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Software demonstrators for eProcurement: Frequently asked questions

Last update: September 2009


Generic questions
What are the eProcurement Demonstrators?
Who owns the eProcurement Demonstrators?
How much should I pay to use the eProcurement Demonstrators?
Who should use the eProcurement Demonstrators?
Are the eProcurement Demonstrators complete applications?

Getting started with the demonstrators
How can I install and use the dynamic eProcurement Demonstrators?
Do I need a database installation in order to use the dynamic eProcurement Demonstrators?
What username and password should I use to login to the eProcurement Demonstrators and where can I find them?

Reusability
May I reuse the source code?
Could the eProcurement Demonstrators be translated to other languages?

Supported functionality
Which eProcurement phases are supported by the eProcurement demonstrators?
Could the demonstrators be used as a real eProcurement system?
Is the dynamic purchasing system supported by the demonstrators?

Using the demos
When using the eProcurement Demonstrators, do I have to wait for the deadline for tender submission to pass in order to open tenders?

How can I organize an eAuction event using the dynamic demonstrators?
How can I create a new Call for Tenders in the eProcurement Demonstrators?
How can I prepare and submit a Tender in the eProcurement Demonstrators?
How can I open Tenders in the eProcurement Demonstrators?
How can I award a contract once the eAuction is concluded?
How can I create and view the final report of a Call for Tenders?

Useful links

Generic questions

What are the eProcurement Demonstrators?
The eProcurement Demonstrators (also named Learning Demonstrators or just Demonstrators) are software applications modelling the implementation of specific elements of the EU legislation regarding eProcurement.

All the information you need to use the Demonstrators (installation package, documentation and source code) is available at http://forge.osor.eu/projects/eprocdemos/.

Who owns the eProcurement Demonstrators?
All intellectual property rights linked to the eProcurement Demonstrators, their source code and documentation are owned by the European Communities.

How much should I pay to use the eProcurement Demonstrators?
You can use the Demonstrators for free. However, they cannot be used for commercial purposes; for instance, nobody can resell the Demonstrators. The eProcurement Demonstrators are subjected to the EUPL licence (http://www.osor.eu/eupl).

Who should use the eProcurement Demonstrators?
The Demonstrators have been created to help administrations and software developers to implement eProcurement systems. Additionally, they are also useful for related presentations and lectures.

Are the eProcurement Demonstrators complete applications?
The Demonstrators have been developed for illustration purposes and do not constitute complete applications. They are intended to act as a basis for actual eProcurement systems, since they are built following the functional requirements and the technical guidance for the implementation of electronic public procurement systems in Europe. They also conform to the European Public Procurement Directives (2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC). Complete eProcurement systems might also need to be adapted to national public procurement legislation, if additional legal provisions are imposed there.

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Getting started with the demonstrators

How can I install and use the dynamic eProcurement Demonstrators?
The dynamic eProcurement Demonstrators are freely available for anyone to download in the form of an installation package at http://forge.osor.eu/projects/eprocdemos/.

Once you have downloaded this installation package, you can perform the installation by executing the downloaded .jar file. This will initiate the installation procedure. Please take the time to review the installation manual before proceeding with the installation itself, and then follow the steps as indicated by the installer of the application.

Once the installation is complete, you will be able to run the Demonstrators. First, you have to start the application server and then run the application itself. Running the application will open your default internet browser window and the welcome page of the dynamic eProcurement Demonstrators will be displayed. At this point you can log in the system and make use of all available functionality.

Do I need a database installation in order to use the dynamic eProcurement Demonstrators?
The updated version of the dynamic eProcurement Demonstrators provides the user with the option to select among two supported databases; these databases are MySQL and HSQLDB.

In the latter case (HSQLDB), no database installation/configuration is required, whereas in the MySQL option, the user has to have MySQL installed and provide the configuration parameters during installation (MySQL host and port, root username and password, MySQL user and database that will be used by the application).

What username and password should I use to login to the eProcurement Demonstrators and where can I find them?
In order to login to the eProcurement Demonstrators you need to use one of the predefined username and password pairs. The complete list of applicable usernames and passwords is available in the “Online help” or in the “How to use the demonstrator” page in the application.

The eProcurement Demonstrators support four different types of users, namely:

  • Administrative Staff: responsible for the creation and administration of Calls for Tenders,
  • Tenderers: responsible for creating and submitting Tenders,
  • Opening Staff: responsible for the secure opening of Tenders, following the four-eye principle,
  • Evaluating Staff: responsible for the evaluation of Tenders, based on the evaluation methodology.

There are at least 3 usernames per different type of users. For example, in order to log in as administrative staff, you can use the username ‘JSmith01’, whereas the password is common for all types of users; ‘123456’. Additionally, in order to submit a tender as an economic operator (tenderer), you need to download to your workstation a digital signature also provided in page “How to use the demonstrator”.

