September 1, 2022

IDS Toolbox: hammer and screwdriver? Not quite – but just as helpful!

Problems with digitization cannot be solved with a hammer and screwdriver, but some “tools” are necessary to digitally equip your company. But let’s start at the beginning: The Silicon Economy is a highly funded research project that has initiated the next level of digital networking for logistics. The goal is to digitize all business processes along the supply chain – from ordering to transport planning and billing.

A network with a pool of industrial partners enables secure data sharing between companies. This requires a software infrastructure that companies trust, a secure data space that connects all and is trusted along the entire supply chain – from the raw material supplier to the end customer.

Stronger together: Open Logistics Foundation

To this end, the Silicon Economy Project created and built the Open Logistics Foundation. In it logistic, companies work together on these digital challenges. Competitors think and plan next to each other. Therefore, data security and data sovereignty will be central aspects of any problem solution. Where data leaves a company, an IDS Connector is used to guarantee secure handling. What data goes to whom and under what conditions? And this is where a question often comes up from the businesses: Do we now have to build our own specific connector to the data room? And configure it yourself?

IDS Toolbox helps with the entry

That brings us to the toolbox. The term sounds like it is a box with tools, and that’s basically what it is: The box helps everyone who needs an IDS Connector – but is lacking the technical knowledge. And it makes it much easier for a company to get started. The toolbox is not an independent component that you install, but a library of options that are used in existing software. Predefined processes in the connector communication reduces the effort involved in implementation. For the sake of simplification and dissemination, the “IDS Integration Toolbox” was developed as a basic component and made an open source. Everything is freely available.

Fair data economy for everyone

How does the toolbox promote a fair data economy? The software library of the “IDS Integration Toolbox” simplifies the integration of components for the International Data Spaces (IDS) into IT systems. Smaller companies in particular benefit from this, as they are no longer dependent on experts with special IT knowledge. Getting started is easier now.

The toolbox is an open-source product. The Foundation is offering a framework for further using and distributing the software. When it comes to supply chain execution, the involvement of the industry is very important to drive further development and to enable specialization for different areas. The Silicon Economy remains connected in an advisory capacity.

With this initiative, the Silicon Economy is giving a starting signal. Additionally, the IDSA, which is responsible for advancing the elements from the Fraunhofer research project relating to the IDS, is developing them further with many industrial partners. Both organizations advance the respective components. The toolbox is the interface.

The Silicon Economy has built networks of different types of companies, e.g. the C-part supplier, the warehouse clerk, the logistics service provider. The IDS Connector is the right means to enable sovereign data transmission. The two associations have the same goal: the application of logistics with guaranteed data sovereignty.

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