The CommerceNet Consortium said it has released the eCo Interoperability Framework Specification, which is designed to make it easier for businesses using disparate electronic commerce systems to do business with each other.

American Express Co., Microsoft Corp., Mondex International, Royal Bank of Canada, and Sun Microsystems Inc. were among the companies represented on the eCo Framework working group, which set out in 1998 to enable "business trading communities (to) maintain a level of interoperability without sacrificing their ability to innovate and adapt," CommerceNet said.

The specification for document creation revolves around XML, the eXtensible Markup Language. CommerceNet chief executive officer Randall Whiting said companies can use it to "jump-start or enhance electronic commerce interactions with their existing supply chains while also laying the foundation for opening their trading systems to new customers and suppliers."

Meanwhile, the Open Buying on the Internet Consortium, which is administered by CommerceNet, announced a new board of directors led by president Monica Luechtefeld. She is vice president of marketing in Office Depot's business services division.

Mike Wall, manager of global process development and purchasing process leadership at Ford Motor Co., was named vice president. The secretary is Chuck Egerter, electronic catalogue project manager at Lockheed Martin, and the treasurer is David Rice, a purchasing manager at BASF, who oversees its purchasing card program.

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