Owing to the development of information technology, the internet environment has provided an immense cyber space where the whole world can share beyond limits or boundaries on the earth. The e-market and the electronic commerce has been a common practices in every field of industry lately.
The shipping industry has also experienced some practices of the electronic commerce, however, most of the practices so far have been confined to the online services on the web site providing a limited contents concerning its business. In order to realize the more advanced practices of the shipping electronic commerce, normal activities in shipping such as the negotiation and the contract on purchasing/selling or chartering ships can happen interoperably in the existing heterogeneous network environment with various database systems and different platforms.
This paper aims at studying on the design and implementation issue of Shipping Electronic Commerce Agents, which is named SECA, based on CORBA(Common Object Request Broker Architecture) under client/server computing environment. CORBA is a standard middleware supporting heterogeneous networks and designed as a platform-neutral infrastructure for inter-object communication. So, CORBA is known as a powerful middleware system that can integrate non-interoperable computing. That is why CORBA is adopted in this study.
The study, at first, is motivated by the literature survey on the practices of shipping electronic commerce as well as the research on CORBA-based system design and implementation. Then, the systems analysis for the design and implementation of SECA was carried out by reflecting some practices of shipping. Finally, the prototype CORBA-based SECA, which is consisted of client agent, MS-SQL server agent, trader agent, and interbase server agent, was designed and implemented under client/server computing environment.
The paper reports the design and implementation process of SECA in detail and comments some notable aspects of SECA as well. The author concludes the paper stating the needs of further study on web-based SECA and expecting that the proposed design and implementation approach of SECA would be utilized in shipping electronic commerce in the near future.