Subject: IBM and Microsoft high jinks with UDDI
Date: 09/09/2000     comp.text.xml 
Author: Todd Boyle <>
See  further UDDI/BPMI editorial:


> Plan Aims to Foster Electronic Commerce Between Businesses
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> -------- More Direct Computer-to-Computer Deals Expected
> By JOHN MARKOFF N Y t i mm es
> SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 4 -- Seeking to promote the rapid development of
> electronic commerce between businesses, I.B.M., Microsoft and Ariba plan
> to announce a proposal on Wednesday to create a huge set of online
> registries of products and services to help automate business
> transactions.
Translation: Noticing that 200 million individuals and 28 million small businesses in the US are in serious danger of being able to conduct business between each other without paying rents to any gateways or banks or software companies, the usual monopolists have taken matters into their own hands, to get control of the reference lists of Parties, Customers, Suppliers, Items, Accounts, and the XML vocabularies for naming things, to make sure that they are all screwed up for another few years.
> Twenty-nine companies, including American Express, CommerceOne, Compaq,
> Merrill Lynch and Sun Microsystems, will initially endorse the proposal,
> to be named the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration
> project, or UDDI. The backers said they planned to turn the idea over
> eventually to one of several Internet standards bodies to make it a
> broadly backed initiative.
... but only after they dictate all the architecture decisions, and their programmers have a 36-month head start over competitors...
> "We are intent on making the Web an easier way to handle
> business-to-business transactions...." [snip] said Marie Weik,
>I.B.M.'s director of electronic markets infrastructure
... in EDI format, for America's leading Corporations..."
> The initiative comes at a time when companies have begun to grapple with
> the intricacies of electronic commerce, hoping to achieve the original
> promise of a new Internet publishing standard known as Extensible Markup
> Language, or XML.
... "XML Tags will be wrapped around EDI elements.  Establishing Registries and Repositories for automation of EDI configurations will provide a breakthru in productivity for EDI specialists. "
> Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML, led to the current World Wide Web as
> a vast publishing medium. Many hope XML will permit direct
> computer-to-computer transactions in the next generation of the Web.
> Until recently, the UDDI project was a closely held secret among the
> three companies. While I.B.M. and Microsoft are dominant players in
> Internet commerce, Ariba is a smaller electronic commerce company, based
> in Mountain View, Calif.
Actually they hadn't thought of it until the August ebXML meeting, which provided a number of free whitepapers and presentations from the brightest and most forward looking ecommerce engineers on earth.
Noticing that ebXML was an open technology requiring no royalties or licensing, execs. from the business side of these three companies decided to break ranks and build the shit first.  "By bringing this shit to the customer FIRST, we can cement our lead in the race, and control the architectural decisions of ebXML workgroups," said an unnamed executive of the company.... "Our registries will be built in 60 days. We have assigned 22,600 microserfs around the globe. We're gonna restrict their options until this thing works..."
> Although the initiative is being portrayed as an effort to create an
> "open" standard, the UDDI project offers some insight into the bruising
> behind-the-scenes competition taking place in the world of Internet
> standards as companies seek proprietary advantage for new technologies.
"We take a lickin, and keep on tickin'" said the exec, in his Texas drawl.
> Several executives at competing electronic commerce companies said the
> UDDI standard initiative parallels but ignores an earlier effort led by
> Commercenet, a competing Silicon Valley electronic commerce initiative.
> Known as the eCo Framework Project, that system also focused on creating
> public electronic registries and automated electronic commerce.. But the
> Commercenet effort has lost momentum, and Microsoft has moved quickly to
> take over the effort to set standards for electronic commerce.
The exec said, "The eCo Framework could have established a monopoly! What the hell was wrong with those people?  Bunch of idiots.  The stuff isn't patented yet, so we're going to differentiate it and add value, and patent the ideas ourselves", said the exec.
"Commercenet.  What a bunch of losers."  said the exec.  (Commercenet invented eCo Framework, forerunner of ebXML registries and repositories, in 1997)
> Making analogies to telephone directory yellow and white pages,
> executives said their proposed UDDI standard would permit companies to
> publish descriptive information about their organization and their
> products in a way that could easily be located by electronic commerce
> software programs used in business transactions.
> The group said the proposed standard would go a step beyond being a
> static "telephone directory" style look-up service. An additional
> component of the registry was described as a "green pages," which would
> allow companies to publish information about their business practices.
The UDDI Directory will actually have 16 independent dimensions, with keys varying from 3 to 8 layers deep in hierarchy.  IBM, Microsoft and Ariba agreed on specifications of software objects to reach this directory, which will provide crucial functionality in integrating the software of SAP, Peoplesoft, and the National Laboratories of Livermore, Sandia and MIT. 

"Small business will not in any way be restricted from accessing this directory" said the exec, "Our independent developers throughout the software industries are anyways, the ones who have always brought the benefits of modern software to Small Business. The UDDI directories will empower them with unheard of levels of control over their customers... er, I mean, business processes...."
> This is intended to make it possible for electronic commerce programs
> based on the XML standard to locate business partners automatically and
> buy and sell products and services.
"Small business is eager to kick back and allow this registry system to feed customers to their systems." said the exec.  "The first stage, during 2000-2010, however, it will only work on the purchase side, to purchase products and services from  selected suppliers."
"The benefits of a registry system include nonrepudiability."  said the exec.
  "Small business is screamin' for nonrepudiability."
> "Perhaps a better analogy would be to the signaling system used by the
> telephone network to automatically set up telephone calls," said James
> Utzschneider, Microsoft's director of Web services for the company's
> business applications division. will sport all the user interface innovations we have come to appreciate from the phone company: all commands will be entered with 9 digits, and the pound key... and the area codes will be churned semiannually.
* Todd F. Boyle CPA
*    Kirkland WA    (425) 827-3107
* XML accounting, web ledgers, BSPs, ASPs, whatever it takes