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webMethods Launches B2B Integration Server

webMethods Inc., a provider of XML-based solutions for business-to-business e-commerce, delivered its B2B Integration Server, calling it "the first and only XML-based solution that automates the exchange of data between applications, Web sites, and legacy data sources."

For companies seeking to implement automated business-to-business (B2B) linkages, the B2B Integration Server makes it possible to encapsulate key business services for automated access by their customers, partners, and suppliers, webMethods said.

"Companies can leverage investments in existing Web sites, local data sources and applications, making the time and complexity of implementation minimal compared to technologies such as CORBA and traditional EDI," said Phillip Merrick, CEO and president of webMethods.

The B2B Integration Server enables companies to host and publish a set of business services, such as "PlaceOrder" or "TrackShipment," that enable the application-to-application exchange of data and information sources via the Web.

These services are encapsulated and accessed via an XML-based Remote Procedure Call (XML-RPC) mechanism that uses XML for both the description of the business procedure interface and the message format for the transferred data.

Security features include user authentication coupled with embedded Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and RSA cryptosystem support.

The core technology behind the B2B Integration Server is the Web Interface Definition Language (WIDL), an application of XML that provides a means of describing automated access to Web resources through well-defined interfaces.

Pricing for the Starter Pack Bundle begins at $12,995 for five concurrent users and five developer licenses. General availability is scheduled for late in the second quarter.