The annual XML conference produced by the GCA is still the largest single XML event, even though there are now a lot of other well-attended developer-oriented XML conferences. XML 2000 was also the most well rounded U.S. conference this year in terms of attendees. During the opening keynote I asked for a show of hands and it looked like almost 40% of the approximately 3000 attendees were not developers. Nothing gets implemented without developers, but business and IT managers do have something to say about the projects that will get funded and staffed. In any case, the attendee mix make it the best event of the year for getting your hands around both what is hot, and what is actually being done with XML. Because of the event’s history and the fact that the majority of early XML implementations focused on web publishing and content management, XML 2000 was also a great place to look for the latest content-oriented application approaches, tools, and experience.
Bill and David produced a Gilbane Report show daily at the conference and were all over the show floor, in the conference sessions, and in the hallways and social events to pick up the latest news and buzz. Topic Maps, Schemas, XSLT, XML content management, the Semantic Web, and continuing efforts to get XML from Microsoft Word were some of the areas they found getting a lot of attention.
Anyone finding even just a little bit of time to start in on their reading pile will see plenty of stories about XML as the new standard for data exchange. XML is delivering on its promise to make rational the handing off of data and other information from one business enterprise to another (or among many others). Indeed, the most extensive track at the XML 2000 conference was “XML: Enabling Business on the Web.”
The XML 2000 show, produced by the Graphics Communications Association ( www.gca.org ), and with The Gilbane Report as one of the media sponsors, took place in early December and provided a terrific opportunity to gauge the state of XML today. Several dominant trends emerged from the conference, and many fundamental questions were raised and discussed in great detail, but remain unresolved.
Topic maps and schemas were both hot topics at the conference. The standing room-only and impromptu Tim Berners-Lee keynote helped bring these issues together, though his talk addressed the concepts of the Semantic Web and Trusted Web. A lot of practical coverage of XSLT found healthy-sized audiences listening to and sharing hands-on experiences.
Another thread at XML 2000 was enterprise content management. Within this, a recurring theme was that applying XML still requires a long process that inevitably involves changing company culture. XML content management tools seen on the show floor continue to grow in utility, while dropping in both financial and staffing level buy-in. This range of tools and services continues to expand, as seen in the various enterprise-level solutions, down to specific and lower-cost tools for such tasks as XML editing and conversion.
Although we don’t think of XML as a “market” in the traditional sense, this non-marker seems pretty healthy. According to unofficial numbers from conference staff, nearly 3000 attended XML 2000, an increase representing something close to 25 percent growth. Exhibitor growth was strong, too, with 70 vendors listed in the program, along with about a dozen small or start-up companies exhibiting in “New Tech Alley.”
There are clearly many fundamentally interesting and important things being done by users, by vendors, and by the community of standards organizations that are attempting to shape XML and related standards and initiatives like XSLT, XSL Formatting Objects, SOAP, and ebXML. Below we look at the highlights.
TOPIC MAPS ARE DEFINITELY ON THE MAP
Topic Maps may have had the biggest buzz at the show. Part of it was the announcement of XML Topic Maps (XTM) 1.0. A number of presentations during the technical sessions, and an impressive number of companies on the exhibition floor demonstrated support for Topic Maps.
XTM 1.0 is the product of Topicmaps.Org, which has been formed specifically to bring the Topic Maps paradigm to the web. Topic Maps are a formal way to declare a set of topics and then to provide links to documents or subdocument nodes that address the topics—come up with a set of labels for topics, and point to places where those topics are discussed and addressed.
In the recent history of the Web, much has been made of the new infrastructure—XML and the related standards, Java 2 Enterprise Edition and the new centrality of the application server, and the steady increases in performance out to end users through broadband options such as DSL and cable modems. Ironically, one of the biggest challenges the Web faces is one of its oldest, and indeed is a problem that predates the Web itself: the problem is “infoglut.” How do average users find the information they need amidst a flood of irrelevant matter? And how do they do this quickly, easily, and consistently?
The Topic is Taxonomy
The way to improve the retrieval of needed information across the Web lies in intelligently applied taxonomies. We could debate the relative merits of automatic classification versus more manual methods, but, regardless of how it is done, such systems need to be applied. Content needs to be identified by subject matter in such a way that search engines and other navigational aids can be better tuned to help the user.
