Compiled By Deborah Austin A group of competing European manufacturers have founded a joint service platform -- Tradeplace Message Hub (TMH) -- providing shared, direct integration with distributors' and retailers' business systems. Created by Tradeplace, Amsterdam -- a business-to-business joint service venture between the manufacturers -- and Hubspan, Seattle, anoutside-the-firewall integration solutions provider, TMH should be online within 30 days. With TMH, retailers can use their own business systems rather than Web-based browsers to connect to the hub and exchange information with manufacturers' systems. The Hubspan platform automates business processes including order placement, inventory availability and product information inquiry. A Hubspan-provided on-ramp kit eases integration. Tradeplace includes appliance manufacturers BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgerate GmbH, Electrolux Home Products, Merloni Elettrodomestici and Whirlpool Europe; and electronics manufacturer Philips Consumer Electronics.