Ariba and Microsoft Extend Alliance to Speed Adoption Of Business-to-Business E-Commerce

SUNNYVALE, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 28, 1999 — Today at the 12th Ariba User Group and Advisory Council in Burlingame, Calif., Ariba Inc. and Microsoft Corp. announced the extension of their alliance designed to speed the adoption and deployment of innovative e-commerce solutions based on the Microsoft® BizTalk TM Framework and the Ariba Network TM .

Building on the success that Ariba and Microsoft have realized with the Ariba ORMS TM e-commerce solution running on the Microsoft BackOffice® platform, including the Microsoft Windows NT® Server operating system and Microsoft SQL Server TM , the two companies are extending their relationship to break down traditional Internet communication barriers that result from transacting business through disparate technology systems, and to provide powerful business-to-business e-commerce solutions to customers.

Under this enhanced agreement and with help from Microsoft, Ariba will use the BizTalk Framework to integrate a Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition-based sell-side solution with the Ariba Network service. This will allow Ariba customers to quickly integrate business-to-business solutions with their suppliers and partners over the Internet, with business transactions flowing directly through the Ariba Network service through BizTalk.

Microsoft and Ariba also announced today their intent to sign a strategic agreement to deliver the Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 relational database as a core component of the Ariba ORMS application. The agreement will allow Ariba to package and ship the award-winning SQL Server 7.0 database with its market-leading Operating Resource Management System. In addition, Ariba plans to offer a compelling upgrade package for Oracle customers to migrate to SQL Server.

From chemicals to maintenance services, most companies today use paper-based methods to buy nearly all their operating resources, the nonproduction goods and services required for daily operations. As a result, employees often go around corporate purchasing processes and make expensive
or off-contract, purchases. Because Ariba makes it easier to order goods and services from employees’ desktops through the Ariba ORMS Walkup TM user interface, companies are able to direct aggregated spending through the Ariba Network service toward preferred suppliers at lower prices while eliminating costly process inefficiencies.

In addition, Ariba is continuing to work with Microsoft to integrate Ariba’s Commerce XML (cXML) into the BizTalk Extensible Markup Language (XML) Framework, to allow seamless connectivity between Ariba Network and BizTalk-based applications.

“Microsoft is an important associate of Ariba as we expand the reach of the Ariba Network service to new suppliers and buyers,”
said Dave Rome, vice president of marketing at Ariba.
“Equally important, the Microsoft BackOffice platform offers an excellent solution for our ORMS customers in performance, price and reliability.”

“Microsoft and Ariba are working together to continually improve the benefits we offer to our mutual customers,”
said Charles Stevens, vice president of the Business Solutions Group at Microsoft.
“The ORMS product line running on Windows NT Server and SQL Server 7.0 enables Ariba’s customers to build their businesses on a reliable, scalable platform that ensures low cost of ownership and the functionality needed to remain competitive.”

Microsoft SQL Server 7.0

Created by a world-class development team, Microsoft SQL Server is a leading Windows NT Server-based database, bringing business advantage and improved decision-making to all levels of the organization through the power of data warehousing, industry solutions and its interoperability with Microsoft Office.

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 schemas 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

Ariba (Nasdaq
) is the leader in business-to-business e-commerce solutions for operating resources. The company’s intranet- and Internet-based products and services connect requestors to approvers and buyers to suppliers to deliver an automated solution for purchasing and selling operating resources, the goods and services required to operate a company. The Ariba Network service, a global business-to-business electronic-commerce network for operating resources, enables buyers and suppliers to efficiently conduct business on the Internet. The Ariba ORMS application enables organizations to automate the procurement cycle within their intranets, lowering the costs of acquiring and managing operating resources. Together, the Ariba Network service and Ariba ORMS application provide a business-to-business electronic-commerce solution for operating resources that benefits both buyers and suppliers. Ariba customers include Cisco Systems, FedEx, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard Co., MCI WorldCom, Merck & Co., Philips and Visa. 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.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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