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Ariba Supports Commerce XML (cXML)

Ariba Announces Support for Commerce XML (cXML) Standard For Business-to-Business E-Commerce.

Leading Companies Collaborate on Lightweight Standard for Business-to-Business E-Commerce Transactions. Implementations to Begin In March 1999.

SUNNYVALE, California. February 8, 1999.

Ariba today announced support for Commerce XML (cXML), an open Internet-based standard for e-commerce. cXML reduces on-line business trading costs by facilitating the exchange of content and transactions over the Internet. Developed in concert with more than 40 leading companies, cXML is a set of lightweight XML DTDs -- based on the World Wide Web Consortium's XML standard -- with their associated request/response processes. Ariba will begin pilot implementations using cXML over the Internet in March 1999.

cXML provides an infrastructure that will streamline the process of digitally exchanging catalog content and transactions in a secure manner. cXML supports all supplier content and catalog models, including buyer-managed, supplier-managed, content management services, electronic marketplaces, and web-based sourcing organizations. This will allow suppliers to provide customers with selective access to personalized catalog content while maintaining their unique branding and competitive differentiation.

Additionally, cXML defines a request/response process for the exchange of transaction information. These business processes include purchase orders, change orders, acknowledgments, status updates, ship notifications and payment transactions. By incorporating cXML into Ariba's products, the company will extend its existing XML-based infrastructure and provide the foundation for Ariba's global e-commerce solution.

Ariba's e-commerce suite of applications, Ariba Operating Resource Management System (Ariba ORMS) has been adopted by many Global 2000 organizations such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Chevron, Cisco Systems, Merck & Co., State of California, US WEST, Visa International, and many others. Ariba's existing customers currently have an annual spend of more than $US68 billion in operating resources, the goods and services required to operate their businesses.

Unique Approach Drives cXML Initiative

cXML was created in a unique collaboration between buyers, suppliers, and Internet technology companies. More than 40 organizations were involved in the process including leading e-commerce companies such as Extricity Software, InterWorld Corporation, Ironside Technologies, POET Software, SAQQARA Systems, Sterling Commerce, Vignette Corporation and webMethods; members of Ariba Supplier Link (ASL) such as 1Nine Systems, Anderson Unicom Group,, BT Office Products International, CAP, a division of the McGraw-Hill Construction Information Group, Chemdex Corporation, Collabria, Compucom,, Cort Furniture Rental, Harbinger Corporation, Life Technologies, NCR Systemedia Group, Office Depot, RoweCom, Staples, and US Technologies; and Ariba customers. Collectively, these organizations provide real-world input and validation for cXML.

"By creating a standards-based method for the exchange of catalog content and transaction information, cXML enables Staples to reach out to our customers, and unlock networks of market opportunities with our unique brand identity," said Anne-Marie Keane, vice president of contract marketing at Staples. "cXML will slash the costs and reduce the hassle of doing business online. It will be a major catalyst in growing the business-to-business e-commerce economy."

The contributors to the cXML initiative are focused on achieving reference implementations through creation and rapid iteration of cXML. The cXML specification, including reference production implementations and associated implementation knowledge, will be submitted to the appropriate standards organizations. The cXML initiative is therefore complementary to existing XML initiatives led by CommerceNet, RosettaNet, Information & Content Exchange (ICE) and Open Buying on the Internet (OBI). The cXML specification will be made publicly available in March 1999.

"CommerceNet is pleased to see one of its members, Ariba Technologies, leading this effort to produce an interoperable content management solution for the electronic commerce environment," said Patrick Gannon, vice president, CommerceNet. "We look forward to working with Ariba to review how the eCo Framework specification supports the needs of the Commerce XML protocol."

cXML Critical to Support of Business-to-Business Open Trading Communities cXML will help build open trading communities across all industries because it solves critical business-to-business e-commerce challenges. cXML provides support for multiple catalog management paradigms, real-time information exchange and end-to-end transaction integration over the Internet. cXML also has a lower-cost of implementation because of its XML base and ability to leverage existing HTML e-commerce infrastructure and software.

For example, cXML leverages suppliers' existing e-commerce capabilities by allowing buyers to access supplier Web sites from within a buy-side application. Using this functionality, buyers can see their contracted items, private prices, and access product configurators or libraries of products. In addition, through lower cost Internet standards, cXML provides a more cost-effective alternative to Electronic Date Interchange (EDI).

