Business Artifacts for E-Business Interoperability

Document Type

Book Chapter

Source of Publication

Global Business

Publication Date



Traditional solutions to address interoperability issues are mainly process-centric so that consistent interactions among collaborating enterprises are ensured. These solutions examine interoperability from a technological perspective with focus on exchanging information messages between distributed and heterogeneous applications. However, interoperability from a business perspective has been overlooked in the past due to the complexity of reconciling diverse business strategies, organizational constraints, and IT infrastructures. Business interoperability denotes the ability of diverse enterprises to collaborate together to coproduce added-value products and services. In this chapter, a new line of thinking is promoted whereby interoperability is data-centric instead of process-centric. Business interoperability is dealt with by adopting business artifacts that are able to cross organizational boundaries, and by introducing a stack of three layers - strategy, service, and resource. Artifacts are self-contained business records that include attributes, states, and life cycles that reflect the changes in these states. The artifact concept not only describes a business entity, but also encompasses knowledge about what to process without explaining how to do it. The shift from processes to artifacts makes business interoperability "quite simple'' to deploy and renders collaboration easy to manage and analyze. The chapter also introduces several interaction patterns that regulate the exchange of artifacts between enterprises. The ideas and proposals in this chapter are discussed via a realistic case-study to demonstrate how business people can seamlessly manage their day-to-day activities and intuitively construct interoperable and sustainable collaborations at the business and technological levels.


IGI Global

First Page


Last Page




Indexed in Scopus


Open Access