22 A B2B Solution using WebSphere Business Integration and WebSphere Business Connection
2.1 Introduction
It seems that most businesses have fairly similar requirements relating to the
issues of sending data either between applications or between themselves and
their trading partners.
These are the requirements for most B2B scenarios (in all or part):
򐂰 Ability to send and receive data
򐂰 Definable data formats
Definable message formats allow businesses to communicate with other
businesses, with data that may have to travel between different operating
systems and programs written in different languages. Having a definable
message format will also allow for more of a plug and play solution that will
allow other business or applications to participate in this data sharing. Most
B2B applications will have the business map their data into a generic data
object; this allows for easier manipulation of the data and also allows easier
mapping to different business data formats. It allows for a layer of abstraction
between the data formats of an individual application. This will allow
businesses to “plug in” additional business with minimal configuration.
򐂰 Security of data
Security needs to available from the time the data leaves the sending
application until it arrives at the receiving application. This is even more
important today with many businesses using their intranet or the Internet as
the travel medium.
򐂰 Availability of messaging systems
Messaging systems need to have a capability for failover/recovery and
continuous operations without losing or corrupting any data.
򐂰 Tracking mechanisms
The ability to track the progress of data through the system is required to
provide a user with the ability to see the progress of their data and an
administrator with the ability to perform problem or fault investigation and
򐂰 Transactional support
The decision to commit or back out the changes is taken, in the simplest
case, at the end of a transaction. However, given the distributed nature of
B2B transactions, the concept of transactional support takes on a whole new
meaning and level of complexity. Coordination of local transactions and
synchronization of distributed transactions is a key issue for data integrity.

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