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Netscape aims for smoother e-commerce

Although consumer shopping dominates e-commerce news, Netscape and a raft of other vendors are releasing software designed to smooth online procurement by businesses.

    Although consumer shopping dominates e-commerce news this month, Netscape and a raft of other vendors this week are releasing software designed to smooth online procurement by businesses.

    Netscape is updating its Commerce Exchange family of e-commerce applications and adding a new one: TradingXpert, designed to enable companies to host online trading communities.

    Netscape also is announcing "connectors" that allow companies with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software from different vendors to link those systems over the Internet or private networks. Previous Netscape products required custom programming to make those connections.

    That effort puts Netscape in direct competition with vendors like Extricity Software, which today also released new versions of its connector software, Extricity Alliance.

    Netscape also announced 2.0 versions of its ECXpert and ECXpert Enterprise applications, the foundation applications for its e-commerce offerings.

    E-commerce vendors Agentics and Clarus, which recently acquired e-commerce player Elekom, also made news this week.

    Agentics announced that its self-service purchasing software, SupplyChannel, is now available. SAIC will resell the application, and Agentics has received a $3.5 million venture investment from Softbank Technology Ventures and Genesis Partners.

    Agentics' software allows a company to scan catalogs of its suppliers, then post that information in a comparable format for internal buyers to browse and make purchases. It reduces the cost of replicating catalog listings from multiple suppliers.

    Clarus, formerly SQL Financials, also released a new version of its e-commerce software, E-Procurement 3.0, this week. That software was acquired earlier this year with Elekom, and the application is part of Clarus's suite of enterprise applications.

    In a similar announcement, Click Interactive last week released a new version of its Click Commerce software, a packaged application that lets companies set up an extranet and allows departmental managers to manage content and access control for their section of an internal Web site.