And, as Tim Berners-Lee suggested (see coverage, below), the process need not be either expensive or overly complex. In recent correspondence on the email list xml-dev, Carol Ellerbeck, a taxonomy expert with Factcity.com and formerly of Lycos, made a very similar point. Responding to a writer who suggested that one needed to be “king of the world” and have “an unlimited budget” to create effective taxonomies, Ellerbeck wrote, “If you ‘were king of the world’ … you would not need ‘an unlimited budget’…just a modest one, to have experts build your taxonomy/domain vocabularies. I say this as a Taxonomist who has been in the vocabulary trenches with electronic information for years. Automation is wonderful (and I would say, even essential), but start with not just humans (albeit smart humans), start with humans who have some expertise, and you will accomplish your goal faster, with fewer people, more efficiently, and have a more solid foundation to build on.”
THE SEMANTIC WEB AND THE TRUSTED WEB
In the midst of a well attended and smoothly run conference, everyone was asked to shift their schedule to accommodate the great interest generated by a talk to be given by World Wide Web Consortium Director Tim Berners-Lee ( www.w3.org/2000/Talks/1206-xml2k-tbl ). The other speakers in the competing tracks realized they would be speaking only to their A/V technicians, and all schedules were appropriately juggled.
Berners-Lee did not disappoint the crowd. In a far-ranging and fast-moving presentation Berners-Lee outlined the current Web infrastructure, current standardization efforts at the W3C, and necessary efforts and improvements to arrive at a “Semantic Web.” For Berners-Lee, something has semantics when it “can be processed and understood” by a computer, such as how a bill can processed by a software package such as Quicken.
Getting to that level of semantics, in a broad, open, and public infrastructure such as the Web, is easier said than done, of course. It involves, for Berners-Lee, all of the existing infrastructure, including XML, namespaces, and XML Schemas, and a suite of new things. These new things include agreed-upon ontologies, agreed-upon means of sharing and distributing application logic, and new layers that provide both proof (who you are, who the other party is) and trust. Together, these things will provide a complete Semantic Web. (Perhaps we have digital rights management on the brain these days, but the description of the Trusted Web seems to have plenty of corollary with certain DRM architectures, and the W3C is holding a meeting as we write this about its potential role with DRM on the Web.).
Figure 1. Tim Berners-Lee showed this slide of the architecture behind not just a Semantic Web, but a Trusted Web.
A great deal of Berners-Lee’s discussion had to do with the theoretical difficulties of shared application logic, commenting at one point that logic is not shareable per se, but needs to be “interoperable.” But he was also quite grounded in the practical, and reminded his audience, and especially some of the people who asked questions afterwards, that the Web on some level isn’t about solving whole new problems of computing, but solving some long-standing ones in an open and scaleable fashion where the sources of the data are readily available and not centralized.
At one point in the talk, Berners-Lee matter-of-factly stated that the question of taxonomies was a simple one and relatively easy and inexpensive to solve. And while he stopped short of endorsing topic maps, he made clear that some such approach was necessary and should be used to unify disparate efforts now underway.
SCHEMAS IN SIGHT
Another major theme at XML 2000 was schemas. A year ago, people were talking about the benefits of schemas over document type definitions, or DTDs, and a consensus seemed to be emerging that schemas were equal partners with DTDs, and were probably the preferred method for future XML data modeling. Well, this year’s show made it clear that the future is here.
Schemas have some clear advantages. While DTDs have a long track record in the SGML world, they are in fact a separate and, some would argue, arcane syntax. Only a DTD looks like a DTD. Once you’re comfortable with the syntax, it is easy to both create and read, but it has traditionally been a steep learning curve. Moreover, the use of a separate syntax for DTDs puts a programming burden on the developer creating XML-related software. In effect, you need one parser for the DTD syntax, and another parser for the XML data itself. Schemas, on the other hand, use the same syntax as the XML data itself, saving some effort for the programmer who has to write code to interpret them. The schema also, theoretically, is as readable for humans as the XML data itself.
Another advantage for schemas comes in the area of data typing. DTDs have never been overly strong in allowing the data architect to declare the types of data in the XML data stream. Even some relatively obvious things like being able to limit the value of attribute data to numbers were left behind in SGML. Schemas offer stronger data typing, giving the data architect and programmer greater control over the data stream.
So schemas have clearly caught on, and the show floor had a number of companies showing full schema support alongside, or in place of, DTD support. General XML platforms from Chrystal Software ( www.chrystal.com ), Datachannel ( www.datachannel.com ), Percussion Software ( www.percussion.com ), and worldweb.net ( www.worldweb.net ) already claim schema capability, while service companies like Noonetime ( www.noonetime.com ) boast schema creation and companies like Popkin Software & Systems ( www.popkin.com ) and Schemantix ( www.schemantix.com ) offer schema development tools. Perhaps even more impressive were the number of companies on the show floor that were able to clearly articulate how their products use schemas in the development cycle. Indeed, several companies have emerged with a schema-centric approach to Web development, and the most notable among these is TIBCO Software ( www.tibco.com ), which, over the last year acquired and infused significant development in the Extensibility product line for schema development and management.
