Despite the hype surrounding ebXML as the emerging standard for business-to-business communications, WebMethods Inc. won't commit to a timetable for adding support within its integration server. Currently, customers are saying they're watching the evolution of the United Nations-backed standard, but no one is embarking on a major implementation effort.
"We'll [support ebXML] when we see actual demand--when people really want to put it into practice and it's not just a checkbox item," says Marc Breissinger, director of product strategy. WebMethods, which Forrester Research says is one of the five leading integration-server vendors, needs to see a significant return on investment in ebXML before dedicating product development resources to the technology, Breissinger says. However, the company believes ebXML is poised to see wide-scale adoption, but it will probably share the limelight with other standards, most notably Microsoft's BizTalk. He says, "We're a long way to getting to the point where there's only one standard."