Enterprise Integration using Web Services: A Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) Implementation

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In this project I have considered one supplier and one retailer. Both of them act like two different enterprises. Both supplier and retailer have their own information systems within their organization and these information systems are hosted on two different software platforms. In this case we have assumed that retailer has .Net platform on the other hand supplier has Java EE platform. Our main objective is to provide a method by which they can share the information across the platforms. The project mainly focuses on interoperability of tow existing architecture i.e. .Net and Java EE. Here we are not only implementing a cross platform technology, we are also making possible a communication between two widely used programming frameworks. The following figure shows the Web Services architecture adopted for the VMI implementation.

In present scenario the frameworks for writing web services are Java EE and .Net. WSDL is used for service description. For communication protocol SOAP is used. There are other protocols also but they do not provide the flexibility in data transfer as SOAP does. For transport we are using HTTP protocol, which helps communication through browser.

Retailer Side Development:
As shown in the sequence diagram under the section 3.1 that the retailer needs to send the data three times in a VMI system. And also retailer needs to get the data two times from supplier. For web services implementation we need three web services and two clients on retailer side. Three web services will be sending the data about “stock level”, “acknowledgement on consignment stock” and “confirmation about invoice”. The two clients will receive the data about “information on consignment stock” and “invoice information” from supplier.

Supplier Side Development:
From sequence diagram we can see that a supplier needs to receive the data from retailer three times and send the data to retailer two times in a VMI system. Therefore two web services and three clients are required for communication. The two web services send the data about “Information on consignment stock” and “invoice information” and the three clients receive the data about “stock level”, “acknowledgement on consignment stock” and “confirmation about invoice”.

Information flow over the network

This web services implementation of VMI was done successfully on two different platforms. Both of the supplier and retailer were able to share the information without any complexity. The client interfaces of both the sides are shown below:

Retailer side client to consume supplier’s web services

Supplier side client window for consuming retailer’s web services


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