August 25, 2022

The role of marketplaces in the IDSA ecosystem: Helping to share

We all need a helping hand sometimes. We cannot be experts in everything – this is especially true in the new and rapidly changing world of data sharing and data sovereignty.
Christoph Mertens

Companies that want to become participants in a data space (build on the IDS Reference Architecture Model[1]) at times do not have the technical infrastructure needed. If the technical requirements present an obstacle, transferring the data to a service provider is an excellent option. The service provider makes infrastructure available and acts as an intermediary between data provider and data space. It acts like a marketplace where data customers can meet data providers.

One outstanding project which explores the potential business of the different support options is the KI Marktplatz, translated AI marketplace.

Different scenarios for the collaboration are possible.

Option 1: One connector for all customers

The marketplace hosts one IDS Connector which is the gateway to the data space for all customers. The customer who owns data can use this connector to transfer data to a consumer. The customer can also use the same connector to consume data of others in the data space. All customer data is uploaded to the marketplace via standard interfaces.

To ensure data sovereignty for its customers, the marketplace must offer a way to handle and maintain the usage constraints of each customer for all data sets. These constraints are negotiated between the marketplace connector and the connector of a potential consumer from the data space. Only with a full agreement a digital contract is made, and data can flow.

Option 2: One connector for each customer

The marketplace interacts with its customers via standard interfaces, as in the first option above. The difference is that the marketplace hosts an individual connector for each customer, configured for the client’s needs and therefore having its own (custom) identity.

Option 3: Connector-as-a-Service for each customer

In this case, the customer is a direct participant of the data space with a Connector-as-a-Service (CaaS). This connector can be provided by the marketplace or any other service provider who takes care of deployment and configuration of a connector for the customer. Data is no longer shared with the marketplace, but directly via the connector of the customer with a connector of a consumer. Usage policies for customer data are defined and maintained directly in the customer connector. To learn more about KI Marktplatz, check out their website:

[1] IDS RAM V3.0 available under

Author: Christoph Mertens
Christoph Mertens is head of adoption at IDSA

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