IBM, Microsoft and Ariba have released the initial public beta version of their online company listings standard.
Called the universal description discover and integration (UDDI) initiative it aims to develop a framework for listing the basic contact information of ebusinesses by industry.
Officials also announced that 94 new members have joined the project since it was set up by IBM, Ariba and Microsoft two months ago.
In a similar way that HTML is the common web site publishing format, UDDI aims to make business-to-business ecommerce adoption universal by establishing a common mechanism to publish web services on the internet.
The aim is to streamline online transactions and make it easier for businesses to find each other on the web using search engines. Initially backed by three-dozen business and high-tech companies, such as American Express, Commerce One, SAP and Sun Microsystems, the list now includes Hewlett Packard (HP) and Intel.
Daryl Plummer, an analyst at researcher the Gartner Group, said: "The ability to find web services is going to ease and speed ebusiness deployment."
Under the UDDI model each company operates a registry server that can interoperate with the servers of other members. This ensures that information registered at one site can be shared by other sites. The development of UDDI version 2 is being led by HP and Intel.
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