Efficient and Interoperable E-Business –Based on Frameworks, Standards and Protocols: An Introduction

Efficient and Interoperable E-Business –Based on Frameworks, Standards and Protocols: An Introduction

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0146-8.ch001
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The reality of E-Business today means E-Commerce, E-Collaboration, E-Government, E-Procurement, Social Networks, et cetera. Independent of the selected area E-Business will only work if interoperability in all its facets and visible E-benefits are ensured. This includes common agreements about the targets, objects, and rules of the E-Business, concepts, frameworks, and models that are well understood, accepted, and provide additional E-Benefits for all participating partners. In addition, ICT systems, tools, and other instruments must be compliant with political and legal restrictions and support the work properly and efficiently, and last but not least, ensure trust and minimize E-Business risks. With the rise of the Internet, its online-service, manifold techniques, and E-Business applications, people expected quick, usable, and efficient solutions for these problems. Really, many profitable and well-working individual solutions on the market may be found. But there still is a gap in looking for generally well-working interoperability solutions like standards, harmonized E-Business legal regulations, easy to understan, and useable ICT infrastructures and tools, and for general solutions to guaranty security and trust in E-Business. This handbook aims to show the state of the art in research and practice in building, managing, and maintaining E-Business solutions under the focus of enhancing interoperability based on standards, protocols, and other helpful concepts, instruments, and examples. To get a better understanding also for non-specialists, the authors systemize the complex and interdisciplinary content and offer additional helpful explanations.
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The Heterogeneity And Multiface Of E-Business Environment

E-Business is embedded in an open environment with many business entities (people, enterprises, government institution, etc.) participating. Each of them should have a chance for free and open E-business, regardless of the volume and the type of business they are running, where they are sited, and independent of local time, etc. In front of such fair goals there were, are and will be many obstacles for E-Business varying from country to country, from enterprise to enterprise and from person to person. These obstacles may be simple described by the two words “total heterogeneity”. In order to explain this we will use illustration given in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

The total heterogeneity of E-Business arena


The areas of heterogeneity in E-Business may be classified by five categories, communication infrastructure, computing resources, business entities (enterprises), society, and standards, and all are mutually dependent. This Handbook mainly focuses on E-Business standards. They are important and helpful but unfortunately, the real situation in E-Business is far too complex, that it can be solved by standards alone. Due to the heterogeneity in E-Business arena may arise many and unexpected events and problems which afford additional and even new concepts, models and solutions. This will be discussed in this introduction, as well in many other chapters inside the book.

Thus let us address firstly communication and the heterogeneity of infrastructure. Much of Internet users may ask why is that? Internet protocols are well defined by its interfaces, including all rules known in advance, and they work, and may be confirmed by billions of Internet users. Thus, where is heterogeneity in communication? Let us remember “Birth of Broadband” document (ITU, 2003), the open document issued by ITU, that defined 512 Kb/s as entry speed over the network to be qualified as broadband. Many of the readers of this book will not get the point after all. They probably enjoy their Internet lives on GB backbone, but let us ask Ethiopians, for example, what they want, food or broadband?

Another heterogeneity issue of E-Business is growing by social discrepancies between societies, people living in different countries, and other social circumstances that may differ. The deeper view of these aspects regarding developing economies can be found in (Travica, et al, 2007, Roubiah, et al. 2009). Such analyzes that touch undeveloped world are hard to be found. Heterogeneities of computing resources, data, business processes and existing standards will be discussed later.

This Handbook focuses on an E-Business which is mainly supported by standards, protocols and other helpful instruments. Keeping the total heterogeneity in mind we aim to get a common understanding and an overlook about the instruments and ways to achieve an interoperable and efficient E-Business Thus we provide a systemization aid as shown in Figure 2, which shall help to separate and to discuss the manifold problem fields of E-Business, its concepts, projects, models and solutions. Each of the four areas in Figure 2 represents one special aspect of the phenomena E-Business: E-Business as a Market, Understanding and Advanced Modeling E-Business, E-Business Standardization and last not least Converting, Customizing, and Enhancing in E-Business. These aspects should not be seen separate because EB-solutions, theoretical and all the more practical ones need knowledge and instruments from some or even from all of these aspects.

Figure 2.

Four aspects of E-Business phenomena


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