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Reusability

May I reuse the source code?
The eProcurement Demonstrators are subjected to the EUPL licence (
http://www.osor.eu/eupl). Anyhow, the source code is available at http://forge.osor.eu/projects/eprocdemos/; therefore you can analyse the Demonstrators and get inspiration for developing your own system.

Could the eProcurement Demonstrators be translated to other languages?
The Graphical User Interface (GUI) of the European Commission eProcurement Dynamic Demonstrators can support multiple languages, allowing users to experiment with all functionalities in their preferred display language. To this end, new GUI languages can be added to the demonstrators. Furthermore, the text of existing GUI languages can be modified.

The procedure for adding a new GUI language to the demonstrators includes three steps:

  • Creation of the language property file
  • Creation of images
  • Modification of the application configuration file

All steps are defined in detail in the Translation Manual of the eProcurement Demonstrators, which is available at http://forge.osor.eu/projects/eprocdemos/.

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Supported functionality

Which eProcurement phases are supported by the eProcurement demonstrators?
The dynamic eProcurement demonstrators were developed to help getting familiar with electronic public procurement procedures. The demonstrators support the following electronic procurement phases: eNoticing, eAccess, eSubmission and eAwarding including eAuctions.

During the eNoticing phase, you are allowed to prepare new calls for tenders and upload the relevant contract documents. A simulation of how notices are electronically created and submitted to the EU Official Journal is also provided.

The eAccess and eSubmission phases support a functionality for preparing tenders, uploading them to the system and signing them by using a sample electronic certificate.

The eAwarding phase supports the evaluation of received tenders, while this phase can be extended by establishing and performing eAuctions for awarding the contract to the bidder with the best offer.

Could the demonstrators be used as a real eProcurement system?
The eProcurement Demonstrators have been designed and developed as a real eProcurement system. However, since their use is intended mainly for demonstration purposes, the provided functionality is adapted to this scope in order to allow a more user-friendly experience. This means, that in order to use the dynamic eProcurement Demonstrators as a real eProcurement system, you should first perform certain modifications to the existing application. For instance, the functionality for electronic registration should be added.

To this end, you can use the source code of the dynamic eProcurement Demonstrators which is freely available to everyone (http://forge.osor.eu/projects/eprocdemos) and develop a real eProcurement application. Furthermore, the eProcurement Demonstrators could act as the basis for eProcurement systems with enhanced features, such as conformance to national standards and legislation or the provision of additional functionality.

Is the dynamic purchasing system supported by the demonstrators?
You can easily set up a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) using the eProcurement Demonstrators. DPS is a completely electronic process for making commonly used purchases, like for example of stationery, which is limited in duration and open throughout its validity to any economic operator which satisfies the selection criteria.

All phases of a DPS are supported by the eProcurement Demonstrators:

  • Tender Workspace Creation,
  • Indicative Tender Submission,
  • Opening of Indicative Tenders,
  • Evaluation of Indicative Tenders,
  • Creation of Specific Contract,
  • Tender Submission,
  • Opening of Tenders, 
  • Evaluation of Tenders

First, you need to create a new Call for Tenders by selecting the respective link in the user homepage. In the “Notice Involves” radio buttons, select “Dynamic Purchasing System”. In the following page, the system will ask you about the duration of the DPS in years and/or months. The system will guide you through the next pages of the Call for Tenders information, which are similar to the ones for the Open Procedure. When all information about the new Call for Tenders is entered to the system, a DPS will be set up. Then, logging in as an Economic Operator will enable you to prepare and submit an Indicative Tender as envisaged in a DPS.

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Using the demonstrators

When using the eProcurement Demonstrators, do I have to wait for the deadline for tender submission to pass in order to open tenders?
For demonstration purposes only, it is possible to accelerate the eProcurement procedure by opening tenders before the deadline for tender submission. This functionality can be used for example in a presentation simulating the complete procurement cycle by using the eProcurement Demonstrators. Obviously, this functionality is implemented only in the Demonstrators as opening any tender before the deadline is not in line with European legislation.
 
When using the eProcurement Demonstrators the opening date defined in the Call for Tender details can be overridden. Following the creation of a Call for Tenders and the submission of tenders, you can login as Opening Staff and you will find a link highlighted in red that allows the commencement of the tender opening procedure. By clicking on this link, the deadline for submission of tenders is automatically overridden, and you can proceed with the opening of tenders. Once the tenders have been unlocked, you can login as Evaluating Staff and proceed with the evaluation of the tenders and the awarding of the contract.

