SAP has invested in Internet commerce specialist Commerce One, in a move that may be linked to its Pandesic joint venture with Intel and will provide competition for Netscape's Actra business.
Microsoft has also signed a deal with Commerce One as the companies club together to provide an Internet commerce solution on Microsoft's Site Server. They also announced Commerce One will be integrated with SAP's widely installed enterprise resource planning app, R/3.
SAP has not revealed the size of its investment in Commerce One but hopes it will gain a business-to-consumer Internet commerce solution.
Representatives said this complements the similar Pandesic business-to-business product, which also links to R/3. One source close to Commerce One claimed the deal does not conflict with Pandesic and even hinted that Pandesic may integrate Commerce One technology into its solution.
Price Waterhouse, SAP's largest R/3 integrator, prompted the links between Commerce Chain and R/3. Commerce One claims the deal makes its solution, Commerce Chain, the only one available on Windows when it ships in early 1998. Netscape already has a direct competitor, Commerce Xpert, an Internet-based commerce solution developed by Actra, the subsidiary it recently took back within the company.
Mark Hoffman, the former Sybase chief executive who is now chairman and chief executive of Commerce One, claimed the three companies have created the first standardised platform for Internet commerce. Anthony Bay, Internet server group general manager at Microsoft, said: "We are trying to commerce-enable Windows."
Commerce One's Buysite and Supplysite Server will also be integrated with Microsoft Site Server's commerce interchange pipeline.
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