Abstract We have examined standards required for successful e-commerce (EC) architectures and evaluated the strengths and limitations of current systems that have been developed to support EC. We find that there is an unfilled need for systems that can reliably locate buyers and sellers in electronic marketplaces and also facilitate automated transactions. The notion of a ubiquitous network where loosely coupled buyers and sellers can reliably find each other in real time, evaluate products, negotiate prices, and conduct transactions is not adequately supported by current systems. These findings were based on an analysis of mainline EC architectures: EDI, company Websites, B2B hubs, e-Procurement systems, and Web Services. Limitations of each architecture were identified. Particular attention was given to the strengths and weaknesses of the Web Services architecture, since it may overcome some limitations of the other approaches.