RealTime IT News

OBI Consortium Meets Next Week

The Open Buying on the Internet (OBI) Consortium is set to meet on February 19 and 20 to finalize version 1.1 of the OBI business-to-business Internet commerce standard.

The OBI standard provides buying and selling organizations with an easy-to-use, standards-based solution that achieves interoperability through a flexible, technology product-neutral architecture.

The OBI standard is for Internet business requisitions that combine Web technologies, such as X.509 digital certificates, with legacy systems or back- end systems, such as EDI.

OBI is a freely available standard that contains an architecture, detailed technical specification, guidelines, and compliance and implementation information. It is for the purchase of low-dollar, high-volume, nonstrategic, indirect materials by large, distributed requisitioners populations.

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) technology has been the primary technology used to support electronic commerce in the past and has simplified the purchasing of direct (or product) materials. The OBI standard is set to provide the same for indirect purchases.

Netscape has played an active role in the development of the OBI standard.

"OBI leverages existing e-commerce messaging formats to exchange purchase information between buyers and sellers. It uses the flexible, structured data formats of EDI purchase orders," said Steve Savignano, Netscape General Manager and senior vice president.

The OBI standard is based on current Internet standards, such as HTML for content display, SSL for secure Internet communications, X.509 for digital certificates, and SET for credit card transactions.

The Open Buying on the Internet (OBI) Consortium is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing open standards for business-to-business Internet commerce.