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Any2Any Technology

This is the weakness link: the any2any technology landscape has not been plotted. Anyhow, we will try here to project the requirements of an any2any ePlatform and how current and emerging technologies are actually meeting these needs, and if not, why not. In the original design of the 4th Party Logistics ePlatform, we took the underlying system architecture as a message-oriented web service driven design. That was around early 2003. Using that development, we will discuss the technological considerations in the design of the any2any ePlatform. The design must be able to provide: 1) identity-driven participant actualization, 2) virtual any-to-any channels for communications and information sharing, and 3) process mapping and linkage facilitator. The platform can be viewed as a portal and each function can be implemented as JSP pages or Portlets. Portlets have restrictions that may not be suitable but yet could be better than applet or JSP/servlet technology. We will explore Portlets as a separate topic.

It will take time to map out the landscape, but we will start with these four areas:

Process Oriented Development

Any business process description language out there? BPEL with WSDL in the SOA domain? What else is there? BPML? BPQL? WSCDL?

What about SCOR? SCOR stands for Supply Chain Operations Reference-model and the website is at www.supply-chain.org. See our notes on SCOR.


This is the very first process-oriented standard that we have looked at and benefited from their discussion on partnetship mapping (CPP and CPA). The idea of 'collaborative partnership' remains a viable community-oriented business practice. Dynamic collaborative partnership is a norm on the any2any ePlatform rather than an rarity - or alliances are rare or not competitive. What is missing is the plug-and-sync (similar to plug-and-play) nature of the business processes remain undefined or what is a 'connector' should be to facilitate such on-demand connectivity at the process level.


Using Thinkmap Thinkmap site to create an understanding of the any-2-any connectivity. We have done an example with the purposes and user names to remain anonymous.

Communication Oriented Development

Rich Internet Applications (RIA)/Thin-Thick Client/AJAX

One design of the platform is to facilitate instant communications among online participants. As the platform is message-driven, an Internet client must be able to 'listen.' It was reported in the Datamonitor site ("The Safa of Rich Internet Clients"), that there are frameworks such as MS Avalon, Macromedia Flex and open source Lazlo for deployment of richer clients. Further, in an Oracle blog, others such as AJAX, XUL and Applets are also RIA solutions that are now available. We like to investigate further how this technology can help in realizing anywhere any2nay communication via a common tool, e.g., the Java-enabled web browser. This will help us understand more and choose the right capabilities with respect to the design and development of e-Platform's interactivity trait.

Messaging Services (JMS Servers)/ESB

From some discussions on JMS Server software, the volume of messages and the speed in which messages are handled are on the mind of users. Not one implementation of JMS services among those listed met the requirement - whether the software is of commercial or open source nature. We have tried at the outset with the commercial product SonicMQ Sonic home, then moved on to open source JORAM JORAM homeand OpenJMS OpenJMS home; and eventually with ActiveMQ ActiveMQ homenow. The buzz word now is Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) in architectural consideration.

Foundation Technology Development

A2A JSP Tags - Any2Any (see some of the simple tags in development here [January 1, 2008])

AOLA JSP Tags - Author-Once-Learn-Anywhere

TOSA JSP Tags - Tag-Once-Synchronize-Anywhere

[basic JSTL usage examples]

Data & Information Representation Development

JSON Versu XML [jan.20.2007]

What about RDF RDFand OWL OWL? A 'ontology of mathematics content' would help to diminish the impacts of various development efforts when sharing of these ME (Mathematics Education) contents is expected. Would there be a RDF for ME contents? Is it out there?

Platform Technology

      The choices were limited as any Window-based technology was ruled out (not a choice but simply a lack of the domain knowledge). So, how many spins can you do with Java-based technologies? Actually, there are a lot that we can handle. The original development (i.e., the ePlatform of Cyber Logistics) used JSP and Applets. JSP was used to present instance information dynamically, but when the instance must be real-time, we used Applets to fill that gap. Yet, Applets are difficult to develop, test and deploy, and we are not sure the performance of client's JVM in handling multiple applets in the same session, even with WebStart. Then, the portlet technology was brought into the picture. Would portlet resolve some of the concerns, but yet manifest new contextual issues (e.g., refreshing of one portlet trigger refresh for all - as refreshing is crucial with the dynamic nature of logistics services and of RFID event-triggered data generation.) At this point, portlet technology should be used for the information portal, while Java EE technology is used for real-time transactional activities.

We will provide some discussion on Portlets later [posted May 1, 2007].


Adopted Open Source Technology
to be adopted
Pebble 2.3
(latest is the same as of May 4, 2008)
lucene v2.3.0
(latest is 2.3.1 as of May 4, 2008)
ActiveMQ 4.1.0
(latest is 5.1.0 as of May 4, 2008)
dojo Apache Batik      


   Technology developement can be viewed from the following chart (Figure 1). From this chart, we can see the development progresses according to our view of the Web, from the Reactive Web Era to the Interactive Web Era, and to the current Integrative Web Era [Chu, et. al, 2007]. The Integrative Era does not enforce the any2any requirement as weak as here - it is a stronger version now as commercial values remain to be seen.

Click to Original Size
Figure 1. Technology as They Are Introduced.


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