Designing EDA/SQL Middleware Systems to Integrate Web Database and Legacy Database Systems for E-Business in an Electric Utility Company

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The Internet is a new cyber space for commercial online services and data sharing. It is also a new system for transforming information that people search and exchange throughout the world. The terms "web workstyle" and "web lifestyle" have been used to emphasize the effectiveness of corporations and customers using those digital accesses. Especially, "web workstyle" is giving rise to the revolution of commerce entirely. As a result, companies are restructuring knowledge management systems and business operating systems. Thus, this paper researches the electronic commerce system in terms of electric utility service, and provides a framework to develop e-business systems for the new digital generation customers. Many electric utility companies may have temporarily overlooked what they could accomplish if they established a presence on the Internet. Several utilities and industry service companies are using their home pages as repositories of information related to business deals such as procurement activities, equipment sales, power purchase agreement buyouts, and various other offerings. Online business, however, is still in its infancy, and much remains to be done in order to establish the web as a valid transaction medium.

Recent developments in the utility industry report that fifteen of the America's largest electric and gas companies have formed a consortium to build an Internet business exchange with suppliers. The exchange will be open to use by any firm in the energy and utilities industry, but the independent company will initially be owned by the founding utilities. As the technology for web-enabled wireless devices continues to evolve, utilities are being forced to consider strategies for the deployment of wireless applications. In addition, utilities are being forced to roll them out so they may cut costs or establish new service revenues.

Managers in an electric utility firm may be a step behind the Internet revolution, but in one key respect, they may have an advantage over anyone else building an e-business web portal for business-to-business (B2B) procurement. Executives in utility firms do not fear government regulation, as they are already caught in the net. That affinity may in fact prove downright useful. The possibility of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) taking a more active role in overseeing B2B platforms is of particular interest for many e-procurement ventures by the electric utilities industry. FTC rulings on e-business marketplaces also may affect the scores of energy trading platforms being constructed by utilities and power marketers.

E-business, electric trades that connect public organizations with private customers, as yet, is not running at full capacity, even in developed nations where it could be an enormous contribution to society. Expected contributions are: (1) preexisting confidence, (2) predictability, (3) reliability, and (4) convenient payment. Preexisting confidence is defined as customers (demanders) trusting suppliers since they trade with public organizations (other suppliers). Thus, the customers have strong confidence buying public goods. The next contribution, predictability, is enhanced by the following factors: the price of each good is always based on both the details of the contract which is made when customers apply for the first time, and on the user's meters being measured monthly. In addition, the price of each unit is fixed by the contract. There is no extra process to trade because the same condition of contract and the same goods complete the supplement and consumption of every month periodically and permanently. Reliability is the third contribution. Other procedures to deliver the services or products are not required. The goods can simply be delivered by wires which are provided through public organizations and the equipment of each customer. Consequently, consumers do not worry about the time aspect, or whether they can use the products right now or in the future, as public products are limitless. …