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About this Blog

As enterprise supply chains and consumer demand chains have beome globalized, they continue to inefficiently share information “one-up/one-down”. Profound "bullwhip effects" in the chains cause managers to scramble with inventory shortages and consumers attempting to understand product recalls, especially food safety recalls. Add to this the increasing usage of personal mobile devices by managers and consumers seeking real-time information about products, materials and ingredient sources. The popularity of mobile devices with consumers is inexorably tugging at enterprise IT departments to shifting to apps and services. But both consumer and enterprise data is a proprietary asset that must be selectively shared to be efficiently shared.

About Steve Holcombe

Unless otherwise noted, all content on this company blog site is authored by Steve Holcombe as President & CEO of Pardalis, Inc. More profile information: View Steve Holcombe's profile on LinkedIn

Follow @WholeChainCom™ at each of its online locations:

Entries in cloud computing (4)


Membership policy announcement for the DOITCloud networking group

I initiated the Data Ownership in the Cloud™ (DOITCloud™) LinkedIn networking group in April 2009. Since that time it has grown to about 1,000 members. There have been some fantastic discussions, especially early on in 2009 and 2010. The membership has continued to grow since then but the long-threaded, multi-party discussions (see, e.g., Top Twelve Discussions: DOITCloud) have essentially ceased. Other comparatively similar forums have popped up in LinkedIn or elsewhere to provide a place for people to voice similar opinions and concerns. That's a good thing.

I come from a legal background with marketplace experiences regarding the sharing of "enterprise data" in fragmented supply chains. The Data Ownership in the Cloud group was generally begun by me to (a) learn more about the "personal data" space, and (b) find "birds of a feather". Both "data ownership" and "the Cloud" are amorphous terms by themselves. Even more so when stitched together. But I suspect that each DOITCloud member has at least a visceral feeling that the internet should be providing more choices to people and their "personal data". Or something like that. In any case, many of DOITCloud have become directly connected to me on LinkedIn. Thanks! I am so glad our paths crossed.

Again, the long-threaded discussions have ended though I almost every day post a discussion (almost always a link to blog posts or articles). I'm not posting those discussions with much of an expectation that a multi-party discussion will be sparked. I am using the group now mostly as a resource for cataloging relevant content. And that serves an important purpose for me that I am pleased to continue sharing with you.

However, I will soon be instituting a policy of a requiring a direct LinkedIn (LI) connection to me for membership in the DOITCloud group. If you are already directly connected to me then there's nothing else to do. If you are not yet directly connected to me on LI, and desire to remain a member of DOITCloud, then please send me an LI invitation to directly connect.

The content posted to the DOITCloud group will remain the same. I would characterize the content posted here at DOITCloud as mostly applicable to "personal data". I am also posting content relevant to "enterprise data" at another LI networking group I formed earlier this year called the @WholeChainCom™ networking group.

There is much rhetorical cross-over these days between "personal data" and "enterprise data" but enterprise data is - and in my opinion will long remain - different from personal data. Enterprise data is a proprietary asset that must be selectively shared to be efficiently shared. Greater trust and provenance in supply chains requires fixing (i.e., immutablizing) data elements at single locations with meta-data authorizations. (Want to know more?). So for the foreseeable future it makes sense that DOITCloud™ (addressing the sharing of personal data) and @WholeChainCom™ (addressing the sharing of enterprise data), remain separate "sister" groups.

I'll begin instituting the new membership policy on the 15th of December, 2012. If you do decide to not continue your DOITCloud membership I want to say this:

"Thank you for your time spent in the DOITCloud group. It's been fun. It's been informative. It's been relevant. I hope that we connect again later on down the road. Safe travels."

If you have any questions, comments or anything else on your mind that you think I should read, please post them here. Thanks, again.




