Contributions of this research

This research made four main contributions to science and society.

  1. The GARM was used as a basis for Ontologies. The FU/TS structuring mechanism received prominence over the customary subclass relation. This leads to a much more BC-centric style of Ontologies which are also much more dynamic. An added benefit is the more direct link to the money-making process by mimicking the demand-supply relation.

    The use of GARM also provides Ontologies with a context for the definitions. Definitions for a TS, in this way, are always in context of the enclosing FUs and vice versa.

  2. A great emphasis on an open source bcoWeb as a requirement for success. This comprises both an open source license on the bcoWeb content and an open source style of content development. Distributed, Internet-based development allows many interested parties to contribute, also small companies.

    The open source license prevents vendor lock-in, a critical point as the aim is to structure the information of BC as a whole. The chance of BC, as a whole, to entrust all of their communication to one single vendor or organisation is very low.

    The open source license, additionally, makes bcoWeb also an interesting and safe subsidy, funding and support target.

  3. An emphasis on an explicitly national bcoWeb instead of the customary research for international information structuring standards. Perhaps EU research has a lot of influence in this regard. See the suggestions for further research in the next section, though.
  4. To BC ICT research, a contribution11.2 is the emphasis on the simple HTTP+XML+RDF style of web services instead of the SOAP style that is seen almost exclusively in BC ICT research. SOAP seems to be assumed as a given, when working with web services. The much simpler style (often called REST) severely reduces complexity: complexity which is the last thing BC needs, if NG Internet-based process innovation is to come about.

A possible big impact on society as a whole and BC in particular is bcoWeb's capability to reach the--until now--elusive goal of commonly usable and available BC Semantics. This is coupled with a vision for simple, cheap, available NG Internet-based information exchange.

The reason? The technological choices in this thesis were made with the goal in mind of applicability in practice. When trying to improve BC as a whole, the whole of BC must be targeted, not just the top 1% which have the big project databases. The choices must not fly in the face of economic and political acceptability. The oh-so-important software vendors must have a good reason to support the solution and the disincentives must be small or non-existent.

Hopefully, part of this mindset can also be seen as one of the contributions of this thesis.

BcoWeb opens a road to a new BC paradigm where man and machine communicate in the language of the industry.

Reinout van Rees 2006-12-13