This paper proposes a new business architecture for agent-based IT integration between enterprises participating in Virtual Enterprises. The architecture is presented in terms of design decisions. These decisions are grouped at two levels: business related decisions, and purely software architecture related decisions. However, between these two levels there is a strong connection. En empirical argumentation for the business related decisions is constructed via a three example case-based study. Because the agent paradigm and the virtual enterprise paradigm are not yet clearly defined, and overused in many domains, we focused first our views and definitions about these two. The conclusion of the paper is that an IT integration in a virtual enterprise should have a central approach, starting from the community marketplace concept, which is enriched with the concept of the Virtual Product and upgraded to the rank of Agent Provider concept. Finally, this architecture settles clearly the problem of agent ownership, by giving this to the Agent Provider.
|Title of host publication||8th IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (EFTA), October 15-18, 2001, Antibes-Juan les Pins|
|Place of Publication||Piscataway, NJ, USA|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|