RealTime IT News

B2B Groups Link E-Business Silos

An e-business standards consortium is aligning its software testing as a further step towards letting companies in different industries communicate better.

Santa Ana, Calif.-based RosettaNet said it is working with eBusinessReady to help certify its RosettaNet B2B software for Web services . The goal is to establish a consistent method for B2B between companies that in the past might not have traded with each other. EBusinessReady is an industry-neutral software-testing program, under joint partnership between Drummond Group and the Uniform Code Council (UCC), which also oversees RosettaNet.

Mark Monaghan, a senior director at UCC, told internetnews.com the end game is to get more companies in the supply chain to adopt these B2B-ready program standards.

"It used to be that the clothing guys would only work with the clothing guys; the food guys would only work with the food guys. There is a crossover now where you have industries such as chipmakers selling directly to industries outside their own communities and even directly to retail shops," Monaghan said. "So what you have is a company like Sony or HP selling directly into Wal-Mart , where that would not have happened ten years ago."

Now, according to Monaghan, companies can communicate more easily, because they didn't have to go outside the supply chain to certify their communications. They just need to map that data inside their legacy systems, "which is what these companies tell us they would rather spend their time working on," he said.

Now working with Lawrenceville, N.J.-based eBusinessReady, RosettaNet said its clients can use the existing eBusinessReady framework to certify application software products with supply chain companies looking to implement RosettaNet-compliant systems.

"The partnership between UCC, a multi-industry standards organization, and Drummond Group, a leading compliance, interoperability and conformance testing company, offers tremendous benefits and greater reach to companies seeking to certify their software products that support RosettaNet e-business standards," said Kraemer.

As Monaghan put it, RosettaNet has been a "barnstormer," making sure its software is compliant with the rest of the world. The consortium recently established an Architecture Advisory Committee so it could sift through the myriad emerging technologies and related architectural frameworks that are introduced into the marketplace, such as multiple messaging services and electronic business XML (ebXML).

"It's important to keep a consistent certification technology," Monaghan said. "We want the vendors to get good interoperability and allow the community to grow quicker."

He said RosettaNet expects to publish their results in either late 2004 or early 2005. Work on defining Business Web services has just started and guidelines are not expected until 2005.

The partnership also was prompted by today's news that Global eXchange Services (GXS) successfully completed its beta trial. The B2B Internet commerce operation that provides supply chain services and software to 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies just ended a three-month evaluation.

GXS said it successfully tested its Application Integrator v 4.1 and Enterprise System v 7.5 products against the RosettaNet Implementation Framework (RNIF) and Partner Interface Process (PIP) 3C3.

GXS has been actively involved with RosettaNet since 1998, and serves as a member of the consortium's Solution Provider Global Industry Council. In 2003 and 2004, the company was awarded 15 RosettaNet Ready software compliance badges for various product offerings.

"EBusinessReady extends the successful RosettaNet Ready software compliance initiative to a broader market scope, promoting a single methodology across all UCC certification program initiatives," David Kraemer, vice president marketing and industry development at Global eXchange Services, said in a statement.