By BUILDER Magazine Staff.

Co-opetition is what happens when two business competitors become allies on one front while continuing to compete on others. That was the case when Denver-based J.D. Edwards and Co. (JDE) announced its intention in February to partner with MH2 Technologies in Dallas to create "integrator" software to link JDE with MH2's MH2BuildPro scheduling software. Both businesses realize that the rewards outweigh the risks. But the real benefits should go to their builder customers.

The integrator will be part of JDE's new OneWorld Homebuilder Management System, which it plans to release by year's end. JDE has always been an ERP solution for large companies: It has 30 of the Builder 100 as clients. But, according to Peter Hill, director of industry and product marketing, OneWorld, which is Web based, will be appropriate for builders with as few as 100 annual starts.

OneWorld's single weakness, says Hill, is that it lacks a good scheduling function, which is MH2's calling card.

There are also long-term implications for MH2. For instance, should it decide to go public, it will need an accounting package. JDE fills that gap. JDE will only integrate with MH2 for scheduling.

JDE had been purchased by BuildNet, which had promised to upgrade its technology. When BuildNet disintegrated, JDE re-entered the market as an independent company. At the same time, MH2 bought BuildNet's Fast system, a JDE competitor.

OneWorld could pose a threat to Fast, which is an older technology, and the fact that it has access to MH2's scheduling function can only make it more of a threat.

MH2's Michael Holigan says that Fast is being re-written. It will drop its proprietary code--called Casper--in favor of an open architecture. "Casper is dead," says Holigan.