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WebMethods to link B2B with back-end

Cliff Saran
WebMethods, which provides the business-to-business exchange behind MySap.com, has acquired enterprise application integration provider Active Software, writes Cliff Saran.

According to WebMethods, this deal will enable it to offer users a single infrastructure for internal and external business integration.

WebMethod's technology is also used on i2's Tradematrix marketplaces, where it provides secure integration of a company's in-house planning and execution systems, across Internet firewalls.

Active Software's flagship tool Activeworks provides a software hub that can be used to exchange information between back-end systems. The firm provides custom adapters for a number of packaged applications such as Sap, Baan, PeopleSoft and Siebel.

One of the key aspects of Activeworks, says Jeremy McGee, European marketing manager at Active Software, is that the platform guarantees that a transaction will occur.

McGee says computer systems today are unable to cope with incomplete information passed from one package to another.

If, for instance, the Sap R/3 system takes an order with a missing customer telephone number, a customer relationship management package cannot act upon the order. So customer service would not be aware that a customer phoning the call centre had placed the order.

Through the merger, WebMethod plans to combine its business-to-business integration technology with the Activeworks technology to link to users' back-end systems.


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