B2B Gateway Simplifies Integration

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2001-07-23

Business-to-business sites struggling with integration among trading partners, across the firewall and over the Internet now have help in the form of a new integration tool.

BroadVision Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., and WebMethods Inc., of Fairfax, Va., announced this week the availability of BroadVision B2B Gateway, built on WebMethods integration platform. The tool is the first fruit of a deal inked earlier this year in which the pair agreed to bundle products.

The jointly developed B2B Gateway integrates data from back-end systems such as enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and supply chain management into dynamic Web sites. It also offers an information exchange across trading networks, with transformation of multiple data sources supported through interoperability standards such as XML (Extensible Markup Language), CXML (Commerce XML), EDI (electronic data interchange), OBI (Open Buying on the Internet), BizTalk and RosettaNet over the Net, said officials. Aimed at users looking to hook into e-commerce platforms and integrate with key suppliers and customers, Gateways prebuilt on-ramps let suppliers quickly connect to e-marketplaces while allowing users to easily integrate with partners, officials said.

"One of our expectations is that [B2B Gateway] will let us manage this multisystem complexity and minimize how much it will have to do," said Judy Frey, chief technology officer at Xerox.com. "And we have a cleaner interface on the BroadVision side."

Frey said Xerox.com, Xerox Corp.s portal site, integrates with trading hubs, including Ariba Inc. and Commerce One Inc., and with customers back-end legacy systems, but officials there were looking for a simpler method of integrating with key customers and partners. Rather than process batches of transactions, Gateway lets Xerox do transactions in almost real time, so data can be pulled and pushed almost instantaneously, said Frey, in Rochester, N.Y.

"If we want to authenticate a user, we can use a WebMethods adapter and go into a legacy system and send a request and get back an answer in real time," Frey said. "You dont have to wait and queue everything up. This offers a much more streamlined and efficient approach with monitoring."

Frey and her counterpart, Fred Heller, vice president and general manager at Xerox.com, in Stamford, Conn., are realistic about Gateway. "It cant solve every problem," Heller said.

B2B Gateway is available now from BroadVision. Pricing begins at $500,000.

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