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Mercado Software Inc. and Cardonet Inc. are expected to announce today that they have combined two online catalog services to form a new offering.


Mercado, Palo Alto, CA, brings to the table its search engine system called IntuiFind, traditionally used by companies like Tower Records. Aside from searching properly keyed entries, the engine answers queries that are vague in description or misspelled, or that use synonym phrases.


"If you were at a (video site) looking to buy 'Animal House' but couldn't think of the name, you could key in 'Belushi' and 'fraternity' and the search engine would find 'Animal House,' " said Steve Bernardez, director of business development at Mercado.


Cardonet, Santa Clara, CA, will contribute its MarketStand system, which publishes XML code from data found in multiple sources, such as text files, databases and legacy systems. The system also handles transactions, automates data cleansing, and manages product categorization and integration for an online catalog.


Bernardez said MarketStand offers e-commerce sites the opportunity to bring in new suppliers with minimal trouble compared with traditional processes. He said the system does not require suppliers to alter their data, as Cardonet's system adapts all new information to a site's existing system.


Bernardez said the combined offering would be targeted to established business-to-business firms, although promotional efforts also will try to reach business-to-consumer companies as well as smaller businesses just coming on the Web.


Pricing is scaled, but begins at $50,000 for 50,000 catalog items. Support fees are also included. Visit www.mercado.com and www.cardonet.com for more information.
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