In a sign that schemas are clearly not your father’s DTDs, TIBCO has been aggressively promoting its Schema Adjunct Framework. Lee Buck, Chief Scientist and Vice President of XML Technologies at TIBCO, described schema adjuncts as “a mechanism for extending XML schemas, without requiring modification of the schemas themselves.” In TIBCO’s analysis, the adjuncts could include things like processing code or database mappings, allowing the developer to closely couple such logic with the data model, while still keeping it separate from, say, the Active Serve Page or Java Server Page templates that would be used to present the data.
The advantage of these adjuncts, according to TIBCO, is that it allows the partners in an XML transaction to share the core schema, while separately maintaining adjuncts that are especially for their internal needs. The schema can easily be maintained separate from the adjuncts and vice versa. This allows the partner organizations to efficiently update and maintain the schema and associated adjuncts, thus avoiding the “templating hell” that many organizations find themselves in with traditional Web template languages that combine data, formatting, and application logic in one, often unruly, mess.
XSLT MARKS THE SPOT
In case you hadn’t noticed, XSLT is clearly here to stay. As with schemas, XSLT was prevalent in many product announcements, both as part of larger products (e.g., as part of Architag International’s X-Ray XML Editor ( www.architag.com ) or as a tool within Fourthought, Inc.’s 4Suite Server ( www.fourthought.com ) and as core parts of specialized products such as Whitehill’s <xsl> Composer ( www.whitehill.com ). Also impressive were the number of technical presentations that focused on XSLT and used XSLT code as part of the discussion.
Why is XSLT so important? As Frank Gilbane pointed out in the conference opening keynote, one of the trickiest parts of an XML implementation is designing the mapping strategy (the other being late versus early binding trade-offs) between different schemas, and this is where XSLT is critical. In terms of conversion, there are a couple of categories:
- Conversion from XML to other forms. Some early focus on XML was often on whether it would be used to drive web pages, and, as a result, people watched closely what Microsoft would do with Internet Explorer, and what Netscape would do with Navigator. And, indeed, the browser aspect of XSLT has proven to be important, even if only a piece of the puzzle. Already, XSLT is being used as a key component in transformations involving relational data, conversion to mainframe formats, ERP systems, publishing systems, and other structured and semi-structured formats.
- Conversion from one XML to another, both between and within organizations. While XML’s market penetration cannot be denied, some analysts have expressed concern about the proliferation of industry-specific DTDs and schemas. If there are too many, the concern goes, user organizations won’t know which ones to choose and commit to, resulting in “Balkanization.” Well, “Balkanization” is a great word, but it’s a terrible analogy. While there are many DTDs and schemas, and potential overlap and competition among them, these are solvable problems. At the industry level, these groups can and should combine their efforts, or at least work on common data dictionaries. But the real work is not necessarily between companies, where a general schema or DTD may be sufficient for interchange. The more complicated work may be in organizations resolving the differences among disparate internal systems. For example, one client maintains customer data in four systems—back office, print subscriptions, web subscriptions, and fulfillment. As they have moved more and more of their operations to Web interfaces, they have developed an internal schema for sharing the data and XSLT transformations for converting the data back into the proprietary formats.
A case in point for XSLT is in the area of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), which was discussed in an earlier The Gilbane Report (Vol. 8, No. 1). The early prognostication was that since XML couldn’t supplant EDI, it would have to coexist with it, and that coexistence would be tenuous at best. However, just a few months into the evolution of the XML and EDI market, the opposite is proving to be true, as XML is proving to be a perfect adjunct to EDI dataflow. And the reason is compelling: XSLT and other transformation tools allow for the easy, low-cost adaptable means of getting from one format to the other.
ECM: ENTERPRISE CONTENT MANAGEMENT
The Gilbane Report and AIIM (The Association for Information and Image Management; www.aiim.org ) sponsored a special interest day on the use of XML in Enterprise Content Management. This was a good opportunity to see how large organizations are using XML, away from the hype of any particular vendors. Following opening remarks from Frank Gilbane and AIIM President John Mancini, and some tutorials, case studies were presented on how XML is used at Underwriters Laboratory, the Pratt-Whitney division of United Technologies, and the National Library of Medicine. While each organization had different challenges, and had arrived at different solutions, there were some interesting commonalities:
- Each organization had some history with using SGML in their publishing applications. While they may have had some initial concerns about the migration of data from SGML to XML, they had found few problems. In some cases, their SGML was already fully normalized and followed many of the rules of “well formed” XML, so individual transformations were relatively easy (changing the form of EMPTY tags, for example). In other cases, they are continuing to work with the SGML data and are transforming it to XML as they need to use it.
