Until recently, only large companies could afford to develop and maintain computer systems to automate their trading processes. These ad hoc solutions are expensive and preclude widespread applications because they often address specific issues. This paper addresses some of these issues by proposing a business‐to‐business (b2b) electronic trading framework known as virtual electronic trading (VET).
With personal computers and the internet, it is now possible to realize a generic electronic infrastructure for virtual trading. A modular approach has been adopted in the development of VET to ensure a high degree of flexibility, scalability, maintainability and upgradeability. Overall, the design goal is to make sure that the system performs effectively and reliably.
A survey of existing b2b electronic trading systems has been conducted. Key attributes of these systems and areas of improvements are highlighted. These form the basis of VET.
The VET framework forms the basis for further research. Two examples are highlighted, namely: application of intelligent agents to perform the of market‐maker task; and development into a mobile commerce system when mobile technology and infrastructure can support such services.
An important contribution of our work is that the VET system provides a generic framework for a variety of business models and practices. Owing to the modular design, it can be easily customized to suit different (specialized) trading communities.
It is a systematic approach in developing a b2b e‐trading system that addresses users' needs by applying the most up‐to‐date computing and internetworking technology.
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