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Implementation (Technology) Options

Implementation Option 5a - Seller Uses Buyer's Web Application  
Special Notes:  

    Business User View
    When to Use this Technology
    What You Need for this Technology
   When you are the seller
   When you are the buyer
    How it Works (from the perspective of the buyer)
   How it Works - Design Time
   How it Works - Run Time, Outbound
   How it Works - Run Time, Inbound
In Order Model 1 Section:
    UML Activity Diagram - Purchase Order Example



This is a technology where the buyer's suppliers use a web application in the buyer's extranet to send and receive business documents; the buyer is both a customer to the users, and an Application Service Provider.   The supplier is the user of the application, and once data is loaded into the application, it should be treated as if it is owned by the supplier.

The business processes may be fully integrated on the buyer's end; existing EDI infrastructure and back-end integration is frequently used when the buyer implements the web application.  The buyer may have read-only access to view the supplier's transactions.

The business process is not fully integrated for the supplier (the user); the web application may allow the user to download documents in one or two standard formats, and some web applications may allow the user some limited upload functionality.

Business User View

Compare with Basic Implementation Options User View.



When the World Wide Web was born, it was a vehicle for delivering data to a user's desk top, but the user could not interact with the information beyond requesting more web pages to be displayed or requesting a file for downloading.  One of the biggest innovations early in web history was the development of scripting languages and forms, allowing a user to fill in some information that could be formatted into an e-mail message or file and transmitted to a specified location.  Support for forms was added to the HTML DTD in 1993.

The EIDX Conference Registration form is a commonly used type of form.  Scripting languages allow the developer to specify what fields are mandatory on a form, to display a message to the user if they've left a required field blank, and to format and transmit a file containing the information entered in the form.

Originally, form data was transmitted in a non-secure manner, and there were no data bases sitting behind the forms that allowed the user to input search criteria and receive back results.  Validation of content was awkward.  A web form was not seen as an application entire of itself.   Over time, technologies for security, data base interaction, and robust content validation have evolved, and with it the capability to build web-based applications of every size and type.

In the mid 1990's, most large enterprises began looking at extending their electronic reach to Small-to-Medium trading partners who could not justify the cost of expensive B2B gateway software, back-end integration suites and so on, and the hardware that goes along with it.  So the large and mid-sized buyer' and sellers started building web applications, or engaging with third parties to provide applications that would allow their smaller partners to log on to the web and enter orders, receive orders, acknowledge orders, and more.  Deployment of web applications became widespread in 1999-2000, and millions of companies now rely on the web for much of their business. 

When to Use This Technology

Web vs. EDI or XML B2B Process - General Guidelines:

The partner is a candidate for using a web application if:

The supplier is a candidate for integrated EDI or XML B2B process if:

Last updated 02 March 2003