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Product Data Integration in B2B E-Commerce
July/August 2001 (vol. 16 no. 4)
pp. 54-59

The dramatically increased flexibility afforded by the Internet in business-to-business transactions also presents steep challenges in merging information coming from so many sources. B2B marketplaces, which function as an intermediate communications layer, reduce the number of mappings needed for their user community from n * m to n + m. However, to provide this service, they must deal with the problem of heterogeneity in their customers' product, catalog, and document descriptions. Effectively and efficiently managing different description styles becomes a key task for these marketplaces. In real-world marketplaces, developing a scalable approach for information integration has become the main prerequisite for scaling businesses. Successful content management for B2B electronic commerce must deal with several challenges: extracting information from rough sources, classifying information to make product data maintainable and accessible, reclassifying product data, personalizing information, and creating mappings between different information presentations. The lack of standards-really, the inflation and inconsistency of newly arising pseudostandards—makes all these subtasks more difficult. As a benefit to both academics and industrialists who want to provide solutions for this key process in B2B electronic commerce, this article focuses on these challenges for content management and discusses potential solution paths.

Citation:
Dieter Fensel, Ying Ding, Borys Omelayenko, Ellen Schulten, Guy Botquin, Mike Brown, Alan Flett, "Product Data Integration in B2B E-Commerce," IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 54-59, July-Aug. 2001, doi:10.1109/5254.941358
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