UDDI Hits Beta Stage

B2B standard taking steps to delivering on promises

In a development that could signal the evolution of the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) Project from elaborate promises to functional application, a broad coalition of business and technology leaders recently announced the initial public beta testing of the UDDI Business Registry. UDDI Business Registry is a Web service designed to accelerate the adoption of B2B integration and commerce on the Internet. The UDDI Project also announced that 94 new members have joined since the launch two months ago bringing the total number of participants to 130.

By listing a Web service in the UDDI Business Registry, companies are opening the door for the establishment of new e-business relationships and added efficiency to existing relationships. Companies can publish identifying information and indicate a preferred means of conducting e-commerce transactions. Via the registry's search mechanism, businesses that are registered are located more easily by B2B customers and partners.

Currently, Ariba, Microsoft and IBM share the globally distributed operation of the UDDI Business Registry. Each company operates a registry server that interoperates with the other participants servers and ensures that information registered at one site is shared with all other operator registries. The UDDI Business Registry is a platform-neutral implementation of the UDDI draft specification announced last month. Future versions of the Business Registry will add other companies as operators. Having a business service listed in the UDDI Business Registry is free.

The UDDI Project continues to attract members from both pure Internet and traditional companies. In addition to the lineup of 36 original project members that included American Express, Ariba, Cargill, Dell Computer, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft and VeriSign, the list of 94 new members includes companies as varied as Boeing, B2eMarkets, Ford Motor Co., Hewlett Packard, Dun & Bradstreet and Netfish. This continued intermingling of different businesses will play a key part in determining whether or not the UDDI Project does indeed become the great unifier of the B2B world as its proponents suggest it will.