IBM rolls out new e-market software

IBM Corp. is rolling out software that will enable would-be Internet vendors to host their own electronic marketplace.

Big Blue introduced WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition at the recent Net Market Maker Conference in Boston. The software will let users do such things as create online auction sites, enabling potential buyers and sellers to do business on these e-marketplaces in real time – even while using handheld devices like mobile phones. This will let a marketplace’s users propose or close deals on the fly, saving time and money, claims IBM Corp.

The company’s first foray into the world of online markets, Marketplace Edition is built on the WebSphere Commerce Suite platform. According to Dave Liederbach, IBM’s vice-president of e-commerce marketing, the software will deliver all the basic tools to get an e-marketplace up and running quickly and securely.

Among other features, the product comes with tools to establish secure membership registration, access control management and catalog aggregation.

It also boasts business intelligence and reporting features to monitor and analyze activity on the site.

Marketplace supports XML, and boasts a lightweight directory access protocol interface that will let it capture or share information with other e-commerce applications in the network.

With its development tools, users can tie Marketplace Edition into back-end legacy systems or connect to business partners. It can also work with Lotus Development Corp.’s Sametime instant messaging technology, enabling live com-minications between buyers and sellers.

The product will be available in September on AIX. Pricing starts at an estimated $75,000 per processor.