Curated for content, computing, and digital experience professionsals

Month: April 2000 (Page 2 of 9)

SoftQuad Announces MarketAgility, an XML Solution for B2B E-Commerce

SoftQuad Software, Ltd. announced MarketAgility, an XML-based content solution that gives businesses more power and control over the creation, management and real-time delivery of product information to e-marketplaces and e-procurement systems. MarketAgility provides suppliers with an efficient and cost-effective way to move product information from their enterprises to multiple electronic distribution channels. MarketAgility 1.0, formerly code named Global OnRamp, is scheduled for release in September, 2000. Suppliers until now have had trouble collecting their product information, which has generally been located in disparate sources throughout their enterprises. It’s also been difficult to translate that information into the various distinct formats required by different e-marketplaces. Even after these initial barriers have been overcome, suppliers have still found it hard to maintain up-to-date product and pricing information and to target and differentiate their products across multiple distribution channels. MarketAgility lets suppliers quickly leverage their existing infrastructure and business processes to collect product information from wherever it resides in the enterprise, whether in content management systems, electronic resource planning systems, enterprise databases, or Microsoft Word or Excel files. It then automatically delivers this information in a format that is fully customized for different e-markets in their specific dialect of XML. In addition, MarketAgility allows suppliers to maintain their competitive advantage by rapidly and incrementally updating product and pricing information across all channels. MarketAgility is comprised of three major components: the MarketAgility XML Connector, the MarketAgility XML Server, and the MarketAgility XML Transporter. MarketAgility also incorporates SoftQuad’s XMetaL technology, an enabler for XML content applications. MarketAgility allows content revisions to be made directly within XML. Suppliers can now easily supplement their product data with rich content and better differentiate themselves in e-markets. MarketAgility supports common industry standards such as BizTalk, W3C Schemas, xCBL and cXML. www.softquad.com

Microsoft Takes Stake in Xerox E-Commerce Spinoff

Xerox Corporation and Microsoft Corp. joined forces to launch ContentGuard, Inc., a new Internet company that will deliver comprehensive software solutions to protect and manage books, documents, music, software and other valuable content distributed over the Web. The solutions give publishers and authors more control over their digital material, thus allowing them unprecedented freedom and innovation in delivering and marketing digital content to consumers. ContentGuard, Inc.’s technology, originally developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), is the foundation for various products and services to deliver secure, user-friendly solutions for protecting and distributing digital content over the Internet. These digital rights management (DRM) solutions are designed to allow content developers and publishers to establish and retain control over how their materials are used, copied and purchased. Xerox will retain a majority stake in ContentGuard, Inc., formerly the Xerox Rights Management group. Microsoft will be a minority investor, and other investors are expected to be announced in the future. ContentGuard, Inc., Microsoft and Xerox also will collaborate on future development of DRM technology and standards, including the establishment of XrML (eXtensible rights Markup Language) as a common standard for all forms of digital information and entertainment. XrML will be licensed royalty-free to the industry to enable interoperability across rights management systems. Microsoft will use ContentGuard’s technology to extend future versions of Microsoft’s DRM solutions. Microsoft Reader, a new software product for displaying eBooks, will be the first Microsoft product to incorporate the ContentGuard technology when it debuts this summer. ContentGuard technology will also enhance future releases of Windows Media Player and Windows Media Rights Manager. The ContentGuard portfolio includes the ContentGuard Internet content protection software suite and the electronic Publishing Clearing Service (ePCS) offered jointly with Reciprocal Inc. Today ContentGuard can protect and manage digital content such as market research, business reports, patent applications, books, sheet music and academic course packs. Plans are under way to enable DRM solutions for audio and video material. In addition, ContentGuard products and services enable publishers or authors to deploy materials over the Web in new ways; for example, to create free time-restricted previews, single-chapter previews or one-time use scenarios. www.xerox.com, www.microsoft.com

