Eng | 

Design Theory and Design Artifact for Third Party E-service



e-Service is of integrative importance in the e-business world. Its evolution can be traced to the beginning where service is rendered per user per site as a physical entity – software in a box. Conducting business online is now of a common practice rather than an exception in the integrative era, e-service, either as ASP, SaaS or as other service manifests, will continue to prevail as the trademark of developers for applications delivery. Yet, single-client e-services do not have provision to serve collaborative clients at the same time, and the interaction that may require with each other.

Existing e-service serves each client individually, although at any one time, there could be more than one client accessing instances of the same service. A complex e-service can now be composed by stitching together different e-services choreographed to accomplish a complicated task. A holistic view of e-service however, must take hold with a conceptualization of e-service with not limited to one, but more parties participating and/or interacting among themselves to complete the functional realization of the service. Party e-service conceptualization is proposed to highlight the collaborative nature of e-business, and at current articulation, e-service, does not address interactivity nature of multi-party business processes. Concept of party eservice considers the nature of the provider, service targets, service availability, client relationship and client interaction.

This study employs the design science approach to first establish the design theory for party e-services as 1st party and 2nd party as current practices, and 3rd party to complete the necessitated services online. The design theory will be presented as a set of principles which are grounded on existing body of knowledge in e-service and new requirements for facilitating collaborative e-business. We follow up with an architectural consideration, based on the conceptual principles, creating a design artifact as a model reference for technological innovation specification. Finally, we validate the artifact using an example of logistics shipment planning through an e-service platform only as a 3rd party e-service and not any other party e-service. Such e-service enables modern shipment planning that demands a forwarding agent not only to work closely with designated or any online shippers, logistics service providers and consignees to formulate a desirable shipment plan, but also to achieve real-time shipment monitoring, and in-process corrective actions for deviations of the shipping process.


Project In-charge:    Prof. Waiman Cheung, Prof. Gang Chen and Prof. Sung-chi Chu

Duration:  Jan 2012 – Jun 2014

Sponsor(s):   Research Grants Council