WebMethods broadens XML integration server

webMethods Inc. plans to ship this week the latest upgrade of its namesake XML integration server, which has been enhanced with wider support for standards used in business-to-business commerce.

webMethods Inc. plans to ship this week the latest upgrade of its namesake XML integration server, which has been enhanced with wider support for standards used in business-to-business commerce.

Other improvements in webMethods B2B 3.0 include higher scalability and reliability through the introduction of load balancing and fault tolerance, company officials said.

In addition, webMethods offers new versions of the server that target vertical markets. The new products include web Methods B2B for Portals and webMethods B2B for Partners.

Clarus Corp., of Atlanta, includes the webMethods engine within its hosted procurement application, according to Steve Hornyak, vice president of strategy and business development for Clarus.

webMethods for Portals has self-managing features that enable Clarus to upgrade the server at the hub and distribute the upgrade to all the companies hosting the Clarus application, Hornyak said.

"What the webMethods portal server allows you to do is have the same copy of the software running in multiple places, providing the same functionality, and it dynamically synchronizes itself," he said. "It's self-managing and self-updating in a highly distributed mode."

The second new product, webMethods B2B for Partners, is a "baby B2B server," Hornyak said, that Clarus could use to connect its procurement application to small suppliers. The server can be embedded in a Java desktop application that can pass data in XML (Extensible Markup Language) format between the customer and Clarus software hosted by an application service provider.

webMethods B2B server technology automatically generates and distributes documents in XML from information drawn from databases. The new version more ably passes XML documents among businesses through wider support of open and proprietary XML implementation methods, or schemata.

webMethods 3.0 also has connectors for Baan Co. and PeopleSoft Inc. enterprise resource planning applications.

This month, the company announced that it will develop with SAP AG the application integration infrastructure behind mySAP.com Marketplace.

Pricing for webMethods B2B 3.0 starts at $100,000; a special package for connecting to a variety of systems is available starting at an additional $75,000.

webMethods B2B for Portals starts at $175,000, and webMethods B2B for Partners begins at $10,000.

webMethods, based in Fairfax, Va., can be reached at (703) 460-2500 or www.webmethods.com.

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