6.1. B2B Integration Project Management

When you set up a channel to tranfer data between your system and the external system of your B2B partner, you must agree on a way to transfer this data. This activity is a project, possibly involving multiple parties: your company, your B2B partner, your and their IT integrator, etc.

So, before starting any implementation, even in a test configuration, Babelway recommends that you follow a project management process such as this one:

  1. Agree on project terms

    You and your B2B partner should agree on the purpose of collaboration and data to be transferred. This part should also include the possible financial terms. Some exchanges may even require the writing of contracts.

  2. Write specifications

    Together with your B2B partner, you should write technical specifications about what is going to be transferred and how (gateway types and configuration, message formats required, mandatory information included in messages, validation processes, test cases definition for project acceptance...)

  3. Plan and execute work

    Configure and test your channels to meet agreed specifications. The planning should include when your partner must have resources available, for example for testing and for acceptance phases.

  4. Production and acceptance tests

    Once the development and tests are completed, the system is used in production for a trial period. If adjustements are required, they should be implemented as soon as possible. Once all issues are solved and the trial period is finished, the system can be fully used in production.

Here is a short checklist of items that will be required during development and that should be agreed between both parties and included in the specifications:

At account level:

  • Details of users who will have access and their respective roles.

  • Details of settings including volumes of transactions, price package, expected concurrent volume...

For each channel:

  • Details of gateways in and out including external system details, usernames, passwords, certificates... Details of test environments of external partners prior to moving to production, if relevant.

  • Details of messages in and out formats. Both parties should provide several examples of each in and out message types.

  • Details of message transformation rules, possible value mappings, exceptions, mandatory and optional fields...

  • Details of routing rules, if relevant.

  • Details of in and out message validation rules, if any.

  • Details of messages, channels and any other items naming conventions.

  • Details of user notifications (success and/or errors).

  • Detailed test plan, including acceptance criteria.