webMethods, Inc. announced webMethods B2B 3.0. This next generation of the company’s B2B integration product seamlessly connects companies B2B marketplaces and trading partners in extensive trading networks. webMethods B2B makes it possible for companies to pursue direct integration with trading partners, while also participating in emerging B2B marketplaces such as mySAP.com, the Ariba Network and Clarus SupplierUniverse. In addition to support for current and emerging XML standards such as Commerce XML (cXML), Financial Products Markup Language (FpML), Open Applications Group (OAG) IS, Microsoft BizTalk and others, webMethods B2B 3.0 adds support for non-XML B2B standards such as Open Buying on the Internet (OBI), RosettaNet and major EDI standards such as ANSI X12 and EDIFACT. There are also new integration modules for Baan, Oracle Applications, PeopleSoft and IBM MQ Series. webMethods B2B 3.0 is available for all platforms that support Java, including Microsoft Windows NT, Sun Microsystems Solaris, Linux, Hewlett-Packard HP-UX, Compaq Unix, and IBM AIX and AS/400. The product integrates with DBMS products such as Oracle, Informix, DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server, and ERP applications from Baan, SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft. Pricing for webMethods B2B starts at $100,000. webMethods B2B 3.0 is available immediately for select customers, with general availability scheduled in October. www.webMethods.com.
FutureTense, Inc. and Migration Software Systems Ltd. announced that Migration has joined the FutureTense Business Partner Program. Migration, as a systems integrator, will implement FutureTense’s Internet Publishing System (IPS) for FutureTense’s professional publishers and corporate customers. Migration also will become a VAR of the FutureTense IPS Web content management and delivery products. www.futuretense.com, www.migration.com.
Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that its Web-based ModelServer Integrator product includes support for XML and aecXML. ModelServer Integrator is an information broker for engineering projects that enables engineering enterprises to assemble information from multiple databases and software applications and present relevant, timely, and accurate information to users throughout the organization. ModelServer Integrator’s support of XML allows users to take full advantage of the wealth of rapidly emerging support tools, technology, and standards built around XML in such areas as e-commerce and data exchange. Important among these is the industry-wide aecXML effort which Bentley initiated earlier this year (www.aecxml.org). In this initiative, the aecXML Working Group is a forum for industry, government, research communities and end users to contribute to an XML schema particularly suited for architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C). ModelServer Integrator, with support for XML, will be available in the fourth quarter of 1999.
ACORD working groups have completed a standardized vocabulary for XML based on the ACORD ObjX and AL3 Standards. The result of a joint initiative with the Independent Insurance Agents of America, the XML project is targeted to help prevent the potential growth of non-standard DTDs. Responding to a specific set of requirements from the IIAA’s Agents Council for Technology (ACT), ACORD working groups refocused their XML efforts to address the fragmentation of industry XML standardization. ACT member organizations, all ACORD participants, brought individuals to the table to accelerate the process. The resulting ACORD XML Dictionary encompasses all of the property/casualty data requirements for all existing ACORD Standards including Personal, Commercial, Claims, Accounting, and Surety. The next steps underway at ACORD include the creation of a process to facilitate the creation of XML transaction standards and a transaction specification based on the dictionary. Several proposed transactions are currently under development for Personal Auto, Homeowners, Business Owners, and Workers Compensation. These include quote requests in addition to new business and change submissions. ACORD also released a resource kit that contains guides to assist in the transaction definition process, including a Standards Mapping Guide for AL3 and ObjX, a Code List Guide, a DTD, and a Submission Template for proposed transactions. The XML standards project has received the support of major carriers and software developers. In addition to SAFECO and National Grange Mutual, participating companies include CGU, Chubb, Hartford, Kemper, Progressive, St. Paul, and Travelers. In addition to IVANS and AMS, participating software developers are Applied Systems, APT, Delphi, DocuCorp, ISO, JCRS, Microsoft, NCCI, Ontos, PMSC, and Symmetry Technology Labs. www.acord.org.
QRS Corporation launched QRS Keystone Realtime 2.0. With XML and IBM MQSeries messaging and queuing software, QRS Keystone Realtime 2.0 empowers retailers to integrate QRS Keystone product information across multiple platforms directly into their systems. Now, retailers can request the exact data they require from the retail industry’s largest product information database. QRS is the only major electronic catalog provider to offer XML capabilities for product information in support of new electronic commerce and e-retail initiatives. Retailers can dramatically reduce time and effort required for item setup and purchase order creation while improving product information accuracy. Current QRS Keystone Realtime customers have seen item setup process reduced from eight hours to twenty minutes. Often, the purchase order process is reduced from days to minutes. www.qrs.com