"cXML is the first lightweight, standards-based method of communicating supplier content and transactions supported by a broad base of companies and built from real buyer and supplier experience," said Keith Krach, president and CEO at Ariba. "By supporting cXML, Ariba will continue to enable businesses of all sizes to take advantage of the vast amount of supplier content available on the web, and establish true open business-to-business trading communities using 100 percent Web-based standards."

About Ariba

Ariba is the leader in enterprise-wide Operating Resource Management (ORM) solutions for Global 2000 and mid-size corporations. The company's e-commerce products deliver a high return on investment by improving the acquisition and management of operating resources, the goods and services required to operate a company. Ariba's comprehensive ORM solution leverages the Internet, corporate intranets, and an advanced network application architecture to efficiently connect requestors to approvers, buyers to suppliers, and the Ariba system to other enterprise applications. Ariba and its strategic partners offer consulting and implementation services, training, and technical support that enable rapid deployment of scalable, flexible, enterprise-wide Operating Resource Management solutions. Ariba can be contacted at 408-543-3800 or at

NOTE: Ariba is a registered trademark of Ariba Technologies Inc. Ariba Operating Resource Management System, Ariba ORMS, and Walk-Up User Interface are trademarks of Ariba Technologies Inc. All other products or company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE: Ariba Technologies, Inc.


"Extricity is dedicated to providing process-level coordination among business partners through its Alliance application suite. Commonly understood definitions of business information, such as those provided by cXML, allow partners to more rapidly deploy solutions in Alliance and to focus more energy on process improvements in order management, inventory management and other procurement activities."

      --Greg Olsen
      Chief Technology Officer
      Extricity Software

"cXML provides the means for buyers and sellers to efficiently and effectively collaborate on content, order management and fulfillment utilizing the WWW as a standard medium for communication."

      --Steven Rabin
      Chief Technologist
      InterWorld Corporation

"As the industry-leading sell-side vendor for the mid-tier manufacturing and distribution markets, Ironside believes that it is important to develop and support real-world standards to allow our customers unrestrained access to new markets and customers. Our support of cXML is an extension of our Ironside Open Architecture (IOA) strategy. The critical mass behind cXML is a validation of our own strategy."

      --Bill Lipsin
      President and CEO
      Ironside Technologies

"POET is proud to have joined Ariba and 40 leading e-commerce companies to support cXML, a set of XML protocols that make e-commerce faster and more economical. POET and Ariba share the goal of establishing a practical, global e-commerce infrastructure based on XML, which is the lingua franca for data messaging in the 21st century."

      --Dirk Bartels
      President and Chief Executive Officer
      POET Software

"From our experience as architect partners with RosettaNet and integrating our Step Search software as part of the CommerceNet Catalog Interoperability Pilot, SAQQARA is very committed to XML standards for business-to-business commerce. We are equally excited about cXML as it provides an opportunity to rapidly pilot and implement truly inter-enterprise commerce exchange solutions."

      --Sherif Danish
      Chief Technology Officer
      SAQQARA Systems

"XML represents a new and powerful way to electronically exchange business information. We are aggressively leveraging Internet-centric opportunities and the capabilities they extend to our customers. This announcement of the support of cXML is one more in a series of Internet-centric solutions offered by Sterling Commerce. It is our intent to provide electronic commerce solutions to companies of every size, worldwide. Support of XML is the next logical step in expanding our offerings and their global reach."

      --Brad Sharp
      Executive Vice President and COO
      Sterling Commerce

"As a leader in XML solutions, Vignette is pleased with Ariba's support of cXML to establish XML-based frameworks for transactions on the Web. cXML can provide a set of DTDs and a method for communicating order status and transaction information across ICE (Information & Content Exchange) based networks as companies build their online business partnerships with the Vignette Syndication Server. In this way, cXML supplements ICE by adding configuration and purchasing data to the core content networks that ICE enables."

      --Brad Husick
      VP of Syndication Networks
      Vignette Corporation

"We are excited about collaborating with Ariba and other partners on cXML. This new standard provides a needed foundation for e-commerce content and transactions over the Internet."

      --Phillip Merrick
      Chief Executive Officer

Prepared by Robin Cover for the The SGML/XML Web Page archive.

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