Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Design methodology evaluation

As part of the overall evaluation strategy of WP4, the purpose of this report is to examine the UMM methodology, as evidenced in the "LAURA" project, and point out its strengths and weaknesses. Validation of the intraregional and interregional electronic commerce zones is done by means of suggested indicators, however, this report is useful as a background in evaluating the overall methodology used in actually designing and developing these eCommerce zones.

In the modern digital era, as the degree of uptake of eCommerce from the involved actors (general public, private companies, public organizations, etc) continues to expand, there is an increasing number of eCommerce systems appearing in the market. Those may include Consumer-to-Consumer, Business-to-Consumer, Business-to-Business, Business-to-Government systems, etc. Those systems have to be developed by following proved and accepted modelling methodologies that have appeared in the field of Information Systems, and more specifically eCommerce systems.

One such methodology for the specification of eCommerce systems that has appeared during the last couple of years is UN/CEFACT's Modelling Methodology (UMM). According to the UMM Specification, "...a primary vision of UN/CEFACT is to capture the business knowledge that enables the development of low cost software components by software vendors to help the small and medium size companies, and emerging economies engage in e-Business practices. By focusing on developing business process and information models in a protocol neutral manner, UMM provides insurance against obsolescence by allowing recasting of the Open-edi scenarios into new technologies such as eXtensible Markup Language (XML), or other technologies that may emerge ten to fifteen years from now. Hence UMM "future-proofs" Open-edi scenarios against obsolescence by new protocol standards and technologies..."

In modelling the LAURA system, a full-blown definition of the system using UMM was performed. This allowed for the presentation of the system at a high level to interested parties, as well as use of the modelling artefacts at lower levels by the developers for developing the e-commerce system.

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