How can I organize an eAuction event using the dynamic demonstrators?
eAuction events can be organised in a straightforward manner using the dynamic eProcurement Demonstrators. You just have to prepare a new Call for Tenders and when prompted to declare whether ‘An electronic auction will be used’ you have to select ‘Yes’. Then, in the ‘eAUCTION DEFINITION’ page, you have to define the eAuction type (Time, Rounds), the eAuction parameters (Period for applying extension, Extension time, Period between rounds, Duration of each round) as well as the information that will be available to tenderers (Best Offer, Relative Ranking, Next Possible Bid, List of all Bids, Graph history of ranking, Send notification).

The next step is to select the awarding criteria to be used in the eAuction, as well as to set their parameters (min, max, weight, ascending or descending). At this point, tenderers can submit their initial offers. During evaluation of tenders, you have to select which economic operators will take part in the eAuction. To inform tenderers about the upcoming eAuction event click on ‘Edit’ next to ‘Fix eAuction parameters’ in the Call Details page to launch the respective page. Enter the date and time for the eAuction to begin and prepare the invitation to be sent to the participating economic operators.

When this date and time have been reached, tenderers are allowed to enter the eAuction room and submit their bids.

How can I create a new Call for Tenders in the eProcurement Demonstrators?
It is very easy to create a new Call for Tenders inside the demonstrators. First, you have to login to the demonstrators as Procurement Officer – Administrative Staff (you can find usernames/passwords for such users in the “How to use the demonstrator” page). Then, click on the “Create a new Call for Tenders” link found in the user homepage. The system will display the first page of the “Create Tender Workspace” form. This form provides all necessary data fields in order to define a new Call for Tenders (Contract Type, CPV - NUTS codes, Estimated Value, procedure type). Please, note that mandatory fields are marked with bold characters. When you have concluded with filling in the “Create Tender Workspace” form, the system will direct you to the page where you can define the remaining information about the new Call for Tenders, namely the Evaluation Forms, Contract Documents and Contract Notice.

How can I prepare and submit a Tender in the eProcurement Demonstrators?
In order to prepare and submit a Tender for a specific Call for Tenders (CfT), you first have to visit the electronic workspace of that CfT. In order to start creating a Tender, click on the “Create a Tender” button. The screen will split in three (3) parts, namely Proof Documents, Technical Documents and Financial Documents. To upload documents as required, you just have to click on the respective “Upload Documents” button. In a new window, the system will display a form for tagging and uploading a document. Once all required documents are uploaded, you can submit the tender by selecting “Submit Tender”.

How can I open Tenders in the eProcurement Demonstrators?
After submission of Tenders by the Economic Operators users (tenderers), it is very easy to open these tenders through the functionality provided by the eProcurement Demonstrators. First, you have to login as Opening Staff (visit the “How to use the Demonstrator” page for login information). Then, in order to initiate the unlocking of Tenders you should click on “DEMO: OPEN TENDERS” option. This option is available through the main page of the respective Call for tenders (highlighted in red at the right hand-side menu). To assist users to better experiment with the demonstrators, two opening staff users always automatically approve the opening of tenders and only a third one is required to do the same in order for the tenders to be unlocked. In the Opening Staff list presented by the system, just click on the “OK” button next to the name of the user with which you have logged in the system. After clicking “OK”, the system will display an appropriate message that the tenders have now been unlocked.

How can I award a contract once the eAuction is concluded?
In order to award the contract after the eAuction is over, you first have to login as an Evaluating Staff officer. Then you have to access the link “My Messages”. Click on the link “E-auction event”. In the Message Details page click on “View full initial evaluation results”. The results of the last round of the eAuction are displayed. You can also click on a round link in order to view the results for the specific round. To award the contract, click on “Award Contract” in the last round results page. Then, select the winner to award the contract to. In addition, you can also provide a justification for your selection in the respective text box, e.g. “Winner selected based on the best bid during the eAuction”. Then click OK. Finally, in order to create the respective contract award notice click on “Create a Contract Award Notice”.

How can I create and view the final report of a Call for Tenders?
After the conclusion of the evaluation of all submitted Tenders, you first have to click on “Final Ranking” in order to proceed to the next phase. The system displays the list of Tenderers that participated in the specific Call for Tenders together with their final ranking followed by check-boxes in order for you to select the winner of the Contract. After selecting the winner, you can also provide a justification for your selection in the respective text-box. Then, click on “OK”. At this point, the system has all the required information in order to automatically create the Final Report of the specific Call for Tenders. To view the Final Report, click on “View” next to “Evaluation Committee Report”. The Final Report includes all important information related to the Call for Tenders. More specifically, it includes the Contracting Authority details, the Call for Tender details, all associated people, the list of Contract documents, the list of Additional documents, the list of received Tenders, the Tender Opening process followed, the Evaluation results, and finally, the identity of the Economic Operator to whom the Contract was awarded.

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Useful links

Online version                                            
Information on eProcurement Demonstrators
General information on eProcurement
Software demonstrators for eProcurement: Frequently asked questions (pdf version)           

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