New Tools Link Directories

Acta, IBM enhance software for streamlining B2B Web services collaboration.

Acta Technology Inc. and IBM are developing directory integration tools that should enable enhanced data accuracy and security—both critical issues to companies looking to use Web services for business-to-business collaboration.

Acta this week will announce it has embedded Web services capabilities into its ActaWorks extraction, transformation and loading tool, which provides directory or metadata integration, according to officials at the Mountain View, Calif., company.

The software allows users to access data in legacy, CRM (customer relationship management) and other enterprise applications and then aggregate, synchronize and integrate it into a database for reporting and collaboration. All the while, it will be consistent in a single directory.

ActaWorks 5.2s Web services component lets companies exchange data with partners and customers via Web services-enabled applications.

"It comes down to how data is lined up. More important is the quality of the data, its timeliness and accuracy," said Scott Hicar, CIO at disk maker Maxtor Corp., in Milpitas, Calif. Maxtor is looking to Acta to improve the quality of information it shares with suppliers.

Acta later this month will announce that Version 5.2 has been certified by Siebel Systems Inc. to work with Version 7 of its namesake CRM software.

Separately, IBM will embed directory integration software from Metamerge into its middleware offerings, said officials at IBM, in Armonk, N.Y. IBM acquired the Oslo, Norway, company last week. Those products include the WebSphere integration portfolio, Tivoli network management platform, Lotus collaboration software and DB2 database.

Metamerge Integrator is a software development environment used to assure the accuracy and security of data being transferred within an enterprise and with external suppliers and customers.

The Metamerge functionality is available from IBM now as stand-alone software. It is due in Tivoli products next quarter. Officials wouldnt say when it would be pushed into the other middleware.

IBM plans to keep the Metamerge development team and add some of its own, boosting its integration team to 100 developers in the next six months, officials said.

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