Interoperability: the ability of a system or a product to work with other systems or products without special effort from the user is a key issue in manufacturing and industrial enterprise generally. It is fundamental to the production of goods and services quickly and at low cost at the same time as maintaining levels of quality and customisation. Interoperability is achieved if internal and external collaborators can interact on at least three levels: data, applications and business enterprise (through the architecture of an enterprise model and making allowance for the semantics of both partners). Not only a problem of software and IT technologies, it implies support for communication and transactions between different organisations that must be based on shared business references. Today, a new and important consideration must be taken into account – economic business evaluation and the definition of dissemination policy.
Composed of over 50 papers, Enterprise Interoperability ranges from academic research through case studies to industrial and administrative experience of interoperability. The international nature of the authorship continues to broaden. Many of the papers have examples and illustrations calculated to deepen understanding and generate new ideas.
The I-ESA’06 conference from which this book is drawn was sponsored by the European Union via the INTEROP network of excellence and the ATHENA integrated project (in the frame of the 6th IST Framework Research Program). It is also supported by the International Federation for Information Processing, the International Federation of Automatic Control and various national associations.
A concise reference to the state of the art in software interoperability, Enterprise Interoperability will be of great value to engineers and computer scientists working in manufacturing and other process industries and to software engineers and electronic and manufacturing engineers working in the academic environment.
Prof. Doumeingts has a long career in the domain of Enterprise Integration, has developed the GRAI Model and the Grai method which are today a reference for Enterprise Integration and Enterprise Interoperability. He has supervised more than 20 PhD on the subject and was Project Manager of more than 20 European projects on the subject. Prof. Doumeingts act also as consultant for European Companies and give International seminars on the subject.
Prof. Dr. Jörg P. Müller holds a Chair for Business Information Technology at Technical University of Clausthal. Previously, Jörg was Principal Researcher with Siemens AG, John Wiley & Sons, Zuno Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric, and the German Artificial Intelligence Research Center. He holds a Ph.D. from Saarbrücken University and an M.Sc. in Computer Science from Kaiserslautern University. Within the last fifteen years, he has published more than 100 papers on intelligent agents and multi-agent systems, business information systems and distributed computing. His current research interests include technologies for interoperability, model-driven business process automation, and business applications of agent technology, peer-to-peer and grid computing.
Professor Gerard Morel is currently Head of the research programme of CRAN University H. Poincare Nancy on 'Manufacturing Engineering and Automation'. He is currently chairman of the IFAC TC 5.1. on 'Manufacturing Plant Control', Europe Editor of the International Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing and Expert-evaluator for the European Commission IST programme.