EAI vendors take new approach on b-to-b integration

In an effort to learn from the collective industry mistakes made while trying to assemble online marketplaces and trading hubs, SeeBeyond Technology and WebMethods have released products to ease the connection process.

On Friday, SeeBeyond made generally available Version 4.5 of its eBusiness Integration Suite and included eXpressway Integrator, a package the company claims makes hooking into partners easier.eXpressway Integrator includes an implementation methodology and configuration wizards for the host to use, and a 5MB to 7MB download to be installed at partners' sites.

Scott Wildy, a product line marketing manager at SeeBeyond, said that eXpressway Integrator can help companies that have several small partners, suppliers, or customers to connect with.

"The most immediate pain is the high number of partners to integrate," he said. "Most large companies can only afford to integrate their largest partners."

If a majority of their partners are low-volume, however, most companies cannot put the time and resources into integrating them all, he added.

He continued that a major benefit of such integration is the ability to automate business processes within and outside the firewall.

WebMethods is taking a similar approach, in which it is trying to get exchanges to bring prospective members into the fold from the beginning.

In mid June, the company rolled out Partner Connect, a combination of products and services for connecting partners to trading hubs during the construction process, which company officials described as a bottling of recipes for successful integration.

According to a recent report from Current Analysis, a market research firm, WebMethods' approach brings some of the best practices from the EDI world into the world of XML-based trading.

Earlier this month, Tibco Software released its "business-to-business in a box" solution. And in May, Vitria Technology unveiled a new line consisting of three integration products.

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