Hewlett-Packard and Intel have joined a project led by Ariba,
IBM and Microsoft to create a giant online Yellow Pages for companies that
want to conduct business online.
Last month, Ariba, IBM and Microsoft proposed a Web standard and a new
initiative that allows businesses to register in an online directory. The
directory will help companies advertise their services and find each other
so they can conduct Web transactions. The consortium of companies plans to
unveil a test version of the online directory early next month.
The group originally signed on about 30 supporters, including Sun
Microsystems, Compaq Computer, Dell Computer and Nortel Networks. Since
then, the organization has signed on nearly 70 more companies, the largest
being computing giant HP and chipmaker Intel, according to a representative for
The proposed standard, called Universal Description Discovery and
Integration (UDDI), will allow businesses to describe the services they
offer and will allow those services to be located by other businesses via
the online directory.
The initiative dovetails with Hewlett-Packard's E-services plan and its
accompanying E-speak software. HP wants to make it possible for companies
to offer online services to
others who want to take advantage of them, and E-speak is software that can
glue such services together. For example, a company that sells shoes could
use E-speak to cut electronic deals with other companies that specialize in
authorizing credit card transactions or in shipping products.
An HP representative Thursday said the company joined the UDDI project
now because the company needed to evaluate the initiative's plans.
HP will ensure that its E-speak technology will be compatible with UDDI's
technology, the representative said.
Intel representatives could not be reached for comment Thursday, but
the chipmaker has long supported industry standards, and e-commerce is
strategic to the company's goal of selling more high-end servers.
New supporters for the project include Boeing, DataChannel, Dun &
Bradstreet and Vitria.
The proposed UDDI standard is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), a Web standard for data
exchange that is fast becoming the preferred language of online business.