Oracle eases integration with Small Business Suite

New integration features that allow third-party applications to exchange data with Oracle Corp.'s Small Business Suite can save users time and money, Oracle said Tuesday.

Using SMBXML (Small Business Extensible Markup Language), third-party applications can now be connected to Oracle Small Business Suite, eliminating the need for Small Business Suite users to manually transfer information, Oracle said in a statement.

Additionally, third-party software developers can now include single sign-on and server-to-server integration capabilities in their software. Single sign on takes away the need to keep entering passwords for different applications, while server-to-server integration enables real-time data exchange between Web-based applications.

Oracle also announced a Web-store development kit for users with their own custom online storefronts, which provides for integration between the online store and the electronic commerce and accounting features of the Small Business Suite.

Several vendors have already added the new features to their products. Products from the Small Business Suite Web store, for example, can now be put up for sale on multiple online auctions and marketplaces through SMBXML integration with Infopia Inc.'s Marketplace Manager, Oracle said.

SMBXML describes a data exchange format and is an open, XML-based standard designed for use by small and medium-sized businesses.

Other vendors that have committed to integrating with Small Business Suite include Lexys Technology Inc., a maker of retail applications; Mercantec Inc., a vendor of online storefronts; and NetPOS.com Inc., a developer of online point-of-sale technology.

Oracle Small Business Suite is available only via the Web and is targeted at businesses with fewer than 100 employees. The online applications allow customers to manage key business processes such as financials and payroll. Oracle Small Business Suite, operated by NetLedger Inc., was announced in June this year. NetLedger is majority owned by Oracle Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison.

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