Microsoft, Commerce One detail B2B plan

The two software makers debut new applications and services at an e-commerce conference aimed at helping companies participate in online marketplaces.

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Microsoft and Commerce One debuted new software Tuesday aimed at helping companies participate in online marketplaces.

As previously reported, the deal between the business-to-business software maker and Microsoft involves joint software development and sales and marketing campaigns, as well as an effort to make e-marketplaces more accessible and allow small and large businesses to buy, sell and collaborate online.

The deal first surfaced last week during Commerce One's first-quarter earnings conference call. The agreement calls for Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft to loan $25 million to Pleasanton, Calif.-based Commerce One to develop software to support the Microsoft.Net Web service initiative.

At Commerce One's eLink 2001 e-commerce conference in New Orleans on Tuesday, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and Commerce One Chief Executive Mark Hoffman outlined the new plan, which includes Commerce One's MarketSite Gateway for Microsoft BizTalk server and Microsoft Visual Studio, as well as other Microsoft technology to assist suppliers in business-to-business transactions online.

The joint effort between the two companies will focus on building more participation in online marketplaces, one of the greatest challenges facing the business-to-business industry.

Commerce One MarketSite Gateway for Biz Talk--Microsoft's software for linking different computing systems to exchange data and conduct business over the Web--will allow most businesses, regardless of size, to connect their own business processes with those of their trading partners through Commerce One-built marketplaces. The general availability of MarketSite Gateway is planned for the third quarter of 2001.

The Commerce One MarketSite Connectivity Kit for Microsoft BizTalk Server and Microsoft Visual Studio will help integrate applications and business services with marketplaces built by Commerce One. General availability of the connectivity kit is set for the fourth quarter of 2001.