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XPECT: a framework for electronic commerce

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3 Author(s)
Andreoli, J.-M. ; Rank Xerox Res. Center, Grenoble, France ; Pacull, F. ; Pareschi, R.

Electronic commerce is emerging as one of the most important applications on the Internet, with the potential to revolutionize the whole structure of retail merchandising and shopping. There is already a need for an information technology infrastructure that goes well beyond the simple capabilities offered by the current development environments for Internet applications. For electronic commerce to really take off, however, it will have to give shoppers options not available through traditional commercial channels. This implies the further need for an infrastructure that can support complex and flexible services to manage customer tailored requests in the context of highly dynamic networks and federations of providers. To achieve this level of support will mean using the functionalities now considered to be whole applications as the elementary building blocks of e-commerce applications. Among these functionalities are: transactional payment; workflow; and multiparty agreement. To address these issues, we developed XPect, a generic framework for electronic commerce. The XPect framework supports the integration of multiple component functionalities. It is implemented in the Coordination Language Facility, an object based distributed application development tool. CLF assumes an object model of autonomous agents that can engage in interactions, more sophisticated than those in the traditional object paradigm. In addition, CLF allows for dynamically adding new services and for coordinating the access to multiple services

Published in:

Internet Computing, IEEE  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 4 )