- While each organization originally set out to solve a publishing problem, the emergence of XML has allowed them to leverage their data in whole new ways. For an aircraft engine manufacturer like Pratt Whitney, that has meant the ability to more automatically exchange data both inside their own walls and with customer organizations. For Underwriters Laboratories, that has accelerated their movement of publishing sales and distribution to the Web. The potential applications are endless—integration with ordering and fulfillment, enterprise resource planning, human resources, marketing and sales, and a range of other back office functions.
- These organizations are not yet using XML to drive Web sites directly, but were creating various outputs from XML data. XML was either being used upstream prior to creating final HTML pages or was being used to produce a variety of supporting data to be used in the Web operations, including metadata for indexing.
- While the early impetus for “going to SGML” was often to get data out of proprie tary systems and formats, the new mantra of XML is “deal with what’s there.” Each speaker commented at length about the need to integrate with disparate data sources, including many that were out of their control, such as mainframe data inside and outside their organizations, relational data, existing HTML in many locales, and office documents. They all saw XML as the potential glue between these systems, and have each started to integrate these diverse systems using XML as at least a “middle layer” between the disparate systems. Significantly, one would think these larger or-ganizations would have the most resources and influence in moving over from other systems, but it seemed the message was that they simply had more data with which to deal.
Sebastian Holst from Artesia (www.artesia.com) rounded out the day with an interesting presentation on the fit of XML in enterprises that have to deal with “rich media.” Sebastian cited a variety of research that points to the growing use of rich media, and the management problem this will present to both organizations and consumers. XML’s value to organizations can be great here, said Holst, pointing to uses such as metadata, linking, and distribution support through approaches such as ICE (the Information and Content Exchange Specification).
The net effect of the ECM Special Interest Day case study presentations was at once both sobering and exciting. Sobering in that the many advances being talked about elsewhere at the conferences didn’t immediately much figure into the work at hand, and certainly not as an easy panacea to the hard work required to change the work processes of the various departments represented. But the real-world nature of the work being reported provided a kind of refreshing relief, too, since the case studies quantified concrete and significant gains for each of the enterprises, and brought home the message that XML really does provide results today, even as the various XML tools and processes gain power and sophistication.
HOLY GRAIL (WORD-TO-XML)
The bread-and-butter successes reported on by the case studies of the Enterprise Content Management Special Interest Day provides a good segue to the current state of what Pradeep Jain, from HyperVision Ltd. ( www.hvltd.com ) called electronic publishing’s Holy Grail, or getting XML from Microsoft Word. When all is said and done, what really most often matters to an enterprise is not applying taxonomies and topic maps, or schemas and XSLT, but getting content in everyday formats such as Word out onto the Web.
Many years ago (I will not say how many) a colleague sent me a mock press release about a new product that will do everything in the publishing workflow— “research, outline, write, edit, format, print, and read…” anything you create, “and then throw it away” when it’s done. “This is the breakthrough we have all been waiting for,” said the fictional CEO of the company. “Now we can all go home.” I’m reminded of that mock press release every time I see products related to getting Microsoft Word files into XML. Somehow, it just seems too good to be true.
Sooner, rather than later, though, we need such products. The reason is simple— almost everything that organizations create needs to be available in a minimum of print and the Web, but the economy of most companies cannot easily support these efforts if they are a labor-intensive, multi-skilled task set. The creation of content for the Web must become simpler. (If we were to look at some of the recent failures in the “.com” world, I am quite confident we could tie a significant number of them to overly expensive and complex solutions employed in the creation of content.)
Large- and even medium-sized, multipurpose organizations will not collapse because they can’t post Web content efficiently, nor will they necessarily even die a long slow death. They will, however, fail to realize their greatest potential, efficiency, and profitability, if they bog down in Web operations and fail to build out and utilize portals for the needs of their knowledge workers. Given the overwhelming amount of content that is created in Microsoft Word, it follows then that a key problem to solve is to get all those Microsoft Word files that are created into a Web environment, and kept up to date.
Analysts have identified at least three kinds of authoring that needs to be supported in Web operations.
