Two software camps are converging Web services standards and open protocols with integration technologies that tie enterprises back-office legacy systems with their newer, front-end Web initiatives.
iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions last week said it plans to bring together its disparate lines of integration software to offer a single platform. The unnamed platform will support open standards and can tie in easily with Sun Microsystems Inc.s Web services offering, Sun Open Net Environment, or Sun ONE.
The platform brings together iPlanets ECXpert and TradingXpert integration tools, which will become a single product called iPlanet Integration Server, B2B Edition. This product, which will include Java Messaging Service protocol support and iPlanet Messaging Queue integration, is due later this month.
The other products in the newly integrated platform, the EAI (enterprise application integration) Edition and the iPlanet Messaging Queue for Java, are both available now.
The integration software in the platform will support open standards, including XML (Extensible Markup Language), SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), and Universal Description, Discovery and Integration, said officials at iPlanet, a Sun-Netscape Communications Corp. alliance in Santa Clara, Calif.
Sealy Corp. has been using TradingXpert and ECXpert since early this year to Web-enable data transactions among its 23 North American plants and better analyze those transactions. Jeff Wilhoite, business-to-business systems analyst for Sealy, based in Trinity, N.C., said the $1.2 billion company is eager to use the iPlanet technology to extend its Web capabilities beyond the firewall.
"It adds another dimension and another way to connect to our suppliers," Wilhoite said.
Meanwhile, CommerceRoute Inc. and Intel Corp. last week announced an alliance that will include joint marketing of CommerceRoutes Syncx Integration Appliance, which enables companies to deploy new XML transaction capabilities while still using their existing data sources and systems.
CommerceRoutes partnership with Intel, of Santa Clara, also includes an agreement to work to develop open industry standards, such as BIC, an effort by the Business Internet Consortium (founded by Intel, Cisco Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp.).
The announcement came two months after CommerceRoute, of Emeryville, Calif., said it will incorporate Microsofts .Net Enterprise Server technology with the Syncx appliance. The two companies are also working on support for Microsofts BizTalk Framework and .Net Web services initiative.
"The whole concept of integration is, How do you handle a 20-year-old legacy system or a 10-year-old ERP [enterprise resource planning] system?" said Sanja Sarathy, director of product marketing for iPlanet. "How do you leverage the information residing in that without ripping and replacing" the systems?