One-Stop Packages Get B2Bs Ready

Getting involved in secure, business-to-business e-commerce may be a little easier

Getting involved in secure, business-to-business e-commerce may be a little easier thanks to new all-in-one packages from IBM and the duo of Viewlocity Inc. and Inc.

The former this month released iSeries Connect, which makes applications B2B-ready by providing tools, connectivity and catalog functions.

The latter will integrate their online supply chain software next quarter to offer a more complete trading package.

Viewlocitys integration broker, the foundation for its supply chain applications that are used for the Internet, will be enhanced by bTrades application, which allows for real-time, secured IP-based data exchange over the Internet.

Using bTrades EasyAccess2000 and EDIINT (Electronic Data Interchange Internet) apps, Viewlocity will be able to provide its trading partners the ability to move encrypted, digitally signed data.

Viewlocity will provide bTrade with the ability to offer an enterprise-level integration application to its clients, according to officials from Viewlocity, of Atlanta, and bTrade, of Irving, Texas.

Separately, IBMs iSeries Connect is built on a Java and XML (Extensible Markup Language) platform and is designed to work with the Armonk, N.Y., companys WebSphere application server and with Lotus Development Corp.s Domino server.

iSeries Connect, which is targeted at small and midsize companies, also includes an integrated version of IBMs MQSeries middleware—a link that gives customers messaging capabilities to connect front-end and back-end applications across servers, according to company officials.

Marshall Dunbar, a senior application development architect with Data Processing Services Inc., has been beta testing iSeries Connect since mid-December.

DPS, a software development, consulting and systems integration company, has a product called DPS Flash thats a front-end to back-end ordering system for business-to-consumer and B2B businesses.

Dunbar wanted to enable DPS Flash for e-marketplaces—particularly those built on infrastructure from Ariba Inc. and Metriom Inc.—without having to worry about the nuances of deep-level integration with each one.

"Its more economical for us to write an interface one time," said Dunbar, in Indianapolis. "IBM supports the e-marketplaces, and they handle the differences and how their protocols and flavors of XML work. Theyre handling the mapping and actual communication so that we have a standard to interface with."

While initial testing proved successful, Dunbar has a wish list for the next release of iSeries, which is topped by the desire for an interface with Commerce One Inc. marketplaces. An IBM representative would not say if a Commerce One interface is forthcoming.

One big plus for Dunbar is iSeries pricing, which starts at $1,000.