David E. Anyiwo,
Department of Business Administration
Bowie State University
14000 Jericho Park Road
Bowie, MD 20715
Phone: (301) 860-3626
Fax: (301) 860-3644
The goal of this project is to provide a Web-based, open participation environment that provides opportunities for productivity enhancement and quality improvement in selected industry value chains. The project will collaborate with other ongoing efforts to craft a common business-to-business (B2B) electronic commerce architecture on the DAML+OIL infrastructure. Using some of the Semantic Web tools emerging from the DAML Program as well as other applicable Internet technologies, the project will build, deploy, and maintain the DAML Electronic Commerce Gateway -- the DAML-Gate. The DAML-Gate will provide a robust and easily customizable platform that provides classification, search and Web display of e-commerce object hierarchies for browsing. It will support information exchange and collaboration in the B2B e-commerce marketplace. The central thrust of this project's effort should enable the achievement of the DAML Program's goal of transitioning DAML to the commercial and military markets.
This project will integrate applicable DAML and other Internet tools to enhance the information management systems developed in the Web-Agile Missile Supply Chain Program and other initiatives, and improve the existing B2B collaboration protocols. We plan to work with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), and other partners in the identification and structuring of the DAML e-commerce Seed Ontology. We will also work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI), and various standards organizations to facilitate the standardization and stability of our DAML tools and services.
Although we expect to officially launch the DAML Electronic Commerce Domain project in May 2001 or later, considerable effort has already been made in planning the Target Industry Ontology Workshop. We expect to conduct the workshop in September or October 2001. A preliminary list of the stakeholders to be invited to the workshop will be submitted to the DAML Program Manager by July 1, 2001, for his approval.
There is some intersection in the orientation of the DAML projects executed by Bowie State University (BSU) and the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). Therefore, we plan to collaborate with the "DAML Tools for supporting Intelligent Information Annotation, Sharing and Retrieval" project undertaken by UMBC. We plan to collaborate with UMBC in organizing the Target Industry Ontology Workshop and in executing other activities involving various industry-specific user groups and other stakeholders. Arrangement is being made for both projects to formally negotiate the scope of their collaboration.
Although the initial focus of the tools and services provided by this project will be on the B2B electronic commerce, we anticipate gradual adaptation of DAML-Gate to other e-commerce domains and public use options. The missile or other major Defense-related manufacturing industry group is expected to be the initial user of DAML-Gate. The missile industry, in particular, already has considerable experience in the use of Web-agile supply chain management tools. The industry also provides opportunities for building sustainable computer-mediated relationships throughout its supply and value chain.
Other potential users of the DAML-Gate prototype include the aerospace, automotive, electronics, and shipbuilding industries. These industries are incurring staggering productivity losses and other costs associated with the operational inefficiencies in their supply and value chains. This is largely due to the inability of most available Web applications to properly analyze and effectively integrate the information on which critical business transactions depend. In some cases, about 40 per cent of product design time was spent searching for information through the supply chain, and it was difficult to integrate the required information even after it had been laboriously identified. There is evidence that these and many other commercial and non-commercial organizations are eager to deploy DAML or other Semantic Web tools to solve this information management challenge. The enormous economic and other benefits derivable from the DAML tools and services provided by this project will drive major suppliers and other contractors to DAML-Gate and create a sustainable market for the digital services it embeds.
Extension of the DAML-Gate's e-Commerce Ontology Manager design to handle business-to-consumer (B2C) and other e-commerce applications, as well as building the next generation e-commerce architecture and advanced e-business software tools are some of the next logical steps beyond the first year of this project's launching. We will continue to enhance the interconnectivity of DAML tools with other existing or emerging e-commerce applications and standards.
The lack of a common e-commerce ontology framework poses a major problem in the provision of cross-enterprise information management services in a rapidly evolving e-commerce environment. We intend to contribute to the search for a solution to this problem in the next phase of our project.