Virtual Enterprise and Emissary Computing Technology

Allen Mark Dewey and Richard Bolton
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 4, Number 1, Fall 1999, pp. 45.

Abstract: Integrated product teaming, concurrent engineering, supply-chain management, and build-to-order manufacturing are all examples of the growing interest in collective business engagements involving interorganizational collaboration. The pressing need to automate interorganizational collaboration is motivating the emergence of virtual enterprise technology to enable the rapid formation, execution, and dissolution of joint ventures within the confines of an information infrastructure supporting electronic data interchange and commerce. Virtual enterprise technology, in turn, is creating the need for new high-performance computation and communication strategies. Collectively known as emissary computing, these strategies use highly empowered servers called emissaries to represent and interconnect organizations participating in a joint business engagement. Emissary computing addresses organizational interactions and can be viewed as an extension of proxy computing that addresses more simple resource interactions (e.g., communication gateways, Web servers). Virtual enterprises and emissary computing are establishing new directions in information-processing architectures and paradigms, and form key enabling technologies for interorganizational collaboration.

Key Words and Phrases
: Collaboration, distributed component platforms, information system infrastructures, virtual enterprises.