Pardalis announces issuance of fourth U.S. patent

November 6, 2012 — Pardalis, Inc. announced the issuance today of the following patent by the United States Patent & Trademark Office:

  • Common point authoring system for the complex sharing of hierarchically authored data objects in a distribution chain, U.S. Patent No. 8,307,000.

The issuance of this patent represents another milestone in the continued, global expansion of Pardalis' parent patent, U.S. Patent No. 6,671,696, and its continuation patents and related applications.

The Pardalis '696 patent was issued by the United States in 2003 and is entitled Informational object authoring and distribution system. Pardalis' 696 patent is the parent patent for the Common Point Authoring™ system. The prior art that Pardalis' patents have been distinguished from stretch back to the 1987 filing of Xerox's Updating local copy of shared data in a collaborative system (U.S. Patent 5,220,657), the 1995 publication of CrystalWeb--A distributed authoring environment for the World-Wide Web (Computer Networks and ISDN Systems), and the 1999 publication of DAPHNE--A tool for Distributed Web Authoring and Publishing (the American Society for Information Science).

"The underlying philosophy of the Common Point Authoring system is to provide people with as much granular control over their information and data experience as is possible," said Steve Holcombe, CEO, Pardalis Inc. "The irony is that in order to increase the flow of proprietary information in supply chains, more granular control over that information must be provided in information sharing systems of any kind. Pardalis' patents apply to authoring by either human participants, or the machines that they automatically program, of immutable informational objects describing the pedigree of uniquely identified products in supply chains."

The critical means and functions of the Common Point Authoring™ system are directed to a system in which an author can create data which is then fixed (immutable) and users can access that immutable data but cannot change it without the creator's permission. They provide for user-centric authoring and registration of uniquely identified, immutable objects for further granular publication, by the choice of each author, among networked systems. The benefits of CPA include minimal, precise disclosures of personal and product identity data to networks fragmented by information silos and concerns over 'data ownership' about products and their ingredients or components.

"There is increasing interest in the application of social networks to the enterprise," Holcombe said. "For instance the selective sharing of Google Plus is a strong step in the direction of providing more granular controls in information sharing. has linked up with Facebook for targeted advertising delivery that will merge social and business-contact data. The Wikidata Project is creating a free knowledge base by first fixing data elements at a single location with authorizations that may be read and edited by humans and machines alike. All of these activities are pushing in the direction of providing more efficient market mechanisms for the sharing of proprietary information in the Cloud. The more granular the control over information, the greater the chances that information about products in global supply chains will be efficiently shared. The ramifications for global sustainability are tremendous."

Filings relevant to Pardalis' USPTO issued patents are being successfully pursued under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China (PRC), Europe, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand.

About Pardalis, Inc.

Pardalis' Common Point Authoring™ system provides an object-oriented solution for introducing trust and provenance in web communications. For more information, see Pardalis' Global IP.


Whole Chain Traceability: A Successful Research Funding Strategy

The following work product represents a critical part of the first successful strategy for obtaining funding from the USDA relative to "whole chain" traceability. It is the work of this author as weaved into a USDA National Integrated Food Safety Initiative (NIFSI) funding submission of the Whole Chain Traceability Consortium™ led by Oklahoma State University and filed in June 2011. This work highlights the usefulness of Pardalis' U.S. patents and patents pending to "whole chain" traceability. It highlights the efficacy of employing granular information objects in the Cloud for providing consumer accessibility to any agricultural supply chain. In August 2011 notification was received of an award ($543,000 for 3 years) under the USDA NIFSI for a project entitled Advancement of a whole-chain, stakeholder driven traceability system for agricultural commodities: beef cattle pilot demonstration (Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-NIFSI RFA (FY 2011), Award Number: 2011-51110-31044).

With the funding of the NIFSI project, the USDA has funded a food safety project that is distinguishable from the Food Safety Modernization Act projects being funded by the FDA and conducted by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Unlike the IFT/FDA projects, the scope of the funded NIFSI project uniquely encompasses consumer accessibility to supply chain information.

