Earlier this week, on Oct. 16th, Microsoft launched BizTalk Server Accelerator for RosettaNet, bringing to an end a period in which some XML observers believed Microsofts XML might function only with Microsoft products.
BizTalk Server Accelerator for RosettaNet is connection software between Microsofts XML server and the RosettaNet standard for using XML documents to communicate between electronics companies.
Members of the RosettaNet consortium - chaired by Intel and including Hewlett-Packard, IBM, NEC, Phillips and 35 other members - demonstrated on Oct. 10, 2000, that they could quickly adopt shared XML-based standards for conducting business in the electronics industry. Microsoft had been accused of wanting to dominate the development of XML standards through its promotion of its BizTalk Server 2000 and Simple Object Access Protocol, a kind of XML envelope for sending XML documents.
The RosettaNet group quickly defined and implemented Partner Interface Processes for specific exchanges between partners in an electronics industry supply chain. The BizTalk Server Accelerator for RosettaNet recognizes those PIPs, and provides adapters and connectors to Microsofts BizTalk Server.
"RosettaNet is an important standard for us, and for our electronic partners. Were glad to see Microsoft participate and support it," said Charles Goodwin, Intels director of private company interoperations.
Intel has already adopted RosettaNet connections with 20 trading partners, enabling XML-based transactions, and it plans to increase the number to 50 by the end of the year.
The BizTalk Server Accelerator - perhaps misnamed, since it doesnt literally speed up transactions - will allow Intel to extend its RosettaNet connections beyond its largest trading partners, such as Compaq Computer and IBM, to a second tier of small and midsize businesses that are more likely to be based on Microsoft servers and BizTalk-based XML.
The accelerator "lets us broaden the adoption of RosettaNet beyond Intel and IBM to the next tier of companies," Goodwin said. Establishing XML connections between companies, even with RosettaNet standards, has typically taken six weeks to eight weeks. With increased experience and products such as the accelerator, "we will be able to accelerate that to one week," he predicted.
Last month, 39 electronics industry trading partners demonstrated RosettaNet connections at the Interoperability Fest in Taipei, Taiwan, as part of a RosettaNet Partner Conference. Fourteen of the companies demonstrated more than one connection with a trading partner, Goodwin said.
The BizTalk Server Accelerator is available immediately in two editions: The Enterprise Edition is $20,000 per central processing unit, and the Standard Edition is $4,000 per CPU. More information is available at www.microsoft.com/biztalk.