Commerce One Signs Up Partners

Former B2B player lines up technology partners to bolster its integration pitch.

Enhancing the functionality of its Web services platform first introduced in July, Commerce One Inc. on Thursday announced seven technology partnerships.

Joining Commerce One are Actional, Satyam Computer Services Ltd., Baltimore Technologies, Verisign, Contivo, Sonic Software and Cognos. Each will make technology contributions to version 6.0 of Commerce Ones namesake software suite that will encompass the companys Web services platform and services strategy.

Based on an open standards architecture, the Web services software is designed to help customers integrate applications and business processes along the supply chain, said officials at Commerce One, of Pleasanton, Calif.

A key component to Commerce Ones platform, Actional brings integration expertise to Commerce One with its namesake SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) switch product that exposes ERP and legacy system interfaces as reusable Web services.

"Actional is a young company that is focused on the connector part of the equation with applications," said Mark Hoffman, Commerce One chairman and CEO. "It has the ability to take an application that is not outputting XML and help discover the APIs of that application, and help convert that to XML output. Once the app is outputting XML, its very simple and direct to connect that application to our platform."

Sytam will bring another piece of the integration package by providing supply chain systems integration expertise.

Baltimore Technologies adds data security technology, while VeriSign will add its Trust Services Integration Kit for added security.

Contivo contributes its data modeling, data mapping and data transformation technology, which is geared toward helping the platform reduce data integration and implementation time, officials said. Sonic Software provides a standards-based infrastructure to help accelerate the deployment of integration software, while Cognos adds business intelligence technology that ensures data collection, aggregation and analysis.

Commerce One began re-architecting its 5.0 technology earlier this year, going head-to-head with ERP [enterprise resource planning] and EAI [enterprise application integration] software makers pursuing a Web services integration strategy. At the same time the company is rewriting its sourcing and procurement applications to become Web services enabled. The company will make the Web services platform generally available in the first quarter of 2003.

"[The partnerships] are a response to our belief that [this is what] our early adopter customers are looking for," said Hoffman. "One of the biggest things we keep hearing is if you dont make the platform independent, youre going to make another EAI death march."