Industry Leaders Join to Accelerate Business Integration and Commerce On the Internet
SAN FRANCISCO, September 06, 2000.
A broad coalition of business and technology leaders today announced the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) Project, a cross-industry initiative designed to accelerate and broaden business-to-business integration and commerce on the Internet. American Express Co., Andersen Consulting, Ariba Inc., Bowstreet, Cargill Inc., Clarus Corp., Commerce One Inc., CommerceQuest Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., CrossWorlds Software Inc., Dell Computer Corp., Descartes, Extricity Software Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., Great Plains, i2, IBM Corp., Internet Capital Group, Loudcloud Inc., match21, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., Microsoft Corp., NEON, Nortel Networks Corp., NTT Communications Corp., Rational Software Corp., RealNames Corp., Sabre Holdings Corp., SAP AG, Sun Microsystems Inc., TIBCO Software Inc., Ventro Corp., Versata Inc., VeriSign, VerticalNet Inc. and webMethods Inc. are among the first to endorse and collaborate on UDDI.
Growth of business-to-business commerce on the Internet faces challenges in scaling to universal adoption due to the multitude of technologies and standards used by businesses and e-marketplaces. UDDI will address these challenges by providing two things: First, UDDI defines a platform-neutral set of specifications to enable businesses to describe themselves and indicate their preferred means of conducting e-commerce transactions. Second, UDDI includes the shared operation of a globally distributed UDDI Business Registry. Through the UDDI Business Registry, companies publish information describing how they conduct commerce and search for other businesses that provide the capabilities, Web services or products they need. The goal of the UDDI Project is to offer the basic infrastructure for dynamic, automated integration of all e-commerce transactions and Web services. Similar to the impact HTML had for consumers on the Internet by providing a common Web site publishing format that fueled the Internet explosion, UDDI aims to make business-to-business commerce adoption universal by providing businesses with a common mechanism to publish Web services on the Internet. Marketplaces, application service providers (ASPs) and individual businesses can use UDDI-enabled applications to dynamically define the services they offer over the Web, publish those services in the UDDI Business Registry and utilize the registry to scalably connect with millions of other businesses globally.
"The adoption of e-business has once again shown us the importance of a common infrastructure in any commerce model," said Daryl Plummer, group vice president of Internet and E-business Technologies at Gartner Group. "In the e-business world where multiple businesses and multiple marketplaces are trying to interact, a mechanism to locate software services and share those services must exist. The ability to find Web services is going to ease and speed e-business deployment, opening the door for the interoperability businesses desire."
The UDDI Project is an open industry initiative in which any organization can participate and implement the specifications. The specifications build on core Internet standards -- including TCP/IP, HTML and XML -- and are independent of any underlying platform, language, object model, business application or marketplace. It is the intention of the UDDI members to transition the specifications to an industry standards body in the next 18 months.
Universal Description, Discovery and Integration Specifications
The UDDI specification facilitates the integration of Web services by creating a standard means for describing services and e-business processes and placing them on an open, universally accessible registry. The UDDI Business Registry and UDDI specifications will benefit any company or organization with access to the Internet, from the smallest home-based business to Fortune 500 companies.
The open draft of the UDDI specification can be found at http://www.uddi.org. The final specification will be available shortly after public comments and feedback are incorporated.
"B2B eCommerce has seen rapid global adoption due to its ability to deliver unprecedented fast time to value, but this success has been uneven as marketplaces, buyers, suppliers and commerce service providers often must reinvent integration methodologies for their various trading partners," said Larry Mueller, president and chief operating officer at Ariba. "In order for B2B to scale to universal adoption and the now-famous trillion-dollar projections given by analysts, it's time for the industry to build on its early successes and collaborate on interoperability."
UDDI Business Registry
The UDDI Business Registry provides an implementation of the UDDI specification. Any company can access the registry on the Internet, enter the description of its business, reach a UDDI site, or search through all business services listed in the UDDI registry. There is no cost to access information in the registry.
Although based on XML, the registry can also describe services implemented using HTML, Java, CORBA, Microsoft Windows DNA, or any other type of programming model or language. The registry is implemented as a Web service and thus can be discovered, integrated and programmatically invoked using XML like any other Web service.
Beta implementations of the UDDI Business Registry will be available from Ariba, IBM and Microsoft within 30 days. These implementations will interoperate with each other, ensuring that information registered at one site is shared with all other operator registries. Other interoperable implementations are expected in the future.
"The UDDI project is an example of the inclusiveness and cooperation needed to deliver greater efficiencies in e-business transactions and integration through open standards," said John Swainson, general manager of the Application & Integration Middleware Division at IBM. "In addition, we expect the UDDI Business Registry will become an important part of the Internet's infrastructure as we move to the next generation of e-business."
Broad Industry Participation
The members of the UDDI Project have agreed to help steward the evolution of the UDDI specification and share in the operation and oversight of the UDDI Business Registry service. These companies have also agreed to publish their own business services in the UDDI Business Registry. The project is open and inclusive, and additional participants are welcome to further extend and innovate on the UDDI specification. "By providing a lingua franca for business-to-business commerce, the UDDI Project will make business integration faster, cheaper and easier," said Paul Maritz, group vice president of the Platforms Group at Microsoft. "By making it easy to describe, find and use Web services, UDDI offers the foundation to take Internet commerce to the next level."
Ariba is the leading business-to-business e-commerce platform provider. Through the Ariba B2B Commerce platform -- an open, end-to-end infrastructure of interoperable software solutions and hosted Web-based commerce services -- the company enables efficient online trade, integration and collaboration between B2B marketplaces, buyers, suppliers and commerce service providers. The global reach and best-of-breed functionality of the Ariba B2B Commerce platform creates Internet-driven economies of scale and process efficiencies for leading companies around the world. More information can be found at http://www.ariba.com/.
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM Software offers the widest range of applications, middleware and operating systems for all types of computing platforms, allowing customers to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. The fastest way to get more information about IBM software is through the IBM Software home page at http://www.software.ibm.com/.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.
Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: "Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI)."