FRAMINGHAM (04/26/2000) - Andersen Consulting Inc. last week formed a partnership with Sun Microsystems Inc. to establish an Internet-based procurement firm the companies hope will facilitate over $200 billion worth of indirect procurement by 2004.

The yet-to-be-named e-procurement venture will feature products from Sun and iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions, a part of the Sun-Netscape Alliance.

Specifically, Andersen Consulting will oversee day-to-day operations, iPlanet the software packages, and Sun the servers and storage. The e-procurement firm is expected to be up and running by the end of the third quarter.

Andersen Consulting:; Sun: www.sun.comMicrosoft last week released a second beta version of SQL Server 2000, which features support for XML and new clustering and scaling features. The database also includes an integrated data-mining engine and is a key piece of Microsoft's Windows 2000 DNA platform for electronic commerce.

A new Distributed Views feature lets users distribute processing across multiple SQL servers. The server also supports four-node failover clustering and is integrated with Active Directory.

The beta version can be ordered at

Entrust Technologies last week said it will acquire the Santa Clara firm enCommerce, which makes software for business portal access control and management. Entrust, which specializes in security technology, is acquiring enCommerce in a stock swap valued at about $470 million. The companies plan to complete the deal by the third quarter.

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