INFORMATIONWEEK ON LINE November 29, 1999 (Excerpts Only)
Build The E-Commerce Catalog
New content-management tools bring together disparate data formats and item
By Saroja Girishankar
FastXchange Inc., an online-procurement service for maintenance, repair, and
operation supplies and electrical parts, faces a similar challenge. The site
offers buyers access to hundreds of thousands of catalog items from 30,000
suppliers, and it needs to be able to search and aggregate catalog product
However, these and other online marketplaces and procurement sites face a
serious problem: how to automate the process of extracting, updating, and
aggregating items from catalogs residing in disparate databases that range from
Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and flat files to legacy and relational databases.
The task is made more difficult because different catalogs use different
descriptions, attributes, and parameters to describe the same item, making it
almost impossible to do comparison shopping in a meaningful way. But an
emerging class of automated tools and product suites is starting to simplify
the process of catalog search and aggregation in real time. This means big
savings in cost and time.
... eBroker and ePort products are now sold commercially by PartNet Inc.
http://www.eBroker.com/ ... trade stock.