Trapezo Swings into Web Content Sharing

Start-up Trapezo Inc. announced a hosted application service that lets Web-based businesses regularly exchange content, with Trapezo acting as the middleman.

Trapezo President and Co-founder Satyen Kothari said that the company collects specific content from one online business that has agreed to share it with another. This might be catalog offerings, news or even recipes, he says.

Trapezo aggregates the content so the two parties don't have to handle this technical data-exchange problem on their own.

"We can just automatically grab the content off the Web site in question or take in content feeds by HTML or XML," Kothari says. That data gets stored in an Oracle Corp. database, with an Apache server and WebLogic application server making it available to the public. Trapezo maintains the hosted application at AboveNet facilities in New York City and San Jose.

Kothari argues that his service accomplishes what might otherwise have to be done by writing software based on application servers, such as those from OnDisplay Inc., WebMethods Inc. and Vignette Corp.

Once a company has agreed to share content, the company gets software from Trapezo that lets a partner view of this content through a URL. Reporting tools let both Web sites know what content proved the most popular.

To the visitor, it looks like the Web site he visits is providing the content, but it's actually originating from Trapezo's server in the hosting facility.

So far, Trapezo only has a few customers, one being MyFamily.com which is using the Trapezo service to provide medical information through PlanetX, Kothari says.

Trapezo, with 35 employees, won $3 million in venture funding from Athena Technology Ventures. Kothari says the Trapezo service ranges from $1,000 to $80,000 per month, with fees based on content usage.

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