The Internet has enabled an impressive increase in communication possibilities.

Increasing the value adding performance of BC necessitates an increase in communication and information and knowledge exchange and processing. The most powerful communication medium available is the Internet, so BC knowledge and information should use the Internet for maximum impact on BC's processes.

Overlooking the BC development efforts regarding the Internet, while noticing that developments in this area go extremely fast and what is true today, might be less true tomorrow, the following may be concluded:

Information availability
The Internet is near-universally available and accepted. So much so, that for BC information to be really sharable, it has to be available over the Internet.
Usable data
The NG Internet provides ways to make data understandable and usable for both humans and computers. Currently, many mechanical and boring tasks must be performed by the human participants in the process--purely because the data isn't structured enough for computers to jump in. Also, many innovative, time-saving and common-errors-preventing technologies are handicapped just by lack of usable data to operate on. NG Internet technologies are widely and cheaply available, which makes it more interesting for BC than specialistic solutions. On a more specific level, this translates to the following three technical conclusions:

First, BC information must be made accessible and identifiable using standard Internet means (HTTP, XML, RDF). This increases the accessibility and generic addressability of BC information. Information can become really part of the process.

Second, to link various information items together, RDF provides a generic reference and linking mechanism that merits detailed research on its applicability in a BC setting.

Third, an emerging theme that can be observed in BC ICT research is retained explicitly: the separate storage of Semantics in an Ontology. OWL provides a generic mechanism to create Ontologies. It seems to offer a more generic basis for Ontologies than 12006-3, the current most-advanced technology in BC, though it has to re-use some concepts also in 12006-3.

Involving applications
Web services, providing either information stored in applications or results from calculations or services, are a good way to make even more information and knowledge available and accessible.
National BC Semantics
BC Semantics has not received the attention it required. One reason has been the difference between objects in BC in different countries. The European eConstruct project clearly showed that objects like `inner doors' are different in each country. It seems therefore inevitable that detailed modelling efforts in an international setting failed and that successful developments should be context dependent (for instance, they should start on a national scale).

The proposal is to use the NG Internet's W3C standards as much as possible. The existing developments in BC are retained, when useful. No existing effort is needlessly re-done. Existing developments should, however, be brought into line with the NG Internet.

Reinout van Rees 2006-12-13