What participating options does Catena-X offer?

You can participate in the Catena-X data ecosystem in various roles. The architecture of the Catena-X data space is divided into three main areas:

  1. Core Services enable the basic functions of the Catena-X ecosystem such as identity or data discovery on a data space level

  2. Enablement Services can be deployed either self-managed by each participant or managed by an Enablement Service provider to provide or consume data within the Catena-X data space.

  3. Business applications solve a specific business problem – regardless of your company size.

Within these three main areas, you can choose to contribute to the Catena-X data room in one or more roles in combinations:

Core Service Providers operate core services that enable the basic functionality of the Catena-X data space (e.g. Identity Provider, Marketplace). This Core Service Provider is responsible for providing the services commercially, operating and maintaining them, and supporting the release of the core services in the data space.  It actively markets the core services and is the contractual partner for partners such as application providers and data providers/consumers.  

The Core Service Provider is required to certify their company as a Catena-X Operating Company or Partner and their services as a Catena-X Solution. Core Services offered in this role must comply with relevant standards to ensure data sovereignty and interoperability between different Core Service Providers. The core service provider must ensure synchronization of organizational and user identities. In the future, synchronization will extend to other information such as marketplace entries.  

For core services that can only be operated once in the Catena-X data space for business reasons or due to technical limitations, the association must nominate a provider. These core services are therefore put out to tender to ensure high data security standards and availability. Furthermore, membership in the association is mandatory. It ensures that the association's values and rules are taken into account.

Enablement Service Providers provide data room participants with solutions for using data in the Catena-X data room and operate data services such as Connector as managed services that must be used by each data room participant depending on the use case.

Enablement Service Providers must comply with relevant standards to ensure interoperability and data sovereignty between ecosystem participants and business applications at the application level.

As an enablement service provider, you are required to certify your managed services as a Catena-X solution.

Business Application Providers operate business applications that solve a specific business problem (e.g., traceability, demand and capacity management, circular economy). Business applications can range from enterprise solutions to specialized solutions for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Business applications must meet use case standards (e.g. Product Carbon Footprint Rulebook) and be certified according to software certification criteria to be listed on the Catena-X marketplace or be part of an interoperable value chain process.

As a business application provider, it is mandatory to certify your business applications as a Catena-X solution.

On-Boarding Service Providers enable data providers/consumers to be integrated into the Catena-X network. This includes organizational and technical integration.

Since the technical integration requires, for example, a BPN, the use of the services requires bilateral coordination with the company providing the services if it is not the company operating the services.

The integration process of a new data provider/consumer into the Catena-X network must comply with Catena-X standards. Potential subscribers can therefore be fully integrated into the Catena-X network by an On-Boarding Service Provider.

An On-Boarding Service Provider can enable connectivity of its customer base to the Catena-X ecosystem (network-to-network interoperability). The focus is on synchronizing organizational and user identities, as well as enabling single sign-on authentication, rather than synchronizing services, business applications or data. The goal is to provide your customers with standardized access to the Catena-X data space as well as to the marketplace offerings in the Catena-X data space. This network-to-network interoperability must be certified to Catena-X standards.

Optionally, the On-Boarding Service Provider may allow Catena-X access to the on-boarding service provider's network. In doing so, the network does not have to comply with Catena-X standards.

Consulting Providers offer consulting services, such as assistance how to use the Catena-X data space or business development consulting for participants in the ecosystem.

Consulting Services must comply to relevant standards.

Data Providers and Consumers (with and without legacy systems) provide and process data to interoperate with other ecosystem participants using core and data services and business applications.

They independently operate a data room connection and must adhere to role-specific standards to ensure interoperability and data sovereignty between ecosystem participants and business applications.

In addition, with mutual consent, data providers and demanders can use data sources (e.g., from other enterprise networks) to enrich data provided to the Catena-X data room via connectors.

Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) perform conformity assessments as part of the certification process. Conformity assessment shows whether a certification object, such as a solution, meets the relevant requirements. Such requirements are specified in the standards, regulations, contracts, or other normative documents such as the operating model white paper and standards. Conformance assessments ensure and confirm that interoperability, data sovereignty, and security standards are met by each participant in the ecosystem. A CAB is nominated by the association and its company is certified as a trusted partner.

What are the requirements we have for you as a provider?

In the future, the Catena-X Automotive Network e.V. will issue Catena-X labels for the individual provider roles. To check whether you meet the required standards on the part of Catena-X, we work together with certification institutes (see also Conformity Assesment Body). 

Membership in Catena-X Automotive e.V. is only required for provider with the label operating company or partner. However we also recommend it for all other operators. 

The Whitepaper Operating Model provides an overview of the structure of the Catena-X data ecosystem and is intended to help you get started. It describes the different roles and services in the operator model, outlines initial considerations for the legal framework, and shows the standardization and certification processes.

Become a future operator of our data room: We will keep you informed about current tenders on this website in the "News & Dates" section.


Read the Whitepaper describing the Catena-X operating model

Applications as a provider of our data ecosystem

We will keep you informed about current tenders and respective processes on this website and in our news section.

Here you find our Standard Library

You want to learn more about the relevant Catena-X standards/reference implementations. Download the documents here.

You have any questions about our operating model?

Get in touch!
Hanno Focken

Hanno Focken

Managing Director – Operations and Governance