Hummingbird Communications Ltd and PC DOCS Group International Inc announced they have entered into an agreement pursuant to which Hummingbird would acquire PC DOCS Group. Each outstanding common share of PC DOCS Group will be exchanged for 0.3333 of a common share of Hummingbird. As a result of the transaction, PC DOCS Group will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hummingbird. The transaction values PC DOCS Group at approximately US$155 million, representing a 38% premium for PC DOCS Group shareholders based on the average closing prices of the two companies’ shares over the last ten trading days prior to the announcement of the transaction. Following the completion of the transaction, which is estimated to be during May 1999, PC DOCS Group will become an operating division of Hummingbird, continuing to serve and support its customers in close collaboration with the Hummingbird organization. The Boards of Directors of Hummingbird and PC DOCS Group have each unanimously approved the transaction. Ruby Osten will become Vice Chairman of an expanded seven person board of directors of Hummingbird and will retain his position as President of PC DOCS Group.
Microsoft Corp. has announced Microsoft BizTalk, a new cross-platform e-commerce framework that makes it easy for businesses to integrate applications and conduct business over the Internet with trading partners and customers. The BizTalk framework is based on XML schemas and industry standards that enable integration across industries and between business systems, regardless of platform, operating system or underlying technology. Microsoft also announced plans to incorporate the BizTalk schema into the Microsoft Commerce Platform, initiatives for the MSN network for Internet services, and future versions of Office, the BackOffice family and Windows operating systems. BizTalk makes integrating software in an internal technology environment easier and more cost-effective. Because BizTalk is a cross-platform framework, it allows software to communicate between different common object models, programming languages or shared database schemas. BizTalk is designed to enable the integration of software so that businesses can immediately increase the efficiency of their internal business systems and take advantage of e-commerce while making optimal use of existing investments in hardware and software. Microsoft plans to host a design review of new BizTalk schemas with customers, industry vendors and industry consortia in the second half of 1999. The design review will be an open forum for providing input on the BizTalk framework and will result in the publishing of all current and future BizTalk protocols. All BizTalk documents, message handling protocols and service descriptions will be maintained on the Microsoft Web site as a public resource. For more information about BizTalk, see www.microsoft.com/presspass/commerce/
SAP AG announced that it will work closely with Microsoft Corp. to develop new content specifications for key e-commerce functionality. The collaboration will focus on developing new XML specifications for the SAP Business Framework and Microsoft’s BizTalk framework. The BizTalk framework will provide the foundation for SAP and Microsoft to help accelerate semantic interoperability — a common business language — by providing schemas for catalog and business document interchange between SAP and Microsoft applications. The interchange will be based on the SAP Business Application Programming Interface (BAPI) and the Microsoft COM infrastructure areas, extended by tight integration into the Microsoft BizTalk Server. Both companies will initially focus on the integration of buy- and sell-side business processes and will define XML schemas for catalog and business document interchange between SAP and Microsoft applications within the next six months. The specification that is created will be used to integrate the SAP Business-to-Business Procurement solution and the Microsoft Commerce Server. The newly created XML specification will provide streamlined, accelerated and easy-to-use business processes and eliminate current system boundaries, help companies create more online business, and increase the opportunity to communicate and cooperate with other companies. www.sap.com
PeopleSoft Inc. announced they have selected Microsoft technologies and standards to develop key elements of the PeopleSoft Business Network (PSBN), including PSBN’s role-based Enterprise Portal and a series of Community Applications. PSBN is an electronic business network of Internet business solutions that will deliver a broad range of relevant information, including applications and content, to a large number of end users through an Enterprise Portal. Announced in November 1998 and scheduled for availability later this year. The two companies also announced that PeopleSoft plans to collaborate with Microsoft on the XML-based BizTalk framework for application integration and e-commerce. www.peoplesoft.com
DataChannel, announced that its XML Framework, portfolio of XML software solutions and services, will support Microsoft’s BizTalk to enable cross platform electronic commerce over the Internet. www.datachannel.com
Level 8 Systems, provider of messaging middleware and enterprise application integration (EAI) solutions, announced support for Microsoft Commerce Interchange Pipeline (CIP) and the BizTalk framework in its upcoming EAI product, Geneva E/A Integrator.Geneva E/A Integrator (“Geneva”) is a Windows NT Server-based enterprise application integration product that supports XML based messaging and workflow integration across heterogeneous platforms and applications. Geneva, integrates with Windows Distributed interNet Applications (DNA) architecture technologies including MTS and MSMQ, XML, HTTP, and other middleware technologies. Geneva will be officially launched at the end of March. www.level8.com
webMethods Inc., announced support for both XML-based BizTalk, Microsoft’s vision for cross-platform electronic commerce, and the next generation of the Microsoft Commerce Interchange Pipeline (CIP). Additionally, webMethods announced availability of cross-platform interoperability between its webMethods B2B products and current and future releases of Commerce Interchange Pipeline, including the version of CIP currently available with Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition. www.webmethods.com
Vitria Technology, Inc. announced it will integrate its complete XML-based Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) with the Microsoft’ Commerce Interchange Pipeline (CIP). Vitria BusinessWare allows companies to build graphical models of their business processes, and then directly execute these models, managing the flow of business events and information and harnessing transparently the underlying applications. www.vitria.com