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Divergence of EAI and B2B

Source:BtoB B2B(2010-12-25)Categories:[B2B News] Keyword: B2B

As B2B protocols and specifications mature, a schism will eventually develop between the roles of EAI and B2B. EAI models are typically centralized within an organization, which tends to be a more efficient framework for integration. Conversely, B2B models have to support joint development activities and technology level agreements among independent organizations, a much more challenging task.

In many B2B marketplaces today, companies are relying on proprietary EAI middleware to facilitate B2B communication. Many of these middleware solutions are mature, stable and battle-tested, providing an adequate framework for transacting over the Internet. This stability usually comes at the expense of accessibility, openness and scalability.

Currently, B2B implementation is subjected to frequent changes as the industry standards change or the business processes of trading partners change. The eventual acceptance of evolving B2B protocols and standards such as SOAP/XML, UDDI, XMLT will promise to provide companies with a common, standardized framework for conducting B2B transactions, eliminating the need for proprietary software or constant rework. Once these standards become widely accepted in the marketplace, EAI will be relegated to middleware solutions such as messaging and distributed objects while B2B will be reduced to protocol-based communication, much like TCP/IP or HTTP is today.

The other major area of divergence is security. With EAI, companies do not have to worry about encryption, firewall implementations, cross organization distributed applications, or partner management, all of which pose difficult challenges in B2B. In addition, B2B implementation is inherently more complex from a global perspective, as it has to deal with different international laws regarding the use and export of cryptographic technology.

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