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Newly styled European VCD System and open source VCD components

by Enrique Vich created on 31/05/2012 11:05

The PEPPOL project has recently released a new version of the European VCD System (EVS). The EVS have been in pilot production use since late 2010 and the new version includes new features and a new look-and-feel. The Austrian PEPPOL partner PEPPOL.AT is responsible for EVS.

 The Austrian PEPPOL partner PEPPOL.AT has just released the European VCD System (EVS) in its latest version v2.2. After more than one year of successful pilot production use (please refer to http://www.peppol.eu/pilot-reporting/infrastructure/pre-award-infrastructure/platforms-enabled-for-virtual-company-dossier and http://www.peppol.eu/pilot-reporting/usage/pre-award-usage/virtual-company-dossier-usage) – the system has initially been released and set to pilot production status in version v1.0 on 2nd November, 2010 – PEPPOL.AT has brought new features and a new look-and-feel to its pre-award flagship product of the PEPPOL project (Please refer to the PEPPOL EIA to find the EVS components: http://www.peppol.eu/peppol_components/peppol-eia/eia#ict-architecture/pre-award-eprocurement/services-components).
 
The European VCD System (EVS)
The updated European VCD System is the central VCD component acting as the backbone for all national VCD systems in Europe. The European VCD system is based on state-of-the art technology, easy to use and running in a stable operation centre hosted in the Austrian Federal Computing Centre. 
 
The new version is fully capable of using the released VCD schema version v1.3.1. The EVS user interface which is also available as an alternative to direct system integration makes use of multilingual features specified by the PEPPOL team. The user interface design and implementation has been updated in accordance with all official VCD solutions. The PEPPOL VCD team has been working very actively on the harmonisation of the look-and-feel of all its components in order to give the user a common interaction experience when using any VCD system deployed based on PEPPOL VCD artefacts. 
 
National VCD solutions
National VCD solutions which make use of the European VCD system and compatible platforms have been deployed or are under development in Italy, Greece, France and Germany. Economic Operators and Contracting Authorities in Austria, France, Germany, Greece and Italy can benefit from the decision support provided by the EVS to all these solutions. The data for this decision support is taken from the country-specific legal rule sets regarding the provision of evidences for suitability and quality criteria modelled as a central semantic mapping.
 
 
Open Source Components and Reference Implementation
PEPPOL has developed a set of open source components that offer the capability to create a complete environment for designing and building a VCD. Member States or other interested parties can download and use them to create their own VCD compatible platforms. The components can be found at https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/svn/peppol/PEPPOL_EIA/1-ICT_Architecture/1-ICT-PreAward_eProcurement/14-ICT-Services-Components/ICT-ServiceComponents-PreAward-VCD-Designer-Builder-2.2.1_20120510.zip and the specifications at https://joinup.ec.europa.eu/svn/peppol/PEPPOL_EIA/1-ICT_Architecture/1-ICT-PreAward_eProcurement/13-ICT-Models/National_VCD_system_Specification_101.pdf.
 
A fully functioning reference implementation of the VCD suite of open source components is hosted by the Network Operations Centre of the University of Piraeus, the Greek partner of the PEPPOL VCD team. It allows any user to select evidences, get suggestions on document equivalence, design the VCD package and then build it by uploading the actual documents, based on decision support from EVS for VCDs from and to Austria, Italy, Greece, Norway, France and Germany and on manual insertion of criteria for any other country.
 
Get started!
If you want to reduce barriers between your country and other member states of the European Union when applying for tenders cross-border, you should consider getting involved in VCD piloting by cooperating with the VCD team of the PEPPOL project in order to model your country’s qualification evidences into the central mapping engine and thereby extend the decision support capabilities of the EVS to Contracting Authorities and Economic Operators from your country. If you are interested in participating to a pilot please contact:
 
Ansgar Mondorf
University of Koblenz and Landau
Tel: +49 261 287-2556
 
Please have a look at the European VCD system, which is open for any user and the registration is free until the end of the PEPPOL project (August 31st, 2012). You can use the service to find out, which criteria exist in the different Member States which are modelled in the VCD ontology and which evidences an Economic Operator has to furnish in order to prove these criteria. As a result you can retrieve a VCD Package skeleton for a specific tender procedure containing this information. A new experience in responding to cross-border tenders is just one mouse click away: https://test-vcd-esp.peppol.at/access/!
 
The Reference Implementation of the Open Source Components is available at https://vcd.peppol.gr where you can ask for your personal account and start using the system!
 
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