CERN has sold its Internal Transaction Management system to UK internal transaction management concern Transacsys for 1 million Swiss francs (EURO 660,000). The system, which has been cited by software giant Oracle as the blueprint for building large-scale e-business systems, is being launched commercially. Transacsys is co-operating with Oracle in the marketing of the software.

Internal transactions are the actions that people take and the processes that they use in the course of their job. Internal transactions need managing because organizations need to know and to control how people commit and expend corporate resources.

The CERN software on the one hand empowers individuals to transact and on the other hand controls such transactions in accordance with corporate rules. It has been designed to be totally flexible so that users themselves can create new processes, and implement and change them at will, with no programming required.

CERN, with an annual budget of more than EURO 600 million and more than 6000 regular users working in 500 institutes in 50 different countries, can support the software internally using just two people.

Permissioning is the name that Transacsys has given to this enterprise-wide process, which enables people to have speedy authorization to execute tasks and organizations to control these processes without the need for extensive administrative resources.

In 1990 CERN developed the World Wide Web to help to empower its user community of more than 6000 physicists around the world to share information across remote locations. Soon after, CERN began to develop what became the Permissioning system, when an advanced informatics support project was launched. In this project the system, which is known as Electronic Document Handling (EDH) at CERN, was to provide an electronic replacement for a rickety system of paper administration forms that had accumulated over the years. Functionality has been progressively extended over more than eight years of constant development.

Transacsys and CERN have formed a long-term joint steering group to co-operate on further development of the system. CERN will, of course, continue to use the system and it will be free for use by other particle physics laboratories associated with CERN.