Internet Hyper Chains. Architectures to add flexibility to the value chain
A hyper chain is a simple, yet powerful conceptual extension to the traditional client-server computing paradigm. It suggests a three layer model, including, besides the client and the server, also a directory service provider. Through this service, clients can first search and reach suitable business partners, before embarking on fully custom and rich queries and other business transactions with these, meaningful to their purpose, partners. The implications of this model can be significant, especially in the case where the business environment involves value chains that are relatively loosely connected and not fixed by definition. It may not be equally helpful, in cases where the value chain involves always the same companies, set around a fixed supplier mindset and modus operandi. In this work a number of aspects of the hyper chain will be presented. We will start by reviewing the business rationale that underlies the approach and that in certain circumstances may render it particularly resourceful. Then, we will present the technical details of a particular hyper chain implementation in the furniture-manufacturing sector. Finally, we will conclude with some hints on the modalities by which such a service is delivered and exploited.