OBI News: The Open Buying on the Internet Consortium Issues

B.K. DeLong (
Tue, 24 Aug 1999 08:00:14 -0400

The Open Buying on the Internet Consortium Issues OBI V2.0 Standard

Collaborative Efforts by Industry Leaders Make Business-to-Business
Internet Commerce More Efficient, Secure and Interoperable

For immediate release

Contact --

ZOT Group

Sally Khudairi <>

B.K. DeLong <>

CUPERTINO, CA, USA -- 24 August, 1999 -- Advancing its mission to promote
interoperable solutions for online purchasing, the Open Buying on the
Internet (OBI) Consortium today announced the public release of OBI V2.0,
the first open standard for high volume business-to-business purchasing
transactions over the Internet. OBI V2.0 was developed by key industry
players such as Office Depot, Lockheed, Microsoft,,
Netscape, and, American Express as well as experts in the fields of
eCommerce and global procurement.

"Implementing OBI-compliant solutions will assure trading partners their
procurement processes will work well into the future," said Bob McMahon,
President of the OBI Consortium and Process Leadership Project Manager for
Internet Requisitioning at Ford Motor Company. "With OBI, different
business-to-business purchasing systems can finally interoperate --
fulfilling a long-term goal for this community."


The OBI specification enables the automation of high-volume, low-dollar
transactions between trading partners that account for 80% of most
organizations' purchasing. It reduces transaction costs and processing
errors for both Buyer and Seller organizations, as well as increases
efficiency and convenience of the overall purchasing process. OBI V1.1 was
implemented in several successful pilot projects. V2.0 moves the OBI
specification from the testing phase into implementation.

"OBI lowers overall acquisition costs, decreases time to implementation,
and increases user productivity," explained David Liggett, Chair of the OBI
standard track and Vice President of Epic Systems Inc. "In V2.0, OBI now
supports multi-vendor requirements, customer-specific catalogs, and secure
processing on the Web. Purchase orders fed directly into the customer's
local procurement or finance system are returned to the seller via the
Internet, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry by either the
customer or the seller."

Features include guidelines on using EDI-based applications with
OBI-compliant trading partner systems, as well as standard processes for
catalog access, standard data formats for order-related information,
standard methods for transmitting order-related data between organizations,
and standard security mechanisms for authentication, secure communications,
and non-repudiation. Additionally, OBI V2.0 supports multi-national
transactions; allowing trading partners to manage procurement using various


To further promote the reliability of OBI implementations, OBI today also
announced the OBI Interoperability Showcase to be held at CommerceNet 99
( in November.

During this event, select technology vendors as well as selling and
purchasing organizations will demonstrate OBI-enabled procurement
solutions. In addition to these demonstrations, the Showcase will launch
the OBI Compliance Program, to ensure OBI compliance where it is claimed.

"Now that OBI has moved into the production phase, compliance testing will
assure companies who purchase products claiming to be OBI-compliant are
getting a product that will interoperate with other OBI-based products
regardless of which vendor supplies the solution." added McMahon.

The OBI V2.0 standard has been produced as part of the OBI Specification
Framework. Please see attached Fact Sheet and Testimonials document for
additional information on OBI V2.0.

For further information on OBI V2.0, see


The Open Buying on the Internet (OBI) Consortium is a non-profit
organization dedicated to developing open standards for
business-to-business Internet procurement. The Consortium provides a forum
for standards development, education, and compliance certification. OBI is
managed by CommerceNet, the largest grouping of eCommerce influencers in
the world working to make Internet commerce easy, trusted and ubiquitous.

For more information on the OBI Consortium, see

B.K. DeLong 
Research Lead
ZOT Group