Internet World: E-commerce takes centre stage

New software and tools that can assist companies in setting up e-commerce sites and marketplaces and the internal systems needed to support them will be in the spotlight at this week's Fall Internet World '99 show in New York.

Oracle, one of the major vendors planning announcements, will present the Business Components for Java that it expects to ship this month, a company spokeswoman said. The reusable components, aimed at easing application development, will be released with the 3.0 upgrade of Oracle's JDeveloper tool.

"It's basically a software layer above the Oracle application server, which gives you a platform to build on so you don't have to worry about some of the low-level coding," said Phil Costa, an analyst at Giga Information Group.

A key driver for the Business Components initiative was Oracle's own software, said Giga analyst Carl Zetie. "Every time Oracle upgrades, customers have to go in and recustomise it all, and it's all code," Zetie said. "With something like this framework, that would be much easier."

Another database vendor, Informix, plans to announce its strategy for Extensible Markup Language (XML), which is widely viewed as a critical Web technology. Informix plans to incorporate XML as a native data type and upgrade its tools so that developers can build Web content using XML, which can help categorise information in more useful ways.

Other products to be announced this week at Internet World include:

-- On-Link Technologies' new $US150,000 Surveyor module for its Rainmaker Commerce Suite, software for setting up Web storefronts that let customers dictate the buying process.

The Surveyor module will let electronic retailers better capture customer session data so they can analyse the customer decision process. "Ultimately, what you want to be able to do is say why people bought certain things," said David Yockelson, an analyst at Meta Group.

-- Lowell, Massachusetts-based OrderTrust's Product MarketPlace service to help online merchants locate products they want to sell and load them into their site.

-- Inprise' new WebCore application server, which supports some of the latest Java technology.

Inprise will also announce the 4.0 upgrade of its VisiBroker object request broker, which supports the 2.3 specification of the Common Object Request Broker Architecture, making for greater portability of applications.