ERCIM News No.21 - April 1995 - GMD

Open and Obligatory Tele-cooperations

by Rüdiger Grimm

A new research activity on "open and obligatory telecooperations" has been started by the Institute of Telecooperation Technology at GMD in Darmstadt on January 1 this year. The objective of this research activity is to participate in the development of an "open marketplace" of business applications in open network environments like the Internet.

A "marketplace" is a meeting point for providers and demanders of goods and services. The market is "open" for persons who offer goods in that they enter the place spontaneously, and introduce and offer their products freely. They may sell their offers within sales cooperations, and outside of sales cooperations they may leave the place again freely. The market is also "open" for persons who demand goods in that they enter and leave the place spontaneously. While on the place, they may freely inform themselves about the offers on the marketplace without obligation. According to their personal interest they may enter cooperations with goods sellers with the aim to exchange a good against money. Sales cooperations are governed by rules which oblige the partners to perform certain steps in order to achieve the common aim of a cooperation in a fair way. A sales cooperation "commits" the partners to follow these rules.

In the present, the Internet is the strongest incarnation of an open communication network which is both developed and used in the same time. It is worldwide accessible to everybody. It is open both to new network technologies and to new cooperation forms. Presently many new applications are introduced and accepted like, for example, the "World Wide Web" with its comfortable graphical user interfaces. Therefore, the Internet offers the technical infrastructure which is necessary for an open marketplace of global cooperations.

However, the development of applications is chaotic and follows mostly only "trial-and-error" methods. There is no ripe software engineering technology for open telecooperations, and there is no experience with coordination of complex cooperations, e.g., implemented by advanced enabled mail technology. There is no market model and only little understanding about obligatory business cooperations embedded in an open information environment like the Internet. Moreover, supporting services like public directories, key servers or certification authorities are not globally available. In a real market environment, a much richer application support is needed, for example information brokers, payment clearing, notaries, whitnesses or judging instances. In this area of applications, the new research activity will help to reduce deficits and build up new applications and services.

Research Topics

Participation in actual developments:

New developments


Interdisciplinary research

Please contact:
Rüdiger Grimm - GMD
Tel: +49 6151 869 716
E-mail: grimm@darmstadt.gmd.de

return to the contents page