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eProduct Catalogues Using Web Services Robert Amor & Wolfgang Kloep

Summary: eProduct Catalogues Using Web Services
Robert Amor & Wolfgang Kloep
Online product catalogues for construction have tended to mimic traditional paper-based catalogues. This
approach adds little value to the electronic format and does not integrate well with the object-based
design world which is starting to become accepted within CAD systems. The development, and mass
deployment, of new Internet-based technologies such as XML, SOAP, UDDI, WSDL, etc support new
approaches to online product catalogues. The potential benefits provided by these technologies include:
identification of products via actual parameters; a single data transport mechanism; dynamic
identification of available products as required; the ability to handle multiple information formats from
manufacturers; support for product differentiation by manufacturers; and manufacturer control of their
information base. These potential benefits have been tested in example projects which show that
difficulties still remain in creating an open framework for product brokering. The lessons learned from
these projects and paths for future work are presented here.
Keywords: web services; manufactured product; online catalogue
1 Introduction
Paper catalogues are still the main method of collating a large number of manufactured product
information sheets into a single document. A paper catalogue will usually impose a particular
classification over the range of products encompassed in the work, and often will have a standard format
for basic business information about the manufacturers and suppliers of the product. However, they have


Source: Amor, Robert - Department of Computer Science, University of Auckland


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences