February 3, 2017 | Written by: Ger Clancy
Categorized: PEPPOL Directory
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PEPPOL Directory deployment approved by OpenPEPPOL!!
In the past days, we received OpenPEPPOL’s approval to deploy PEPPOL Directory to full production asap. This is great news, and the culmination of nearly 3 years of intense work.
Back in May 2014, we began looking for a better way to help PEPPOL users to derive more benefit from their investment, by making it easy for them to discover and connect with new trading partners on the PEPPOL network.
A PEPPOL user, or prospective user should have a resource to easily check if an actual or potential trading partner was already using PEPPOL. This would pave the way for a more organic growth from public sector mandated “business-to-government” use towards more classic “business-to-business” usage.
We defined and refined Use Cases, and architectural and operational models for the PEPPOL Directory service, and undertook extensive consultation and negotiation with all stakeholders to achieve the final version.
It is not yet mandatory for PEPPOL Service providers to make their client’s data available to PEPPOL Directory. We do anticipate, however, that most will make the preparations to do so in the short term. Naturally, like in the Telephone Directory, PEPPOL End clients wishing to opt-out may do so.
Already today, you can see a working version of the PEPPOL directory service, showing data from some live IBM PEPPOL clients in the links below. All PEPPOL Service Providers will now be asked to prepare their client’s PEPPOL Business Card data for the Directory.
PEPPOL Business Card
The data format of the PEPPOL Business Card is as follows:
- PEPPOL participant ID (basically the PEPPOL “phone number”)
- PEPPOL document type ID (which PEPPOL documents can be supported, e.g. PO, Invoice etc.)
- Business entity (consisting of…)
- Entity name
- Geographic information (e.g. address)
- Additional Identifier (non-PEPPOL) (e.g. a national VAT ID, or national company registration number.
- Registration date (when the participant joined PEPPOL network)
The current architecture of the PEPPOL network (in Feb 2017) does not require registration on the network of PEPPOL Participants who only send documents. Because PEPPOL Directory cannot index unregistered participants, we propose to capture such “Sending-Only” participants by means of a workaround.
Their PEPPOL Access Point providers would register them on the network with an empty service group, thus allowing for generation and publication of Business Cards for PEPPOL Directory for them.
At a future date PEPPOL policy may require network registration of senders. The Directory design has already prepared for this in advance.
It now only remains for the Directory team to make some final cosmetic changes to the PD interface and deploy it to its hosting location. We’ll advise when completed.
The key message today is “PEPPOL Directory Deployment Approved!!”
If you’re a PEPPOL Access Point and/or SMP operator, we will circulate the simple steps and experience from implemention of the PEPPOL Directory code on the IBM SMP. Consequently, please plan for an update to your SMP systems to allow for PEPPOL Directory indexing. The technical details are attached HERE , and the Guide for SMP Providers HERE
If you’re a PEPPOL End Client, please contact your PEPPOL Service Provider and ask them get your data ready for indexing.
Thanks to everyone who supported and contributed to PEPPOL Directory over the past 3 years, and we look forward to seeing this resource grow into a key feature enabling PEPPOL trade in future.
Ger Clancy, IBM
PEPPOL Directory Project Manager and Workgroup Leader
Philip Helger, BRZ Austria
PEPPOL Directory Development and Technical Leader