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PayPal Takes Aim at Developers

PayPal Inc. is looking to lower the throttle on its expansion beyond auctions and into the wider eCommerce realm by making it easier for small businesses to accept credit cards online.

Web development firm WebAssist.com has created a free extension for the Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 and Dreamweaver UltraDev 4 Web development tools intended to make it easy for Web designers and developers to build eCommerce sites using Dreamweaver and PayPal. The extension, dubbed the PayPal eCommerce Toolkit, is available for download at Macromedia Exchange.

"With 3 million business accounts, PayPal has a strong reputation as the preferred payment solution in the auction community, and now as an eCommerce solution for Web professionals and their clients," said David Sacks, chief operating officer of PayPal. "PayPal is a convenient and cost-effective way for small businesses to accept credit card payments online."

Dave Deming, product manager for Macromedia, added, "PayPal has effectively eliminated a major problem for Web designers and developers by providing such a quick and easy way to create eCommerce-enabled Web sites."

PayPal also laid out support for developers by unveiling the PayPal Developer Network (PDN), a central resource with technical information about PayPal products and services, as well as access to eCommerce tools. PayPal said PDN has a directory of more than 50 eCommerce solutions that use PayPal, including shopping carts, storefronts, affiliate software and subscription management services built by PayPal developers.

"The PayPal Developer Network was created to help Web designers and developers build eCommerce Web sites and more than 20,000 PayPal developers have joined PDN already," Sacks said. "It's a great place for Web professionals to start making money for their clients quickly."

PayPal's maneuvers to expand its market are likely to be welcome news to its investors, which last week saw the company adding to its legal hurdles. On March 14, three people filed a lawsuit alleging that the company is prone to restricting, freezing or closing customer accounts without good reason. The suit is seeking nationwide class-action status.

The company is also facing a patent infringement lawsuit and regulatory threats in some states. Still, investors seem to continue to favor the stock. It opened at $18.50 Wednesday, up from its $13 IPO price.