UDDI business-to-business directory goes live

Microsoft, IBM and Ariba yesterday launched the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) directory, a Yellow...

Microsoft, IBM and Ariba yesterday launched the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) directory, a Yellow Pages-styled business-to-business directory that allows companies to locate suppliers and business partners and then hook up with them via the Web.

The three vendors hatched the idea for the directory in September, with each planning to operate registry services for the directory. But UDDI officials said yesterday that Ariba will not host a registry. Instead, Hewlett-Packard (HP) will assume that role.

Businesses wishing to publish their names in the UDDI directory must register with Microsoft or with IBM. HP's registry is slated to be available by the end of the year, and all three sites will be linked, officials said.

Struggling e-commerce software vendor Ariba plans to focus on supporting other parts of the UDDI project. Officials at the company, which posted a $1.84bn (£1.28bn) net loss for its second quarter and plans to lay off a third of its workforce, were not available for comment.

Microsoft is integrating support for UDDI into the .Net Platform, said Chris Kurt, UDDI program manager at Microsoft.

The success of the .Net undertaking hinges upon gaining wide support for UDDI, analysts said. Microsoft's .Net framework aims to transform applications into services that get swapped over the Web. But like a sole fax machine, the idea misses its target if there are no Web sites available for exchanging services.

The number of firms pledging to join the UDDI directory has increased from 36 to more than 260, officials said.

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