Microsoft Corp. and Ariba Inc., announced plans to work together to accelerate the adoption of XML-based standards for e-commerce. The companies will join together to integrate Commerce XML (cXML), an emerging standard for business-to-business e-commerce, with the Microsoft BizTalk framework to define schema for communicating operating resource transactions, such as catalogs and orders. In addition to collaborating on BizTalk and cXML, Ariba and Microsoft plan to work together to implement these e-commerce frameworks into products offered by both companies. Ariba will support the BizTalk framework in Ariba e-commerce solutions, and Microsoft will integrate support for cXML into upcoming releases of the Microsoft Commerce Server and BizTalk Server. This collaboration will enable integration between Ariba e-commerce solutions and the multitude of supplier Web sites based on the Microsoft commerce platform. The joint work will provide the opportunity for Microsoft and Ariba customers to more easily and efficiently conduct business-to-business e-commerce with business partners worldwide. As a member of the core group of organizations that will drive the development of BizTalk, Ariba plans to collaborate with Microsoft on the continued development of operating resource transaction cXML schema. Under the planned development, Ariba will use XML-Data Reduced (XDR), the preferred syntax for BizTalk, in the next version of cXML. www.microsoft.com, www.ariba.com

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