Microsoft, IBM, and Ariba worked to define a standard to enable global e-commerce by creating an organized approach to categorizing, storing, and retrieving information about the e-commerce capabilities of firms around the world. One of the major benefits of being listed in the public UDDI registry is that it provides equal exposure for all firms. A large multinational firm and a small locally owned firm are listed in the same manner. This dramatically levels the playing field and enables small and medium-sized businesses to compete more effectively in the global arena. Listed services can be physically located anywhere in the world, making proximity to the service almost irrelevant. However, the location may still matter when it comes to working across international boundaries, including time zones, currencies, and language differences that may influence a firm's decision to utilize a particular UDDI-listed service. These traits can be used strategically when making business decisions about implementing a UDDI service.
One important concept to understand is that UDDI is both a public registry and a private enterprise solution, like DNS or IP addressing. One node of the public registry, called the Universal Business Registry (UBR), is hosted by Microsoft. The private enterprise solution consists of UDDI servers within the organization that can provide UDDI registry functions for the organization or enterprise.
Although data can be imported from the UBR, changes to the UBR within the organization are not dynamically replicated and entries must be manually updated from the public registry. Internal UDDI data cannot be exported to the public registry because the UBR doesn't support copying data into the registry.