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
Art Technology Group (ATG) announced that it is shipping an upgrade to its Dynamo product suite. Dynamo 4.5 expands the breadth of ATG’s Internet Customer Relationship Management (ICRM) offerings. Dynamo 4.5 provides infrastructure support for the XML and has been internationalized to accommodate the expanding global e-commerce market. The combination of Java and XML provides companies with an extensible platform that facilitates data access and application integration across and between enterprises. This ease of access and integration means e-businesses can speed up their initial time-to-market and react swiftly to changing market conditions. Customers can exchange information and data using applications from many third party content systems, as well as multiple back-end transaction systems and data sources across the enterprise. Dynamo 4.5 is now available. www.atg.com
POET eCatalog Suite, an out-of-the-box solution for extracting, managing and distributing supplier catalog data over the Internet for B2B eCommerce, is now available from POET Software. With POET eCatalog Suite (eCS), suppliers can now automate the traditionally labor-intensive process of assembling catalog information to send to buyers and content aggregation websites. POET eCatalog Suite is the essential supplier link to the Internet market. POET’s eCS solution addresses the growing demand for electronic catalog data and permits suppliers to automate the interaction with buy-side procurement software from companies like Ariba, and eMarkets like Ariba Network. Furthermore, even though buyers and eMarkets may require data in different formats-based on dialects of XML specific to a vertical market or procurement application-POET eCatalog Suite insulates the supplier from mastering these various dialects by transforming the data on the fly into the appropriate delivery format. As a result, POET eCatalog Suite enables any supplier to deploy an eCatalog solution that works with the growing ranks of Internet buyers and marketplaces — today and as B2B eCommerce evolves — without having to become experts in XML. By extracting the catalog data from an existing IT system and storing it in a separate master catalog, users can edit their data to make it useful to buyers-a process called data normalization. After the data is normalized, custom catalogs can be generated for each buyer or marketplace according to a unique profile. The catalog is then transmitted via the Internet where it can be loaded into a customer’s procurement software or to an eMarket of aggregated content using the appropriate dialect of XML. POET eCatalog Suite is written in 100% Java. And costs $30,000. www.poet.com
Interface Systems, Inc. announced adoption of XML as part of its new L2i (Legacy-to-Internet) technology platform. Interface will include XML support across its product line with the first implementation being its newly enhanced version of its eBill Manager product for electronic bill presentment and payment and MyCopy, designed for L2i electronic statement delivery for Web based environments. Interface’s L2i technology is the bridging technology between the mainframe, where information resides, and the desktop, where the information is needed. L2i allows companies to deliver information across the Internet or Intranets, fax machines, CD-ROMs, voice response systems or to remote and/or local printers. Interface’s L2i technology allows any Internet application to make full use of legacy application output without changing the legacy application in any way. Interface’s L2i products are based on the company’s Document Server software. These products include eBill Manager for Internet billing and MyCopy for Internet statement delivery. www.intface.com
Signaling a new era in institutional financial management, Integral today launched CFOWeb.com a business-to-business e-commerce portal for capital markets. CFOWeb.com will give CFOs, treasurers and fund managers free, direct access to sophisticated, powerful analytics and the ability to create, manage and maintain investment portfolios that are tailored to their specific needs. CFOWeb.com also gives investment banks and financial services providers an immediate online presence, dramatically increased deal flow and expanded geographic reach. CFOWeb.com helps financial services providers leverage the increasing opportunity presented by Internet delivery of products that is impacting nearly every vertical market. Participating in CFOWeb.com enables providers to either augment their own existing e-commerce site or to leverage CFOWeb.com as a rapid time-to-market e-commerce alternative. The innovative portal dramatically increases financial services providers’ deal flow and allows them to offer their products to a wider range of prospective customers, regardless of company size or location, in a dynamic online environment. CFOWeb.com will become an international network of banks, consultants, dealers, and independent service providers. CFOWeb.com is not a company, but an array of products and services delivered by industry providers to provide maximum value to end-users. The technology underlying CFOWeb.com is based on the Integral’s enterprise Java technology and XML. The core of the Integral platform is the Integral Internet Financial Server (IFS), an intelligent financial server capable of modeling financial instruments and events including front to back office trading and risk management processes provided by the financial institutions. Users and providers can register for CFOWeb.com at www.cfoweb.com. www.integral.com
Asymetrix Learning Systems, Inc. announced the availability of ToolBook II Instructor 7.1. Version 7.1 represents the next generation release of the online learning authoring product used by professional developers, programmers, instructional designers and trainers to create compelling, web-delivered courseware. Instructor 7.1 offers a host of new features including a DHTML runtime engine that allows authors to convert their applications to DHTML for delivery to 4.x and higher browsers; an Actions Editor, a visual programming tool that allows developers to create action sequences to add functionality that can be exported to DHTML; and AICC compliance, allowing courses created with the product to support connectivity to AICC compliant learning management systems and servers. Additionally, Instructor 7.1 now includes XML support by exporting to an intermediate XML file in the process of translating applications for delivery on the Web. Another new addition to the product, the Universal Media Player, allows a single object to have built-in support for most modern media types. This new Catalog object provides support for all of the standard media formats (AVI, WAV, MIDI) and the media formats supported by the new Windows Media Player (Windows streaming media, MPEG video, QuickTime video, MP3 audio, and others). The RealNetworks RealPlayer G2 (all RealMedia formats, SMIL), the Macromedia Flash Player, and other media file formats are also supported in this new release. ToolBook II Instructor 7.1 is immediately available and is priced at $2,495 for first-time purchases or at an upgrade price for Instructor 6.5 customers of $695 if purchased before October 31, 1999 ($895 after this date). Owners of versions prior to 6.5 may upgrade for $895 as well. www.asymetrix.com