- The author happy to use a code editor. We all know about the Webmaster or HTML jockey, who is happy to muck it up in a code editor. In the old days of the Web, all content passed through hands of the Webmaster, but this model quickly became unworkable.
- The author supported by a custom, HTML-form -based interface. Second generation tools for the Web, including the likes of Vignette Story-Server, focused on giving web developers tools to develop sturdy, form-based interfaces for regular contributors. If you were a news web site, for example, you could do very well with these tools, building a set of specialized forms for the reporters, another set for the editors, and so forth. By providing a structured interface to the underlying editorial database, you could ensure that content would be captured in an organized fashion. The challenge of course, would come when you needed to modify the underlying data structure and therefore the form. This model is also limited by its requirement that the forms developer needs to imagine all of the many ways that a contributor may want to interact with the site, as well as all types of content they may ever contribute.
- The author who wants to be able to easily use their authoring tool of choice, typically a major word processor. The third tier of authors is also by far the largest one. This is the “ad hoc” author or casual user of a Web site or portal who may only contribute occasionally, or even only once. Examples of this type of interaction vary widely. In my client base, it includes commercial publishers who would like their authors to contribute more structured text, professional associations who need members to contribute to and collaborate on technical papers, and corporations that need suppliers to update catalog -style material. As the use of the Web has grown, so has the type of contributors grown away from the “webmaster” and “core contributor,” so the means of interacting with and updating the site must evolve. Clearly, this gets to the issue of bringing MS Word and other office documents into Web systems, many of which have a relational or XML repository at the core.
The new tools demonstrated at the conference are promising, though incomplete. Some of them presume they would be on all contributors’ (or most) desktops, so they attempt full validation during the editing phase. This is true of the tool from HyperVision’s Hyperworx, for example, which seems to do an impressive job of validating the internal Word style structures and mapping them against an arbitrary DTD. In this regard, it positions itself as a lower-cost alternative to full-blown SGML and XML editing tools from companies like Arbortext ( www.arbortext.com ). But such tools are not Word, which leaves a whole lot of authors in need of training, or a whole lot of problems still left to be solved.
Products such as xStyles, from Inera, Inc. ( www.innera.com ) position themselves as a kind of “super-user” tool to be employed by a few expert users at editorial choke points, letting editorial workers be the ones to make the transition from their authors’ Word documents into XML-based editorial production, arguing that this is the stage when document-level work is being done anyway. This strikes me as a more realistic positioning for this generation of tools, which are still relatively expensive and require a close attention to text and markup that not every user brings.
The conference confirmed many of the trends that we have been seeing over the last year, and suggested a few emerging ones.
- XML is now entrenched as the de facto standard for data interchange in a growing number of Web-related industries. Even areas such as EDI, which had been viewed as somewhat impenetrable, are adopting XML approaches.
- Schemas will overtake DTDs, and have the potential to become a central tool in Web development.
- Whether Topic Maps are the answer, the time is now for taxonomies to be applied to web content. It makes all the sense in the world.
- The “Word” problem needs to be solved. The products demonstrated at the conference are an interesting second generation of software to be applied to this problem; the next generation needs to be even easier to use and lower in cost.
In general, there is a lot of development activity, as well as excitement about the kinds of solutions that can be built around XML. The large and growing number of XML developers and users who are familiar with what XML can do are bringing new demands, new perspectives, and new skills. The notion of schema-centric development, for example, is a new development, and one that uniquely comes from the concerns and ideas these new users have. It is a welcome trend in a growing and dynamic industry.
