How should the software vendors react?

Software vendors are key players in the realisation process of the ideas presented in this thesis. Without software that conforms to the bcoWeb proposed, nothing much will happen. The question is then: `Why should software vendors invest into adapting their existing tools, and into the development of next generation bcoWeb compliant tools?'

The answer is, besides the obvious but naive observation that BC software vendors should try to improve the value adding performance of the BC industry, that it is also very good for the BC software market. There are a number of reasons why BC software vendors should adopt bcoWeb.

Open source
The bcoWeb data is open source11.1, so it provides a safe, non-proprietary platform to build upon: software vendors will not be dependent on one single organisation. Second, it means that bcoWeb can be extended and changed; additions can be given back to bcoWeb, so that local maintenance can be kept to a minimum. Third, use of bcoWeb is free (free of charge and free to copy, use and modify).
Semantically rich
In great contrast with the majority of today's data, bcoWeb-based data is computer-readable. Of course, software vendors can continue to work with today's non-integrationable textual or binary data, but a semantically rich application foundation provides many more possibilities for innovative and value adding applications. The Semantics needed can be, if desired, contributed to bcoWeb, as the semantic needs of software vendors will be close to the needs of BC itself.
Web services
Internet-based applications and documents are much more widely usable and accessible than today's applications. bcoWeb web services offer the opportunity to make the applications available on a larger scale than currently feasible. For instance, small customers can now also be served: the kind of customer that wants to create just a single Specification per month. An entirely new market springs up for data-enriching, knowledge-providing applications that are barely in existence nowadays.

For all of this to come to pass, an ecosystem must be in place. A single software vendor that is the only bcoWeb user will not get added benefit out of it. Two communicating applications, however, already provide enough benefit, when compared to the extra cost and effort needed to cooperate using current means. It is the belief expressed in this thesis that bcoWeb will be able to bootstrap itself from a humble beginning. Interested software vendors are referred to [62].

Reinout van Rees 2006-12-13