CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Web Services Based Agents for Supply Chain Collaborative Contract Initiation

Date of Award

2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Sumitra Mukherjee

Committee Member

Easwar Nyshadham

Committee Member

Lee Leitner

Abstract

The goal of this research was to design a collaborative contract initiation system that protects sensitive information, and uses the ebXML service oriented architecture to provide web services, while utilizing the internal systems currently in place. The system was designed to use the Elemica trading exchange and to send CIDX Chern eStandard XML payloads across the Internet. The Elemica trading exchange was not permitted to store any sensitive data at their site, such as price, quantities or delivery dates. The contract initiation system was a combination of ebXML-based services that are executed utilizing intelligent agents. The use of software agents to implement the web services was an important component of the design. The integration with a back end ERP system at the buyer and supplier sites was specifically designed for use with SAP version 4.6. The design used the UNICEF ACT Modeling Methodology (UMM), which defines a series of steps to be followed in order to design public business processes. The public business processes were constructed to form a Business Process Specification Schema (BPSS). Once the BPSS was created the Collaboration Protocol Profiles (CPP) I Collaboration Protocol Agreements (CPA) were created. At this point the agent design took place based upon the public processes designed in the prior steps. The validation of the system relied upon: (a) The creation of test cases based on the use case scenarios; (b) syntax validation by generating XMI; (c) tracing of requirements to assure coverage; (d) a static and dynamic analysis of the model artifacts against the use cases, and (e) a walkthrough of the test cases. The development and implementation of the contract initiation system design would contribute to the elimination of the manual contract setup efforts and would significantly reduce the amount of time needed to build a trading partner relationship between a buyer and a seller. Implementation of the contract initiation process through the Elemica trading exchange can be used as a model for other trading exchanges or similar technologies.

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