engineering

9

2.4Intergation Technology

10

2.5Preliminary Summary of Requirements

13

3Virtual Enterprise Concepts and Constructs

15

3.1The Virtual Enterprise Framework

18

3.2Basic Constructs

20

3.3Highlights for future research and development

21

4Architecture for Layered Integration in Virtual Enterprises

22

4.1Introduction

22

5Virtual Enterprise Reference Architectures

25

5.1Rationale behind Reference Architectures

25

5.2Enterprise reference architectures (ERA)

25

5.3CIMOSA

27

5.4Emerging VERAs

29

5.5Methodology

29

5.6Highlights for future research and development

30

6Business process integration

31

6.1Process modelling languages

31

6.2Data modelling languages

32

6.3Process and data modelling languages

32

6.4Document management EDM, PDM

32

6.5EU projects on document management PDM, VEs etc

35

6.5.1List of EU projects

37

6.5.2Assessment of some EU projects

45

6.6Some conclusions from the assessment

51

7Semantical application integration

53

7.1Rationale behind application integration

53

7.2Integration at application level

53

8Syntactical application integration

55

8.1Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA)

55

8.2Distributed Common Object Model (DCOM)

56

8.3The N-tier software architecture

56

8.4Java

57

9Physical integration

58

10Non-technical prerequisites

59

10.1Knowledge management

60

11Highlights of innovation

61

11.1Introduction

61

11.2Physical integration and syntactical application integration

61

11.3Semantical application integration

61

11.4Business integration and inter-enterprise coordination

62

12References

65