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Project Brief
  Economic / Case Study:   Benefits and Costs of ATP Investments in Component-Based Software

Component-Based Software (October 1997)

Component-Based Commerce: The Interoperable Future

Build tools and infrastructure for transforming Web-based commerce services into "business objects" that can be combined in novel ways to create virtual companies, markets, and trading communities, enabling U.S. leadership in an open, extensible market for Internet-based commerce estimated to approach $100 billion by the turn of the century.

Sponsor: Commerce One, Inc. (formerly VeoSystems)

4005 Miranda Avenue
Suite 150
Palo Alto, CA 94304
  • Project Performance Period: 10/1/1997 - 12/31/1999
  • Total project (est.): $10,155,543.11
  • Requested ATP funds: $4,800,000.00

The Internet is an ongoing explosion of resources--documents, databases, services, even software applications. Internet commerce is forecast to be a major driver of the U.S. economy within five years, but today's digital anarchy threatens that growth. While the Net has rich resources, they are, like diamonds, hard to find and arduous to extract. Web pages, designed by and for people, are individualistic--each with its own format and interface to the resources it offers. The companies in this joint venture propose to apply the concepts of component-based software to the developing infrastructure of Internet commerce, creating tools to enable non-programmers to assemble innovative business applications and services by linking together Net resources as components in a seamless whole. The Net as a whole is becoming increasingly unwieldy for people to use, but too unpredictable for machines to understand. The technical challenges include creating a means of transforming existing Internet services and resources into "components" that can be integrated without the custom programming now required; building an extensible, semantic-based framework for integrating components in new applications; creating a scalable, distributed system for registering and indexing available components, so they can be found; and building an execution environment that provides software agents with basic services such as authentication, directories, billing, payments, and translation. If the ATP project is successful, the consortium members propose to create a joint venture to further develop and market the resulting technology. Based on industry studies, CommerceNet estimates that the market for successful products based on this project could reach $1 billion by the turn of the century, enabling a $50 billion to $100 billion market for Internet commerce. The joint venture also includes BusinessBots (San Francisco, CA), CommerceNet (Palo Alto, CA), and Tesserae Information Systems, Inc. (Palo Alto, CA).

For project information:
Robert Glushko, (650) 858-4369

Active Project Participants
  • CommerceNet Consortium (Cupertino, CA)
    [Original, Active Member]
  • Cadabra, Inc. (formerly Tesserae Information Systems) (San Mateo, CA)
    [Original, Active Member]

ATP Project Manager
Barbara Cuthill, (301) 975-3273

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