Towards the definition of a Science Base for Enterprise Interoperability:
A European Perspective
Research on Enterprise Interoperability (EI) has evolved to
meet real pragmatic needs to support the ever more
collaborative nature of, for example, enterprise supply chains,
and virtual enterprises. Research outputs have therefore
focused on generating solutions to current problems, rather
than to developing a body of knowledge which is structured for
ease of re-use.
In Europe there is move to define just such a structure: an
Enterprise Interoperability Science Base (EISB). We explore
here the current state of this ongoing research, reviewing the
understanding gained so far, and looking to the likely future
outcomes. However this is clearly not just a European research
domain. The main purpose of presenting the European
perspective is to stimulate interaction with researchers in all
regions who have an interest in the domain.
We therefore address three issues. We review the development
of neighbouring sciences, identifying science base structures,
and methodologies for their development. The definition and
objectives of a science base are analysed, leading to an outline
structure for an EISB to include formalised problem and
solution spaces as well as structured EI domain knowledge.
Twelve Scientific Themes of EI are identified and the current
state of research in each is briefly discussed.