B2B standard comes out late, with more support

Ariba, Microsoft and IBM vowed they would spark the development of a business-to-business (B2B) Internet directory standard that could greatly simplify completing transactions over the Web.

The trio of high-profile vendors said the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) project would kick off with a beta version of the protocol appearing in September. Although those plans failed to materialise on time, the vendors said earlier this month the first implementation of the effort is now ready.

With UDDI, the companies hope to create a simpler way for businesses to search for partners and customers than what currently exists on the Internet. Ariba spearheaded the project to create a unified way of coding into a centralised directory what a business does and where it is located. When a vendor goes looking for a particular service, it can find information on what a given company's operations are, the types of technology a company uses, and the transaction protocols the company can accept and process.

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