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Subject: Re: [ebxml-dev] Off-the-shelf ebXML software packages

From: "Eckenfels. Bernd" <B.Eckenfels@seeburger.de>

> You know that the BizTalk Server with $9000 is not exactly a competetive
> Price compared to some Desktop EDI Systems.

Thats just Biztalk License - you also need serious server hardware, SQL
licenses etc to run the back end - and Windows 2K Server.  Not cheap.

> Speaking as a Software Vendor I can of course sell a Messaging Service
> for ebXML (without a CPA tool) for as low as $1000. But how is the Data
> then transformes (I mean, do small offices realy be able to handle
> XSLT?) and how is the data integrated in the backend systems?
> Well, one thing which is obvious: ebXML is highly complicated and major
> parts are still a moving target. Therefore Software will not come in the
> <$10.000 price range. If this is open source software, the license cost
> will be 0, but you need 20 days to get it working, which is $10.000,
> too.

How about this:  I have a system almost ready now.  The project is Open
Source, and specifically aimed at doing one thing well - transmitting orders
and invoices.

I have used a standard schema for invoices and orders which will cover 90%
of businesses.  The application is about as simple as Outlook Express to
use.  It automatically encrypts and signs email and business documents.  The
application is free.

My design criterion were :

1. Easy to use by SME's - ie people who don't do IT for a living - people
who use dial up connections, and who are comfortable with outlook express.
They *don't* want to learn how to write schemas.

2. Open Technology - I have developed a open source implementations of my
system in libraries which can easily be incorporated into other products at
no cost.

3. Cheap.  Lets face it, this talk about $10,000 would put it out of range
of most businesses I deal with.  Its very hard to justify that kind of money
to a business.  My solution will make the ability to transmit invoices and
orders (and other business documents in time) part of the cost of the
accounting system, or perhaps an inexpensive add on.  The application I have
written will allow anyone to participate even without accounting software
for free.

I still don't quite get why people are trying to solve problems which 90% or
better of SME's don't have, rather than working on the problems that 90% of
SME's do have.  I personally have the feeling that much of the specification
seems to be a solution looking for a problem.

Before I get flamed - yes I know its addressing the needs of bigger
business, and their requirement for more flexible systems - my point is that
just because a big business has complex requirements, its not appropriate to
force small business to use those same complex solutions.  In other words
I'm suggesting that eb-XML is good for businesses which need the
flexibility - but is not good for small business which needs small, simple,
and reliable solutions.


Peter Harrison

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