||An Internet-based Virtual Private Network (IP-VPN) uses the open,
distributed infrastructure of the Internet to transmit data between
corporate sites. The configuration (network design) for a specific
customer network typically requires the selection of network access
lines and backbone sections that are provisioned by different organizations
in a supply chain. Moreover, when configuring such a network, the given
customer requirements (e.g., minimal bandwidth) have to be observed.
Within this paper, we show how the (sales-)configuration process for
these networks is supported within the CAWICOMS framework for
distributed configuration. Beside the implementation of an adequate
distributed problem solving mechanism based on Constraint Satisfaction
with commercial tools, we address the problem of supplier selection
and knowledge integration in a Web-based environment for eCommerce:
Based on common ontological commitments on representation concepts
for the configuration domain, the suppliers can advertise their
products and services, whereby the distributed problem solving
process involves locating and executing the supplier's configuration
service using an open XML-based protocol.
We present the architecture of the implemented prototype framework
and show the relation of our work to emerging approaches in the fields
of Distributed Problem Solving and Semantic Web Services.