Researchers from Swinburne University in Melbourne and Brisbane-based SAP Research Centre, are working on a project that will allow Business Process Management software to share information on a need-to-know basis.
Business process management (BPM) applications provide large companies with a single view of all the activities and resources required to create a product or service for a customer.
Often, the products required sharing of information with third parties but it was claimed traditional systems weren't flexible enough to provide data on a need-to-know basis.
Researchers said that meant corporate secrets were often unnecessarily exposed.
Xiaohui Zhao, a postdoctoral fellow at the university and a researcher on the project, dubbed 'Kaleidoscope', said that traditional BPM applications offered only a "share all-or-nothing" option.
"Once the business process is defined, the traditional approach just releases [all the information] to all of the partners. This means that sometimes, confidential or private information will be released," said Zhao.
Professor Chengfei Liu, a program leader at Swinburne Uni's Centre for Complex Software Systems and Services, agreed with Zhao.
"Those kinds of issues are serious and haven't been addressed by previous business process management systems," said Liu.
The project started in July 2007. There was no firm date on when it would be completed.