Google Goes Mobile with Wireless Search Engine

Google Inc. announced the beta availability of a new version of its search engine optimized for wireless phone and handheld computer users. Available now, users of WAP mobile telephones and Palm handhelds connected to a wireless modem can now search the web using Google while on the go. This wireless technology marks the availability of a search engine that brings the entire World Wide Web to mobile devices. With less than 1 percent of websites available in Wireless Markup Language (WML), Google offers mobile users the ability to view and browse traditional HTML websites. Unlike other search engines that index only web pages that are available in WML, Google brings more than 500 million web pages to the palm of a user’s hand. When a wireless user requests a traditional HTML page, Google’s innovative technology translates the requested HTML document on the fly into WML. Interested users can type “Google” into their WAP microbrowser, or can enter www.google.com. Palm users can visit www.google.com/palm to access this special wireless version of Google. Although still in beta, mobile web surfers will have complete access to the Google search engine, including an easy-to-use interface, quick loading pages, and highly relevant search results. Google supports access by any common Internet-ready mobile device and microbrowser. www.google.com

Liaison Technology Announces Web Content Harvesting Solution

Liaison Technology released Dexter DE, a software solution that enables companies to succeed in B2B online commerce by enriching the information exchanged between buyer and seller. All enterprises participating in online commerce can benefit from Dexter DE. Companies building an online marketplace use Dexter DE to collect content from supplier Web sites. Sellers of products or services use Dexter DE to obtain descriptive content from their intranet and partner Web sites. Buyers in an online market use Dexter DE to aggregate online product and price information to create custom procurement catalogs. Dexter DE is based on Liaison’s Adaptive Content Recognition technology. Dexter DE harvests content from Web pages that change frequently. The software can be trained to gather any content from unlimited sites and pages. In addition, Dexter DE requires no programming to establish or maintain the data feeds. Users train Dexter DE by surfing to a’ URL and selecting the content to be collected. Once the software is trained to recognize the target content, Dexter DE will automatically gather similar content from other product pages in that site. Even if the target Web page changes, Dexter DE continues to locate the specified content. Dexter DE can automatically harvest content as often as necessary to keep information current. In addition, Dexter DE provides a sophisticated data normalization or rationalization function via the inverse Thesaurus engine. This feature helps ensure that only accurate and consistent data is being loaded into the marketplace’s database. When Dexter DE executes, it downloads the selected pages from the targeted Web sites, parses the required content, rationalizes the data for consistency, and loads the data into any ‘database. XML, flat file and API data interfaces are supported. Dexter DE is available immediately direct from Liaison Technology. The software is licensed on an annual lease basis. The costs vary depending on number of servers and clients required. Dexter DE is compatible with all databases and e-commerce platforms. The minimum server requirements for Dexter DE are: Pentium II 450 MHz processor; 128 MB RAM, 20MB disk space for Dexter DE and 250MB for data capture and audit logs; Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP4; Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0; and minimum 128KB per second Internet connection. www.liaison.com

SOAP Gets Update to Version 1.1

Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of the latest version of the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) specification on the MSDN developer program Web site. SOAP is an open standards-based interoperability protocol that uses XML to provide a common messaging format to link together any applications and services anywhere on the Internet. This new version extends SOAP’s asynchronous messaging capabilities and enables support for the Internet protocols SMTP, FTP and TCP/IP in addition to existing support for HTTP. These new capabilities further bolster SOAP’s ability to integrate heterogeneous applications within the enterprise or diverse trading partners across the Internet. The specification was initially developed by DevelopMentor Inc., Microsoft and UserLand Software Inc. IBM Corp. and Lotus Development Corp. join as authors with version 1.1. The latest version has industry support from companies such as ActiveState Tool Corp., Ariba Inc., BORN Information Services Inc., Commerce One Inc., Compaq Computer Corp., DevelopMentor Inc., Extensibility Inc., IBM, IONA Technologies PLC, Intel Corp., Lotus Development Corp., ObjectSpace Inc., Rogue Wave Software Inc., Scriptics Corp., Secret Labs AB, UserLand Software and Zveno Pty. Ltd. The SOAP specification provides a common mechanism for integrating services on the Internet and/or intranet regardless of operating system, object model or programming language. Through its reliance on XML and HTTP, SOAP enables any new or existing applications to communicate with one another. By supporting SOAP, Web sites can become Web services that are accessible programmatically without requiring human initiation or intermediation. With a common integration fabric for direct interaction between software connected to the Internet, new opportunities abound in aggregation, federation and integration of services and devices located anywhere on the Internet. http://msdn.microsoft.com

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