Bill Trippe and David Guenette
80-20 SOFTWARE & IXOS P ARTNER
IXOS Software AG and 80-20 Software have signed a partnership agreement. Both companies will work jointly on the next generation of the IXOS-ExchangeARCHIVE product line. The partnership will provide global enterprise customers with comprehensive knowledge and eBusiness document management solutions. First joint products are expected to be launched in early 2001. The partnership covers joint product development and joint marketing for the 80-20 product line, which includes the retrieval server 80-20 Discovery and the personal portal 80-20 Retriever. 80-20 Discovery is able to arrange information according to concepts rather than keywords. 80-20 Retriever is a new personal portal, embedded in Microsoft Outlook, which uses automatic categorization technology, and is designed to handle personal file and email management. Both companies see significant growth opportunities by providing integrated solutions for the new Microsoft Exchange platform and the forthcoming portal and document management server, codenamed “Tahoe”. www.ixos.com , www.80-20.com
DATACHANNEL TO INTEGRATE TALK2’S VIPRNET
DataChannel Inc. and Talk2 Technology, Inc. announced a strategic alliance today that will allow users to access and voice-navigate through the DataChannel EIP. The companies have entered into a joint development and marketing agreement integrating DataChannel’s DataChannel Server (DCS) 4.1 and Talk2’s ViPrNET (pronounced “Vipernet”) voice infrastructure. Using a telephone, enterprise customers may now access and interact with their enterprise information anywhere, anytime. Talk2’s proprietary ViPrNET architecture is a carrier-class technology, capable of supporting tens-of-millions of users. ViPrNET runs on high performance, Unixbased computing platforms and is technology and platform agnostic. The integration of the two products is founded on DataChannel’s XML development and the two companies’ commitment to an XML-based architecture. These complimentary technologies ensure that voice access to critical information can scale with the growth of the EIP to potentially millions of users. Since EIP users access mission-critical information, security of the corporate firewall is extended by ViPrNET’s Spontaneous Virtual Private Networking technology (sVPN). Each time a user dials into the portal to access information–on any device–the sVPN creates a secure session without having to modify the existing firewall, giving users seamless, high-security access to their information. www.talk2.com , www.datachannel.com
E BUSINESS TECHNOLOGIES & EPICENTRIC JOIN FORCES
eBusiness Technologies (eBT) announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Epicentric, Inc. The alliance combines Epicentric’s ability to establish a network of e-business centers within a common management structure with eBusiness Technologies’ content management and workflow automation capabilities. Epicentric’s solutions combine various sources of information and tools – outside syndicators, internal data streams and Web-based applications – and enable its customers to provide custom interfaces and different views of those data sources. eBT’s engenda content management and workflow automation solution helps organizations manage the information from various content sources as well as original content. The alliance agreement calls for the two companies to jointly develop a tight integration of their products, providing the customers a streamlined way of managing content through the portal environment. www.epicentric.com , www.ebt.com
You can expect to see all kinds of combined offerings from content management and portal vendors before long.
FILE NET’S EPROCESS PLATFORM AVAILABLE
FileNET Corporation, announced worldwide general availability of Panagon eProcess Services, File-NET’s new enterprise eBusiness application platform that enables organizations to manage complex business processes and extend those processes out to users on the Web. FileNET’s eProcess platform is an open application software system that is used by large organizations worldwide to manage complex business processes, as well as XML and HTML Web content for eCom-merce. Panagon eProcess Services is the process management component of FileNET’s eBusiness strategy. Panagon eProcess Services supports Microsoft Windows NT, IBM AIX, and HP-UX operating systems with Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle database system support and is available today through FileNET’s worldwide sales channel. Pricing for a typical configuration of Panagon eProcess Services starts at approximately $75,000. www.FileNET.com
FPML. ORG SEEKS INDUSTRY INPUT
FpML.org, the non-profit consortium developing Financial products Markup Language as an e-commerce standard for OTC derivatives trading, is seeking suggestions for additional asset classes and functionality that should be addressed in future versions of the standard. The consortium is comprised of leading banks, information and software vendors and systems integrators. The initiative stems from comments made by the nearly 300 delegates from 122 firms that attended FpML symposiums held recently in New York and London. Asset classes being considered include FX options, and equity, credit and commodity derivatives, with other suggestions welcomed. FpML is a freely licensed XML-based standard. FpML.org is dedicated to the development and use of FpML as the communications standard for streamlining the processes supporting e-commerce activities in the financial derivatives domain. To participate in extending its product coverage, complete the Call for Interest form at ww.fpml.org/wg/index.html. Responses are requested by COB January 4, 2001. Organizations actively participating in the FpML standard include: Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Chase Manhattan Bank, Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank, Fuji Capital Markets Corporation, Goldman Sachs, International Business Machines, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Reuters, SunGard Trading and Risk Systems, SwapsWire, S.W.I.F.T., and UBS War-burg. www.fpml.org .
