WebMethods Adds CommerceOne to Partner Portfolio

SAN MATEO (03/28/2000) - WebMethods Inc. yesterday added a Commerce One Inc. partnership to its B2B Exchange portfolio that already includes Ariba, MySAP.com, chemconnect, and VerticalNet.

"WebMethods is the bridge between applications like Commerce One, Ariba, and others, and companies' back-end legacy systems," said Anna Kerr, senior analyst at International Data Corp., in Framingham, Massachusetts. "There is a gap in between, and WebMethods has very intelligently developed that bridge to put the two together."

Phillip Merrick, president and CEO of WebMethods, said the partnership with Commerce One goes beyond marketing to joint development.

"This is not just a joint-marketing, or a joint-selling kind of partnership.

We're also involved in joint development around this XML Common Business Library," Merrick said.

CommerceOne's XML Commerce Business Library (xCBL) is yet another play for an XML standard in procurement, like Ariba's cXML, officials said.

"[xCBL] is Commerce One's set of XML definitions for procurement -- things like purchase orders, catalog data, payment notices, and shipping notices. xCBL provides the definitions for all those business documents," Merrick said.

WebMethods also supports other XML formats such as RosettaNet, the high-tech industry-specific XML repository for documents and shared business processes.

"Each vendor is try to create their own repository ... The library's more of a database or repository of formats that will speed up the process of retrieval.

It's kind of [Commerce One's] clearinghouse," Kerr said.

According to Tom McCleary, director of business development for Commerce One, the company is collaborating with both WebMethods and Microsoft to develop xCBL.

"At the highest levels, we look at schema-based XML as fundamentally more robust," McCleary said.

Commerce One, in Walnut Creek, California, can be reached at www.commerceone.com. WebMethods, in Fairfax, Virginia, can be found at www.webmethods.com.

Geneva Sapp is an InfoWorld reporter.

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