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European Business Register


The EBR project aimed at demonstrating the feasibility and value of a Community-wide company search service through a pilot network between Administrations holding official company information. EBR set out to create a European Companies Register, a federal register which would require no change in existing national systems and services yet would enable official company data to be accessed by Administrations, companies, associations, and private users from each European Country.
The EBR consortium was committed to implementing a Pilot Service Broking System and demonstrating an on-line interconnection.

The Pilot demonstration was operated directly over X.25 (ISO/IEC 8208); no major problems were experienced.

The Italian SBS (CERVED) uses an IBM mainframe and a UNIX processor with an IBM 3270 end user presentation. The Danish SBS (CMA) uses an IBM mainframe and provides a VT100 presentation. The UK SBS (MERCURY) uses a Sequent UNIX processor linked to an ICL mainframe and provides a VT100 end user presentation. The French SBS (ORT) uses an ICL mainframe and provides a Minitel videotex user presentation conforming to CEPT2.
A key element of the EBR architecture is its ability to share different data access techniques and different enquiry languages whilst still providing a friendly and harmonised dialogue tool for the users, with all language constraints removed. The EBR System Architecture is based on the concept of interconnected Service Broking systems (SBS), which offers on-line access to Business or Trade Registers as required by different user communities. A common internal protocol (EBR Application Protocol) was implemented in each SBS for applications, employing Open Systems engineering solutions and effective implementation of International standards within existing data processing and communication environments.

4 main system elements have been designed and tested:

- The EBR Application Protocol provides the frame-work within which an Administration can formulate enquiries to another Administration and interpret the results via their respective SBS. This protocol caters for differences in local indexing methods and data base structures, and allows system independence from the different hardware architecture and presentation standards within the Administration's local environment.
- Data Element Definition - the base to define Types of Information, related to Company Registration Data to be exchanged.
- The EBR Data Dictionary for expressing the business register data in each Administration was designed; bilingual (local & English) help text fields were added to the dictionary format. Each dictionary has a tables section for expansion of coded data elements such as company activity codes.
- EBR Application Information Base - the Repository for technical information required to perform different enquiries.

The basic architecture for the hardware and software implementation is a CLIENT/SERVER model, with simple user terminals such as VT100, Minitel equipment and 3270 type terminals.


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Call for proposal

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Funding Scheme

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Cerved Spa
Rue froissart 123
1040 Brussels

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Participants (11)