Microsoft and Ariba Join Forces to Accelerate Adoption Of Business-to-Business E-Commerce Standards

REDMOND, Wash., and SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 10, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. and Ariba Inc., a leading provider of intranet- and Internet-based business-to-business e-commerce solutions for operating resources, today announced plans to work together to accelerate the adoption of Extensible Markup Language (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 seamless 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.

“We are pleased to be working with Microsoft to build on the work that Ariba and its partners have done in creating cXML,”
said Keith Krach, president and CEO of Ariba.
“The result of this joint effort will further our mutual objective of friction-free e-commerce.”

“By integrating cXML with BizTalk, Microsoft and Ariba will help more businesses easily conduct e-commerce with their customers and trading partners,”
said Charles Stevens, vice president of the Application Developers Customer Unit at Microsoft.
“It is critical that leading industry vendors, such as Ariba and Microsoft, come together to promote common e-commerce standards.”

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. XDR is an alternative to the Data Type Definitions (DTDs) that are outlined in the Extensible Markup Language standard and provides a richer way to define XML documents.

Not only does XDR use XML itself to describe the format of a document, it supports two features critical to reusable e-commerce documents – data types and name spaces. Support for data types enables the more reliable processing of data, for example, correctly interpreting a date in a specific format. Name spaces enable a document definition to contain references to other definitions; for example, purchase orders and invoices might both contain

About Commerce XML

Developed in concert with more than 40 leading companies, Commerce Extensible Markup Language is a lightweight XML-based standard for exchanging supplier content and transactions over the Internet. It supports all supplier content and catalog models, including buyer-managed, supplier-managed, content management services, electronic marketplaces, and Web-based sourcing organizations. In addition, cXML defines a request/response process for the exchange of transaction information for purchase orders, change orders, acknowledgements, status updates, ship notifications, payment and other transactions.

About BizTalk

Introduced in March, BizTalk is a new cross-platform e-commerce framework that makes it easy for businesses to integrate applications and conduct business over the Internet with trading partners and customers. The BizTalk framework is composed of XML schema and industry standards that enable integration across industries and between business systems, regardless of platform, operating system or underlying technology. The newly created XML specification will provide streamlined, accelerated and easy-to-use business processes and eliminate current system boundaries, help companies create more online business, and increase the opportunity to communicate and cooperate with other companies.

About Ariba Inc.

Ariba® is a leading provider of intranet- and Internet-based business-to-business electronic commerce solutions for operating resources. Ariba’s Operating Resource Management System
, Ariba ORMS
, enables organizations to automate the procurement cycle within their intranets, lowering the costs associated with operating resources. Ariba’s recently launched Network
is a global business-to-business electronic-commerce network for operating resources that enables buyers and suppliers to automate transactions on the Internet. Together, Ariba ORMS and combine intranet-based network applications with an

Internet-based network to create a business-to-business electronic-commerce solution for operating resources that benefits both buyers and suppliers. Ariba can be contacted at (408) 543-3800 or at .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

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