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Day: August 9, 2000

OpenTravel Alliance Publishes Profile Specs & Submits Them to ebXML

The OpenTravel Alliance (OTA) published its Version 1 specifications that gives the travel industry one universal format for collecting and exchanging customer preferences among airlines, hotels, car rental companies, tour operators, travel agencies, and related services. The OTA customer profile has innovative features to make life easier for travelers. The common format allows the travel industry and its web sites to collect information on identification and preferences only once and exchange it with suppliers of travel services as well as their intermediaries. The specification lets customers define collections of travel service in terms of their own varied needs, such as business travel or the annual church retreat. OTA Version 1 also contains comprehensive privacy features that enable the customer to control any transfer of personal data. The built-in controls allow only specified parts of the profile to be exchanged. The specifications include DTDs, as well as many sample OTA messages. The drafts of these that were issued in February 2000 generated comments from all over the world, from both inside and outside the travel industry. The final specifications released today incorporate these, which have significantly strengthened Version 1. They can be freely downloaded from www.opentravel.org. OTA participates in the ebXML initiative to develop a single XML message infrastructure to facilitate communication between different businesses and industries in different countries. ebXML used OTA’s draft sample messages as part of its proof of concept tests at its May meeting in Brussels, Belgium. As a further contribution to ebXML, OTA is providing its Version 1 specifications. OTA is keen to align its specifications with those in other industries, including the work of the CPExchange initiative, and sees ebXML as an effective way of doing this. With over 150 members representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, including air, car, hotel, travel agencies, technology providers and other travel related suppliers, the Alliance is comprised of five work groups air, car, hotel, leisure supplier, and non-supplier. These groups, together with an interoperability committee to coordinate their efforts, are developing open Internet-compatible messages using XML data terms. www.opentravel.org

SoftQuad Joins Ariba Supplier Initiative

SoftQuad Software, Ltd. announced that it has joined the Ariba Inc. supplier enablement initiative and will integrate its products into the Ariba B2B Commerce Platform using the Ariba Commerce Services Network (CSN). SoftQuad’s XML-based content solutions, XMetaL and MarketAgility, combined with the Ariba CSN, provide suppliers with a single, Internet-based point of access and integration with buyers and marketplaces worldwide. Ariba CSN also provides SoftQuad’s customers with efficient trading mechanisms and commerce processes such as systems integration services, global supplier directories, sourcing tools, B2B auctions and reverse auctions, logistics and supplier enablement, electronic payment and streamlined transaction services. Further, SoftQuad will collaborate with Ariba on the continued development of cXML. SoftQuad will use cXML to integrate its B2B solutions with the Ariba B2B Commerce Platform. www.softquad.com

Xyvision Enterprise Solutions Joins Citrix Network

Xyvision Enterprise Solutions, Inc. announced it has joined the Citrix Systems, Inc. Citrix Solutions Network as a Gold Solutions Provider. XyEnterprise will sell and support Citrix application server computing solutions, including the MetaFrame product to companies in the aerospace, automotive, high technology, financial, and commercial publishing markets. Through this agreement, XyEnterprise will offer its Parlance Content Manager and XML Professional Publisher (XPP) software solutions via Citrix thin client connections. This solution will provide users with remote access to desktop or server based applications such as Parlance or XPP without requiring the installation of client software on the local desktop. It will also enable XyEnterprise Professional Services to deliver a full line of customer services through remote system control, diagnostics and software updates. As a CSN member, XyEnterprise will provide consultation, installation, integration and support for the Citrix application server product line, which offers a high-performance, cost-effective way to deploy, access and manage business-critical applications throughout an enterprise. www.xyenterprise.com

Accrue to Acquire Pilot Software

Accrue Software, Inc. announced that it has signed a letter of agreement to acquire Pilot Software, Inc. The terms of the proposed stock for stock transaction have not been disclosed. Pilot Software develops Web-enabled decision support and business intelligence applications for the enterprise. This acquisition complements Accrue’s existing applications for campaign, content, commerce and affiliate analysis by adding several new clicks-and-mortar applications for the analysis of merchandising, inventory, and operations for both on-line and Point-Of-Sale (POS) transactions. These applications provide instant access to detailed SKU information for markdown and promotions planning, pricing and cannibalization analysis, return on inventory, and stocks and returns. When coupled with Accrue’s existing assortment optimization and seasonal demand profiling applications, Assort and Profile, clicks-and-mortar businesses can avoid unnecessary discounting, minimize out-of-stocks, exploit hidden buying patterns, and better personalize the buying experience to individual shoppers. www.accrue.com

Sun & Vignette Join Forces

Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Vignette Corp. announced a comprehensive global agreement, including joint sales, marketing and engineering services, that will provide e-business hardware and software solutions for companies to build successful online businesses. The companies have agreed to jointly develop e-business solutions initially targeting the fast-growing new media and telecommunication markets, including wireless. With this agreement, Sun and Vignette have significantly expanded their relationship to deliver solutions based on Sun’s Sun Enterprise servers, Solaris Operating Environment platform and Java 2, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) technology, and the recently announced Vignette V/5 E-business solutions. Companies will be able to leverage Sun’s Java technology to integrate their existing applications with other third-party applications, including the iPlanet Application Server, through Vignette’s recently introduced V/5 E-business applications. As part of the agreement, the Vignette solution will be incorporated into Sun’s iForce Ready Centers, which will enable customers to gain hands-on experience to help them deploy scalable, extensible portal infrastructures combining e-commerce, relationship management, personalization, content management and workflow features on an e-business platform. www.vignette.com, www.sun.com

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