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Subject: RE: [ebxml-dev] Problem of "B2B Content" article

From a philosophical perspective, the 'chain' is fundamentally
anonymous.  Therefore, the linkage of the chain is a pseudo-ism, i.e.,
the contract can/could/should exist only between the direct endpoints of
communication.  The sum of the connecting endpoints represents the chain

That said, the context and/or content can and should be asymmetrical
across the chain, but not between the endpoint themselves.  If it was
symmetrical one might argue that all Purchase Orders look are 'this', by
which the inflexibility is guaranteed unmanageable across the chain
itself from the real world perspective.

The corporate 500-lb gorilla can dictate the terms of the representation
of its business processes, but that also represents the smallest
percentage of the entire chain.  It would not be feasible to believe
that smaller businesses in the chain would rapidly adopt standards based
on companies that they have no relationship.  Remembering that large
orders directed by a large corporation will filter into many
micro-orders downstream, whereby the B2B relationship between suppliers
becomes de-linked from the origin.  Simply put, proliferation and
penetration of new standards is associated (but not dictated) top-down
throughout the chain.

From recent conversations with various corporations this asymmetrical
view is not only real, it is built into corporate infrastructure.  You
would be amazed at efforts spent on collecting and processing
asymmetrical data.  Inherently, this cannot and will not change quickly
as publisher and receiver must agree on format and new initiatives must
be funded and built on both ends of the wire.  While this may be a
worthwhile goal downstream, there is considerable push-back in the
current state.

While standards are the most important part of the overall solution, it
is the connectivity between the standard-based symmetrical
representation and the nonstandard-based asymmetrical representation
that is the best effort at a utopian solution.

-Matt Long
Phalanx Systems, LLC

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Todd Boyle [mailto:tboyle@rosehill.net]
> Sent: Monday, June 03, 2002 6:21 PM
> To: ebxml-dev@lists.ebxml.org
> Subject: [ebxml-dev] Problem of "B2B Content" article
> Amazingly the word vocabulary, semantics, registry etc. do
> not even appear in this article
> l
>     [...]  Although the issue of B2B content may appear simple, it is
>     extraordinarily complex. Content in a B2B value chain is dynamic
>     extends along an almost infinite number of sources and integration
>     points. The variety of B2B content illustrates the difficulties
>     associated with even the most basic B2B value chain, and includes:
>     product merchandising (e.g., pricing, product specifications,
>     support (e.g., standard operating procedures, material and safety
>     handling, forms, manuals), purchasing (e.g., RFI/RFQ, contracts,
>     proposals), catalogs (e.g., components, suppliers, definitions,
> of
>     materials), the ad hoc nature of content providers/consumers, and
>     security interests of the individual organizations.
>     Historically, vendors have attempted to solve the B2B content
> via
>     a centralized, replicated, or federated repository approac. The
> problem
>     with these models was [...]
> The article stirs my subconscious desire for some overarching,
> utopian solution.
> I have tried to express from time to time, that almost every bit
> of information ebXML manages, has strategic or market value
> to various parties and there is asymmetry of benefit. Couldn't
> we imagine some explicit layer in the model for applying market
> principles to this problem?  Markets are the classic solution for
> asymmetry of benefit.
> http://lists.ebtwg.org/archives/ebtwg/200201/msg00105.html
> Apparently, the mechanisms of ebXML, UDDI, etc. for the controlling
> of views of various information aren't sufficiently granular, or
> no solution is really being provided to veil information, in order
> to manage customer relationships.  So, all these portals and
> dotcoms are serving the market in proprietary ways.
> Or is this problem already addressed in OASIS?
> e.g. http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/security-jc/
> TOdd
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