Collaborative E-Business and Document Management: Integration of Legacy DMSS with the EBXML Environment
E-business capabilities are widely considered a key requirement for many modern enterprises. New B2B technologies can enable companies all around the world to collaborate in more effective and efficient ways, regardless of their size and geographical location. The ebXML family of specifications provides a standard solution to achieve this kind of interoperability, but it is not as widespread as traditional legacy systems yet. This is especially true when speaking of document management: enterprises typically store their knowledge inside commercial Document Management Systems, which come in different technologies and handle proprietary metadata models, and are therefore highly incompatible with each other. Nonetheless, a largely agreed-upon standard exists: the ebXML Registry/Repository specification, defining both an information model and a service protocol. Ideally, perfect interoperability could be achieved by simply moving all enterprise knowledge into ebXML registries, but this is not practically feasible due to the unbearable costs in terms of time and money. In order to promote the adoption of the ebXML standard within real-world companies, some kind of system is needed to bridge the gap between existing technologies and academic standards, allowing for a smooth transition towards open formats and methods. In this paper, we propose an architecture that enables enterprises to take advantage of the power and flexibility of the ebXML approach to metadata management without affecting in-place systems, and with no need for a complete repository reconstruction. Using Web services as a universal glue, we define a modular scheme that can be used to normalize the access to enterprise knowledge by both humans and machines, yet preserving the functionality of older applications.
KeywordsDigital Library Service Orient Architecture Document Management Enterprise Knowledge Enterprise Distribute Object Computing
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