The concept of virtual enterprise is promoted by the current market and economic conditions worldwide, and facilitated by the recent developments in both information and communication technologies. A large number of international research and development projects are also contributing to the development of basic models and supporting infrastructures. However, there is still the need to develop general infrastructures that support flexible and safe cooperation among enterprises. The Esprit PRODNET II project designed and implemented an open infrastructure to support industrial virtual enterprises with special focus on the needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises. The proposed architecture is described summarizing its main components. The federated approach for information sharing and management is described, and the implemented mechanisms to support secure communications over the Internet are presented. Finally, the creation and configuration steps for a virtual enterprise are discussed.
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||International Journal Of Computer Integrated Manufacturing|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2001|