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Subject: Re: multi-hop requirement


The phrase "if all this multi-hop stuff is just for supporting
SMEs" raises a couple concerns:
a) this is just one use case -- not the only use case -- justifying 
   multi-hop; and 
b) SMEs are one of the major reasons for doing ebXML (at least as I 
   understand it).  

(a) speaks for itself.  However, I'll expand on (b) a bit.  EDI has 
severed B2B for many years, but has not attracted many outside the 
Fortune 500 due it it's complexity and expense (as I am not directly 
involved in the EDI marketplace, this is second hand -- please 
correct me if I'm wrong).  I.e., if B2B is to be global, EDI-ng is 
needed and I thought ebXML was intended to be that EDI-ng.  As I 
understand it, for global B2B you must include the 100s of thousands
(millions?) of Mom&Pop businesses out there which don't necessarily 
have good connectivity, certainly aren't technical gurus, and most 
likely can't afford more than a PC with browser and/or e-mail.  
This includes dukas (very small general shops) in Africa, my wife 
(real estate -- do you wanta sell your house? :-), and loads of 
small suppliers of goods and services throughout the world (and, 
yes, some of these dukas do have PCs -- I've seen them when visiting 
my daughter in Kenya -- connectivity/phone-service ain't great, 

In short, IMHO, SMEs shouldn't be ignored as collectively they 
represent a huge share of global commerce and hence B2B.  ebXML 
must cater to them!!

Thus, while this use case is not the sole justification for multi-
hop, I would say it's very important.  Bridging is here to stay. 
Back in the OSI days, we assumed one protocol globally -- this may 
have been one of (certainly not the only) the reasons for its 
failure (the Internet bridges).  You can't seem to get people to 
converge to one protocol, in fact, if anything, the number is 
increasing.  Thus, while undesirable from a technical point of 
view, it's a fact of life -- bridging is here to stay and with 
it multi-hop.

Sorry if this sounds like a flame ;-)

I am not familiar with TradeSite (a short overview of priciples 
is welcome) but I wouldn't be surprised if it employed bridging if 
it provides any kind of end-to-end service (please include store-
and-forward here). 

Best regards,
At 11:19 AM 01/10/2001 -0500, William J. Kammerer wrote:
>Henry Lowe said TR&P identified support of SMEs (which may well only
>have a browser and/or e-mail) as requiring multi-hop.  If that were so,
>then the SME wouldn't have a Message Service Handler (MSH), would they?
>All the diagrams describing multi-hop in Message Service Specification
>0.91 explicitly show that each party has a MSH (which I assume is
>something more than a browser or Outlook Express).  Even Burdett's
>Multi-Hop Reliable Messaging Use Cases imply more than that, though it
>never mentions "MSH" - referring to "Hubs" instead, which in my mind
>conjures up VANs or outfits like Viacore.
>If multi-hop support is necessary for implementation through VANs, then
>it is indeed something very important that perhaps BizTalk has
>completely overlooked, and RosettaNet is only belatedly addressing.
>Considering that VAN acknowledgements and interconnect were such a rats'
>nests in EDI (both X12 and EDIFACT), it probably would be prudent to do
>a careful job with multi-hop in ebXML.
>On the other hand, if all this multi-hop stuff is just for supporting
>SMEs going through a portal, aren't there are simpler models for
>effecting this?  I can think of one - FORESIGHT's TradeSite, and to be
>ecumenical, any number of other services and products to do the same.
>William J. Kammerer
>4950 Blazer Memorial Pkwy.
>Dublin, OH USA 43017-3305
>+1 614 791-1600
>Visit FORESIGHT Corp. at http://www.foresightcorp.com/
>"Commerce for a New World"

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