Sun/Netscape Re-Announces E-Commerce Suite

Nine months after making an initial announcement, the Sun Microsystems Inc. / Netscape Communications Corp. alliance today again announced the iPlanet Market Maker, an e-commerce integration suite designed to help companies build open, online trading communities as a means of reducing their purchasing costs.

The suite from Mountain View, California-based iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions, as the alliance is called, was originally expected to ship last November but is now due this November.

The company said in a statement that the suite, based on Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java technology, can be used to create a range of online marketplaces and to conduct auctions and online negotiations. The company said the suite can be integrated with other e-commerce software.

Alan Alper, an analyst at Gomez Advisors Inc. in Lincoln, Massachusetts, was unimpressed by the Sun/Netscape alliance's announcement.

"There really isn't anything newsworthy here," Alper said. "We've been waiting for this since they (first made the announcement). All this means is that they're finally doing what they said they were going to do. It seems like they (wasted) away a lot of time (figuring out what to do.)"

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