Government, industry conclude catalog pilot
- By Colleen O'Hara
- Mar 20, 2000
Federal agencies and vendors on Monday celebrated the conclusion of a pilot
project that showed how different, proprietary online catalogs could interoperate.
The government catalog interoperability pilot demonstrated that it is
technically feasible for government users to search, order and pay for products
offered in different online catalogs.
Industry consortium CommerceNet, along with NASA, the General Services
Administration, the Defense Department, Office Depot, Staples, American
Management Systems, eFed, NDS Americas and others, participated in phase
two of the catalog interoperability pilot, which ended this month.
During phase two of the pilot, users were authenticated via a smart
card and were able to search across different online catalogs for notebooks,
printers and office supplies in a secure environment established through
Virtual Private Network tunnels. Buyers were able to order the products
using government purchase cards.
The first phase of the pilot, completed last year, laid the foundation
for this phase by using Extensible Mark-Up Language as the standard for
describing data stored in catalogs and used in business transactions. The
next step, said Ron Parsons, director of Public Sector Alliances at CommerceNet,
is to develop a set of policies and programs that will move agencies toward
using open, interoperable standards for buying and paying.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP plans to release its findings on the pilot
project in late April.