RIGHT WORKS & CARDONET ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
RightWorks Corporation and Cardonet, Inc. announced a strategic partnership that will allow RightWorks to resell the Cardonet Content Factory as an addition to the RightWorks eBusiness Application Suite. This arrangement expands the current partnership between RightWorks and Cardonet under which the Cardonet Content Factory, an e-catalog content management solution, is integrated with the RightWorks Open Commerce Network, an open horizontal exchange and virtual content aggregation portal that provides centralized access to products and value-added services. Under the new arrangement RightWorks and Cardonet will deliver e-business applications to suppliers, corporations and net market makers in need of an automated application for capturing, preparing and maintaining catalog content. The combination of Cardonet Content Factory with RightWorks Universal Content Manager, Right-Works’ high performance catalog server, will offer customers an integrated solution that is cost-effective and eliminates the complexity of managing catalog content. www.rightworks.com , www.cardonet.com
W3C ISSUES XHTML BASIC AS W3C RECOMMENDATION
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released XHTML Basic as a W3C Recommendation. The specification reflects cross-industry agreement on a set of markup language features that allows authors to create rich Web content deliverable to a wide range of devices, including mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), pagers, and television-based Web browsers. A W3C Recommendation indicates that a specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by the W3C Membership, who favor its adoption by the industry. In January 2000, W3C published the XHTML 1.0 Recommendation, which combined the well-known features of HTML with the power of XML. In another W3C specification entitled “Modularization of XHTML”, W3C’s HTML Working Group describes a mechanism that allows authors to mix and match content from well-defined subsets of XHTML 1.0 elements and attributes. The XHTML Basic Recommendation combines some of these XHTML modules in a manner well-suited to mobile Web applications. XHTML Basic is designed so that it may be implemented by all user agents, including mobile devices, television-based devices, and other small Web devices. The XHTML Basic specification is the result of significant collaborative efforts of the W3C HTML Working Group, including participants from AOL/Netscape; CWI; Ericsson; IBM; Intel; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.; Microsoft; Mozquito Technologies; Openwave Systems Inc.; Philips Electronics; Quark Inc.; and Sun Microsystems. In addition, the Working Group integrated feedback from the W3C Mobile Access Interest Group and the WAP Forum in an effort to ensure demonstrable functionality in wireless devices. Many industry players support, or have plans to support, XHTML Basic, including the WAP Forum. Today, content developers interested in making XHTML Basic documents can create them with W3C’s own browser/editor, Amaya. www.w3.org/
ACCUMEDIA TEAMS WITH VIGNETTE
Accumedia announced a development partnership with Vignette Corporation. The partnership will allow Accumedia to help media and entertainment (ME) companies effectively manage and distribute their digital assets. Accumedia will integrate the Vignette V/5 E-business Application Platform into the Accumedia Convergence Platform (CAP) to enable entertainment and media companies control the creation, distribution and management of their content assets as they deploy them through the Internet. www.accumedia.com , www.vignette.com
CYTURA UNVEILS XML-BASED EBUSINESS PLATFORM
Cytura Corporation announced the introduction of Cytura 3.0, a comprehensive XML-based eBusiness platform. Cytura 3.0 is an eBusiness platform that enables non-technical employees such as marketers and administrators to operate without IT support. Cytura 3.0 also combines extreme personalization, real-time content management and community building capabilities into a single integrated offering, yielding a lower cost of ownership, more powerful performance and “one stop shopping” convenience for the cost-effective development and operation of a corporate Web portal. Supporting multiple languages from a unified framework, Cytura’s software and tools provide B2B, B2C and EIP solutions for clients in a variety of vertical industries and international markets. Key features and benefits of Cytura 3.0 include: Extreme Personaliza-tion–With Cytura 3.0, companies can personalize content to the word level, update content in real-time and rapidly build out syndicated communities across multiple languages. An entire article, sentence or paragraph can be personalized depending on the site user’s age, location, interests, relationship, etc.; Rapid site building, administration and management functionality–Cytura’s Site Builder application and administrative tools enable nontechnical employees to build all of the community sites within a portal. The administrator can easily build layouts, add menu items and define the type of content or value added services to display in each area of the site without any scripting; and Rapid Syndication of New Communities– Companies can easily deploy new communities and syndicate sites as their needs grow. Cytura leverages open standards such as XML, XHTML and Java. Cytura 3.0 is available immediately to all industries, including healthcare, media/entertainment, financial services, insurance, manufacturing telecommunications and energy. www.cytura.com
PTC ANNOUNCES WINDCHILL 5.1
