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b2b e-procurement using LIEN

Simple, cost-effective e-procurement is one of the implementation possibilities of LIEN. The simple operation makes it equally suitable for large organisations and small businesses. For example, it can enable large organisations with many small supplier to integrate the small suppliers into their existing e-procurement systems.


Electronically exchange business documents among commercial partners to reduce process costs and to avoid human error in the various data transfer steps.

Respect data confidentiality and implement information security policies as per ISO 17799.

Provide for monitoring and tracing of exchange traffic for quality and liability purposes.


  • Rapid deployment, no change management, no internal software changes, or training required
  • Compliance with appropriate security and confidentiality expectations
  • Non-intrusive, i.e. no firewall or other network implications
  • Interfaces are autonomous: source and target formats can change without affecting each other
  • Use of simple and widely accepted (and used) Internet protocols and technologies
  • High ROI

How it works (See also LIEN)

To best understand how this is achieved, we explain it using a simple example: sending a purchase order.

  1. The LIEN application is running on the Client's computer. It is watching a predefined directory.
  2. The Client creates a purchase order on his ERP system and exports it to the predefined directory in the format supported by his ERP system. Alternatively, the source system may pass the data stream directly to LIEN's API.
  3. The LIEN application sees the new file in the predefined directory. It encrypts the file and sends it by email to the LIEN server.
  4. The LIEN server receives the email, checks it is from a valid user and sends a message back to the LIEN application on the Client's computer saying the document has been received by the server.
  5. The server uses information about the Client to identify the intended destination from information inside the document.
  6. The server checks that the destination (the Supplier) is also a valid LIEN user and that the Client has agreed to use LIEN for transmission of this type of document to the Supplier.
  7. The server converts the document to the format used by the supplier, encrypts it and emails it to the Supplier.
  8. The server sends a message to the Client's LIEN application saying the document has been forwarded to the Supplier.
  9. On the Supplier's computer, the LIEN application is also running and receives the email containing the document, decrypts it, stores it in a predefined directory and sends an acknowledgement back to the server.
  10. The server receives the acknowledgement from the Supplier's copy of the LIEN application and forwards it to the Client's copy of the application.
  11. The Client's copy of the LIEN application receives the progress messages and records them in a log file. The system can provide optional warning messages if an acknowledgement is not received within the expected time period.