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Subject: Multi-BP CPAs (TP teleconf 2-28-01)

For those of you who are following CPA-BP collaboration dependencies, I
wanted to pass along these matters from the 2/28 TP conference call. 

This is one of two messages, one e-mail per topic.  Words in quotes below
are loosely rather than strictly employed.  Sorry, but I am trying to grope
towards simple understandings of complex things.  

Multi-BP CPAs

In a CPA, parties may "approve" their future use of a BP by including a
reference to (or digest of) a ProcessSpecification document that "defines"
a method for that BP for those two parties.   A single CPA might also
"approve" the use of 30 different bilateral BPs, in collaborations or

The question came up yesterday whether a CPA that "approves" 30 different
BPs should be capable of incremental amendment without requiring a new CPA.
  I think not.  Trading partners may wish to enter into long term
arrangements (like purchase agreements) that rely on the continuing
availability of multiple BPs (like change orders or returned goods
protocols).   Also, as a practical matter, as we've discussed in BP,  CPA
formation may to be the obvious (and sometimes only) exposed control point
for institutional channel management of these e-transactions.  So I am not
too keen on permitting incremental modification to a CPA without explicit
renegotiation of the whole set of BPs embodied in it.  

So I shilled for the following outcome, which I think has been accepted by
(a)  If you have an XML-DSIG-signed CPA "approving" 30 BPs, the sig will
hash over the whole set of 30.  Thus, if you try to assert a change in one
BP, the sig will be invalidated, as a few bits have been jostled, forcing
the parties to renegotiate the CPA.  
(b)   If trading partners want to be able to do 30 different things, with
no dependencies, they may enter into 30 distinct CPAs.  

<minutes excerpt>
>It was noted that when a CPA references multiple 
>Process-Specification Documents, it should be assumed that those 
>processes are interrelated and invalidating the CPA and all of the 
>Process-Specification documents when a problem develops with one 
>of them is the correct action from a business viewpoint.
</minutes excerpt>

Please let me know if anyone thinks this is the wrong conclusion, in which
case, I need to go do some groveling in TP.  Jamie

James Bryce Clark
Spolin Silverman & Cohen LLP 
310 586 2404    jbc@lawyer.com 

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