A useful explanation of the benefits of a “whole chain” traceability system may be made with critical traceability identifiers (CTIDs), critical tracking events (CTEs) and Nodes as described in the IFT/FDA Traceability in Food Systems Report. CTEs are those events that must be recorded in order to allow for effective traceability of products in the supply chain. A Node refers to a point in the supply chain when an item is produced, process, shipped or sold. CTEs may be loosely defined as a transaction. Every transaction involves a process that may be separated into a beginning, middle and end.

While important and relevant data exists in any of the phases of a CTE transaction, the entire transaction may be uniquely identified and referenced by a code referred to as a critical tracking identifier (CTID). For example, with the emergence of biosensor development for the real-time detection of foodborne contamination, one may also envision adding associated real-time environmental sampling data from each node.

What is not described or envisioned in the IFT/FDA Traceability in Food Systems Report is the challenge of using even top of the line “one up/one down” product traceability systems that, notwithstanding the use of a single CTID, are inherently limiting in the data sharing options provided to both stakeholders and government regulators. Pause for a moment and compare the foregoing drawing with the next drawing. Compare CTID2 in both drawings with CTID2A, CTID2B, etc. in the next drawing. The IFT/FDA food safety projects described above are at best implementing top of the line "one up/one down" product traceability systems with the use of a single CTID. But with “whole chain” product traceability, in which CTID2 is essentially assigned down to the datum level, transactional and environmental sampling data may in real-time be granularly placed into the hands of supply chain partners, food safety regulators, or even retail customers.

The scope of “whole chain” chain information sharing within the funded USDA NIFSI project goes well beyond the “one up/one down” information sharing of the IFT/FDA projects. The NIFSI project addresses a new way of looking at information sharing for connecting supply chains with consumers. This is essentially accomplished with a system in which a content provider creates data which is then fixed (i.e., made immutable) and users can access that immutable data but cannot change it.

The granularity of Pardalis' Common Point Authoring (CPA) system (as is necessary for a “whole chain” product traceability system) is characterized by the following patent drawing of an informational object (e.g., a document, report or XML object) whose immutable data elements are radically and uniquely identified. The similarities between the foregoing object containing CTID2A, CTID2B, etc., and the immutable data element identifiers of the following drawing, should be self-evident.

For the purposes of the NIFSI funding opportunity, the Pardalis CPA system invention was appropriately characterized as a “whole chain” product traceability system.  A further, high-altitude drawing, characterized the application of the invention to a major U.S. agricultural supply chain:

Several questions were required in the USDA's NIFSI "Review Package" to be addressed before actual funding. The responses to two of those questions were crafted by this author. They are worth inserting here ....

Question 1: A reviewer was skeptical that the system would be capable of handling different levels of data (consumer, producer, RFID, bar code) seamlessly.

There is an assumption in the reviewer’s opinion that data is different because it is consumer, producer, RFID, bar code, etc. The proposed pilot project is based on a premise that data is data. The difference in data that is perceived by the reviewer is not in its categorization per se but in its proprietary nature. That is, it is perceived to be different because it is locked up (often in categories of consumer, producer, RFID, bar code, etc.) in proprietary data silos along the supply and demand chains. It is reasonable to have this viewpoint given the prevalence of "one-up/one-down" data sharing in supply chains. As stated in the Positive Aspects of the Proposal, “[t]he use of open source software and the ability to add consumer access to the tracability (sic) system set this proposal apart from other similar proposals.” The proposed pilot project will demonstrate how an open source approach to increasing interoperability between enterprise data silos (buttressed by metadata permissions and security controls in the hands of the actual data producers) will provide new "whole chain" ways of looking at information sharing in enterprise supply and consumer demand chains. For instance, consumers could opt for retailers to automatically populate their accounts from their actual point-of-sale retail purchases. Consumers could additionally populate accounts in a multi-tenancy social network (like Facebook) using smartphone bar code image capturing applications. Supplemented by cross-reference to an industry GTIN/GLN database, the product identifiers would be associated with company names, time stamps, location and similar metadata. This could empower consumers with a one-stop shop for confidentially reporting suspicious food to Likewise, consumers could be provided with real-time, relevant food recall information in their multi-tenancy, social networking accounts, and their connected smartphone applications.

