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  • Writer's pictureUsman Wajid

Initial Platform Interoperation Challenge

Usman Wajid (ICE), Violeta Damjanovic-Behrendt (SRFG)

The EFPF project establishes a federation of four Factories of the Future (FoF) platforms (from H2020 FoF-11-2016 cluster: NIMBLE, COMPOSITION, DIGICOR, and vf-OS) with the aim to realise a digital manufacturing ecosystem in Europe. The selected four platforms offer good complementarity of business functions, with a technology base that effectively supports the creation of an ecosystem and allows users to extend their services outside the boundaries of the respective platforms

The approach to enable an early interoperation between four platforms, while the proper integration middleware, c.f. the EFPF Data Spine, is under development, is called Initial Platform Interoperation Challenge. Practically, the work on such challenges kick-starts the development of the EFPF federation by unravelling and exploiting some of the technical functionalities of platforms.

Figure 1 shows a list of initial challenges, mapped to the business requirements of user communities in the project. This list of challenges is carefully created to reflect on the key platforms’ services. For example, the Furniture Manufacturing pilot refers to “searching for particular products/services” as an important business requirement to be performed between two or several platforms cooperating though the federation. Thus, challenge 5 “Search for Products and Services” is identified (Figure 1), and further designed (Figure 2), to enable the search functionality across two or more platforms.

Figure 1: Mapping of Initial Interoperation Challenges with the business requirements of user communities in EFPF

Figure 2: Initial Interoperation Challenge targeting search functionality across platforms

By design, the initial challenges focus on finding the fastest interoperation solutions. Each challenge is assigned to a technical team leading specific experimentation. Such approach allows the EFPF development teams to gain technical understanding of platforms services, their API calls, access control procedures, security protocols, data exchange formats of various tools and systems.

The valuable insights gained through the execution of initial interoperation challenges are fostering the technical understanding of four platforms and enforcing the design of the EFPF Data Spine.

The final report (D2.2) defining a set of initial interoperation challenges and summarizing the results of challenges related to federated login, search for products and services across platforms, and cross-platform device access management will appear in June 2019.


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