The doctoral dissertations of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Aalto University Schools of Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI) published in electronic format are available in the electronic publications archive of Aalto University - Aaltodoc.

XML-Based E-Business Frameworks and Supply Chain Integration

Juha-Miikka Nurmilaakso

Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Science in Technology to be presented with due permission of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering for public examination and debate in Auditorium TU1 at Helsinki University of Technology (Espoo, Finland) on the 3rd of December, 2007, at 13 o'clock.

Overview in PDF format (ISBN 978-951-22-9074-1)   [689 KB]
Dissertation is also available in print (ISBN 978-951-22-9073-4)


Although information and communication technologies have opened up new possibilities of doing business, supply chain integration, especially exchange of business documents in business processes, is far from simple. Fortunately, standardization can facilitate information sharing between business partners. Data formats, such as XML, are low-level standards that define data structures and data elements. They are insufficient in supply chain integration because business partners must know what information should be shared when and how. E-business frameworks are high-level standards that specify business documents, business processes and messaging. XML-based e-business frameworks are limitedly open and have been mostly standardized in formal organizations. In addition, industry-specific e-business frameworks seem to be more comprehensive in their properties than cross-industry e-business frameworks. Software vendors tend to prefer the standardization of cross-industry e-business frameworks, whereas users tend to favor the standardization of industry-specific e-business frameworks.

Within an industrial case, an XML-based integration system prototype proved that the XML format and basic XML technologies, together with an e-business framework, provide a sound basis for supply chain integration. According to this industrial case, XML-based integration systems can result in cost savings in comparison to EDI-based integration systems.

The XML format has gained a significant footing in industry-specific e-business frameworks and dominates in cross-industry-process e-business frameworks. The use of XML-based e-business frameworks has increased more than the use of EDI-based e-business frameworks in 2004. In addition, the use of XML-based e-business frameworks has become more common in the new European market economies and in those industries for which there is an XML-based but no EDI-based industry-specific e-business framework. XML-based e-business frameworks seem to support a larger number of e-business functions than EDI-based e-business frameworks. If the company has adopted a large number of e-business functions, it will more likely replace EDI-based with XML-based e-business frameworks.

This thesis consists of an overview and of the following 5 publications:

  1. Nurmilaakso, J.M., Kotinurmi, P., 2004, A review of XML-based supply-chain integration, Production Planning & Control, Vol. 15, No. 6, pp. 608-621.
  2. Nurmilaakso, J.M., Kettunen, J., Seilonen, I., 2002, XML-based supply chain integration: a case study, Integrated Manufacturing Systems, Vol. 13, No. 8, pp. 586-595.
  3. Nurmilaakso, J.M., Kotinurmi, P., Laesvuori, H., 2006, XML-based e-business frameworks and standardization, Computer Standards & Interfaces, Vol. 28, No. 5, pp. 585-599. © 2006 Elsevier Science. By permission.
  4. Nurmilaakso, J.M., 2008, EDI, XML and e-business frameworks: a survey, Computers in Industry, Vol. 59, No. 4, pp. 370-379. © 2008 by author and © 2008 Elsevier Science. By permission.
  5. Nurmilaakso, J.M., 2008, Adoption of e-business functions and migration from EDI-based to XML-based e-business frameworks in supply chain integration, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 113, No. 2, pp. 721-733. © 2008 by author and © 2008 Elsevier Science. By permission.

Keywords: electronic business (e-business), supply chains, information sharing, standardization, integration systems, Extensible Markup Language (XML), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.

© 2007 Helsinki University of Technology

Last update 2011-05-26