eBay and Microsoft Office Extend Opportunity for Developers To Create Solutions That Enhance Trading on eBay

SAN JOSE, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash., March 1, 2004 — eBay Inc. and Microsoft Corp. today invited third-party developers to tap into the Web services capabilities of both the eBay platform and the Microsoft®
Office System to enhance trading on eBay. With the combined power of the two platforms, developers now have the opportunity to build innovative solutions that can greatly benefit buyers and sellers on eBay by giving users more control and flexibility in managing their transactions.

Using the enhanced capabilities of Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and Microsoft Office FrontPage®
2003, developers can create a variety of solutions that will help users increase their productivity on eBay. For example, solutions could enable eBay users to utilize Excel to manage dynamic listing data on eBay — such as pricing and bids — and update the data automatically as changes occur. Solutions also could enable users to list multiple items on eBay simultaneously or create a Web site that displays their eBay item listings.

“Using the Microsoft Office System with eBay enables developers to help eBay sellers more effectively manage inventory, access the most up-to-date pricing data, and quickly and easily build a customized Web site to showcase products to eBay buyers,” said Debbie Brackeen, director for the eBay Developers Program. “We are excited about extending the eBay platform and anticipate that these capabilities will foster innovation in our developer community.”

“We’re giving developers the tools they need to enhance the trading experience for eBay users,” said Gytis Barzdukas, director of Office System Product Management at Microsoft. “With the combination of Excel 2003 and FrontPage 2003, developers can provide users with powerful tools to analyze their sales and inventory in real time and build sophisticated and dynamic Web sites. The Microsoft Office System and eBay together are a great combination.”

Developers and eBay’s buyers and sellers can use the powerful and familiar tools in FrontPage 2003 with the Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based application programming interfaces (APIs) provided by the eBay Developers Program to easily create professional-looking Web sites that display customized information on items for sale on eBay.

The FrontPage 2003 Web package includes these features:

  • Web design and maintenance tools

  • A data view built to display multiple item listings from eBay

  • Customization of data views using what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) editing tools such as the ability to use bold, italic and colored fonts

  • Rich sorting, filtering and grouping features to present only desired data

  • A “New!” icon for specific items listed on the last day (24 hours) of the auction

Using Excel 2003, developers can seamlessly integrate with the eBay API via XML, allowing them to take advantage of the latest capabilities in Office 2003 to customize list views, graphs and charts; catalog bulk items online or offline; and submit item listings on eBay. The Excel-based solution now allows eBay buyers and sellers to create an offline historical record of their transactions, analyze their buying or selling history, and use Excel’s automated bulk uploading processes to submit item listings, instead of having to manually enter the same items each time.

The Excel 2003 customized package includes these features:

  • An inventory-staging component that allows manual entry or automated input via XML imports from any XML-compliant database

  • An automated listing section that enables bulk uploading of listings and real-time pricing of listed inventory

  • Offline capabilities

  • A persistent historical sales page, which lets users review and analyze sales while managing invoicing

  • Ad hoc data analysis in the familiar environment of Excel

  • Seamless integration with any system the user may have (via XML) for inventory import

Sample code demonstrating the eBay listing management capabilities within the Microsoft Office System is available for download from the eBay Developer site at http://developer.ebay.com/devzone/docs/samplecode.asp , along with detailed technical instructions for developers. The sample code solutions were developed in cooperation with Allin Consulting ( http://www.allinconsulting.com/ ), an information technology consulting company that provides integration and development services. Allin is a registered member of the eBay Developers Program. Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect of Microsoft, presented a demo of this solution at the Microsoft Office System launch in October 2003. The demo can be viewed at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=25105 .

About the eBay Developers Program

The eBay Developers Program enables third-party developers to create innovative solutions that tap into the power of eBay, The World’s Online Marketplace®
. Members of the program gain access to eBay’s application programming interface to create a wide variety of solutions that meet the diverse needs of the nearly 95 million registered users on eBay. For more information about the eBay Developers Program, visit http://www.developer.ebay.com/ .

About the Microsoft Office System

The Microsoft Office System is an easy way to help more people use information to positively impact their business. Through a system of familiar and easy-to-use programs, servers, services and solutions, users can connect people and organizations to information, business processes and each other — helping ensure that they derive the most value out of information. The Microsoft Office System consists of the 2003 editions of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office SharePoint (TM) Portal Server 2003, Microsoft Office Project and Project Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Meeting, Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath (TM) 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote (TM) 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003, Microsoft Office Visio® 2003 and the Microsoft Office Solution Accelerators. Enabling technologies, such as Microsoft Windows®
SharePoint Services and Microsoft Windows Server (TM) 2003, enhance the features and functionality of products in the Microsoft Office System.

About eBay

eBay is The World’s Online Marketplace®
. Founded in 1995, eBay created a powerful platform for the sale of goods and services by a passionate community of individuals and businesses. On any given day, there are millions of items across thousands of categories for sale on eBay. eBay enables trade on a local, national and international basis with customized sites in markets around the world. Through an array of services, such as its payment solution provider PayPal, eBay is enabling global e-commerce for an ever-growing online community.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software –any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, FrontPage, SharePoint, InfoPath, OneNote, Visio, Windows and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .

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