Question 2: A member of the panel was skeptical that the consumer accessibility would be largely attractive as this capability currently has limited appeal among consumers.

We recognize this viewpoint to be a highly prevalent opinion within an ag and food industry predominantly sharing data in a “one-up/one-down” manner. When one uses a smartphone today to scan an item in a grocery store, the probability of being able to retrieve any data from the typical ag and food supply chain is very low. However, we have been highly influenced in our thinking by the existing data showing that many consumers do not take appropriate protective actions during a foodborne illness outbreak or food recall. Furthermore, 41 percent of U.S. consumers say they have never looked for any recalled product in their home. Conversely, some consumers overreact to the announcement of a foodborne illness outbreak by not purchasing safe foods. We have been further influenced by how producers of organic and natural products are adopting rapidly evolving smartphone and mobile technologies as a way of communicating directly with consumers, and increasing their market share. We contend that by increasing supply chain transparency with real-time, whole chain technologies, “consumer accessibility” will become more and more appealing.  We contend this to be especially true when there is a product recall and the products are already in the home. And so, again, our high interest in working with

The foregoing strategy and comments may be freely cited with attribution to this author as CEO of Pardalis, Inc. It is offered in the spirit of the "sharing is winning" principles of the Whole Chain Traceability Consortium™ (now being rebranded as @WholeChainTrace™). However, no right to use Pardalis' patent or patents pending is conveyed thereby. If you wish to be a research collaborator with Pardalis, or to license or use Pardalis' patented innovations, please contact the author.

Go to Part II


Clive Boulton: Whole Chain Traceability, pulling a Kobayshi Maru


A little background information about how this presentation came to be ....

Clive Boulton made this timely, impressive presentation at a luncheon held in Stillwater, Oklahoma on 6 January 2012. Stillwater is where Oklahoma State University - lead research institution of the Whole Chain Traceability Consortium - is located. The pathway to Stillwater from the Seattle area began with the CCNx conference held at the Palo Alto Research Center in September, 2011. I attended CCNxCon to make one or more connections relevant to the Whole Chain Traceability Consortium. Clive wasn't physically at the conference but he was looking in from north of Seattle via a live audio/video stream. Clive heard me asking a question from the audience about possibly applying CCN to supply chain traceability needs in food safety. Like me, Cliive has a passion for food traceability and so he tweeted "Who's that?" to one of the CCNxCon managers. A Twitter introduction was made.

Clive is currently a co-organizer of the Seattle Google Technology User Group at GTUG - He has a "finger on the pulse" of technology developments in Seattle and Silicon Valley which he commonly blogs about at And Clive has specially blogged there about Pardalis' Common Point Authoring at

Clive is particularly interested in enterprise connected consumer solutions at web scale with polyglot technologies. Clive has opinions on how MSFT SQL Azure (or other "Big Data" databases) may be horizontally sharded (i.e., partitioned) with immutable informational objects for massive scalability. He is also very knowledgeable of the need to balance scalability against inherent latency issues that may result, for instance, in slow consumer access via mobile devices. And he has practical ideas about how to syngergistically leverage the resources and relationships of the Whole Chain Traceability Consortium for fostering an ecosystem of API development.

As a result of his visit to Stillwater, I am pleased announce that Clive will be serving as a consultant to the Whole Chain Traceability Consortium a/k/a @WholeChainTrace. This should make for a potent connection between the #CollabEnt (i.e., collaboration enterprise) of Clive's 20th slide and the increasingly critical need for real-time food traceability. Stay tuned.