PTC announced the shipment of Windchill 5.1, the latest version of PTC’s family of web-based collaboration software. Featured in this release are several new products developed to address open B2B connectivity, eCatalog development, and data engineering requirements. These new capabilities enable companies to find and publish component data in a distributed network and connect business processes across the extended enterprise using the rapidly evolving RosettaNet standard. PTC is committed to support the advancement of this standard and embed it as a core capability throughout its Windchill collaborative product commerce (CPC) solutions. The latest release of Windchill features the following software components and services for B2B connectivity, distributed content management, e-business process integration and data engineering: Windchill Gateway for Rosetta-Net; Windchill eCatalog & Windchill eCatalog Web Search enables manufacturers to publish Rosetta-Net PIP2A9 compliant product catalogs and provide full parametric search access to the eCatalog directly from their website; Windchill eCatalog Search Portal allows manufacturing customers to search detailed information on components across a distributed network of electronic catalogs with a powerful parametric search engine; and, Data Engineering-CounterPart and PartSpeak enables content aggregation, cleansing and standardization to prepare enterprise product information for e-business processes. As part of the introduction of Windchill 5.1 collaborative sourcing capabilities, a new PTC Global Services Sourcing practice is being introduced. This team of consultants within the PTC Global Services organization is focused on developing and deploying supply chain collaboration solutions for PTC customers. The practice has domain expertise for RosettaNet PIP implementation, support and training, business process consulting, component and supplier management, and data engineering solutions. www.ptc.com
INTERWOVEN ANNOUNCES TEAM SITE 4.5 B2B EDITION
Interwoven, Inc. announced its latest addition to the TeamSite software suite, TeamSite 4.5 B2B Edition. The B2B Edition of TeamSite empowers trading partners to easily contribute and publish B2B content. It also provides features tailored specifically for suppliers, marketplaces and other B2B sites to accelerate and control the interchange and syndication of commerce-critical content. The B2B Edition serves the needs of the 1000+ Ariba and Commerce One customers. The TeamSite 4.5 B2B Edition includes supplier and exchange enablement features such as: New merchandizing-specific workflow which accelerates and controls the markup of product and catalog-related content; Integration workflow for B2Bi and EAI (webMethods and TIBCO) that allows the rapid inclusion of legacy and ERP content; Automated transformation and validation of XML to cXML (Ariba) and xCBL (Commerce One) which ensures the quality and timeliness of content targeted to B2B sites; Individual product specialist or team work areas for collaborative content development and quality assurance. As part of the Interwoven Content Interchange Framework, TeamSite 4.5 B2B Edition is expected to be generally available in January 2001. The Framework, introduced in August 2000, is Interwoven’s strategy to provide, in conjunction with other partners, a comprehensive content solution for B2B suppliers and exchanges. For more information on Interwoven’s B2B solutions, please see www.interwoven.com/products/b2b/
APPSOLUT ENTERPRISE PORTAL SUITE 2.0 AVAILABLE
appsolut software gmbh announced the release of the appsolut Enterprise Portal Suite 2.0. Version 2.0 can be implemented more quickly and provides a wider array of functions compared to its predecessor, such as improved user and role management, optimized access to MS Exchange and Lotus Notes, as well as new content management functions. The appsolut Enterprise Portal Suite 2.0 can be easily customized and offers an enterprise portal solution that caters to organizations’ specific needs. All corporate processes – spanning various applications and data sources – can be integrated into a single browser interface. This web-based portal interface replaces the interfaces of the different applications throughout the organization. Rather than having to deal with a multitude of proprietary interfaces with different log-on procedures and input modes, portal users can now work with one, clear-cut enterprise portal interface. Relevant data and functions are made available to enterprise portal users at the right location and the right time – personalized and role-specific. This way, companies can effectively streamline operations and avoid costly user training and support. The appsolut Enterprise Portal Suite 2.0 allows users to ‘take’ corporate bits of information from the organization’s IT systems and ‘assemble’ them within a new process context. The resulting portal application is more useful to users than the sum of the individual applications. This capability of consistently mapping corporate processes with information is what makes the appsolut Enterprise Portal Suite 2.0 a unique innovation in the enterprise portal market. Its framework approach is what makes the appsolut Enterprise Portal Suite 2.0 so flexible. Enterprise portal functions are encapsulated in individual modules, which can be integrated into the framework according to specific corporate requirements. www.appsolut.com
SOFT QUAD & DOCUMENTUM ANNOUNCE XML CONTENT MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
SoftQuad Software, Ltd. and Documentum, Inc. announced a technology integration, which brings the advantages of XML content management to Global 2000 companies with e-business initiatives. The integration of SoftQuad XMetaL to Documentum 4i eBusiness Platform enables business users to easily create, manage, and share customized content across e-business applications and the Web. SoftQuad’s integration module is targeted for availability by the end of this month, coinciding with Documentum’s targeted release of its newly announced version of the 4i eBusiness Platform. The new product integration allows users to create, edit and save XML documents into Documentum’s content repository directly from within XMetaL, while managing content lifecycle with the Documentum 4i eBusiness Platform. The solution enables enterprises to manage and deliver customized XML content to different audiences and delivery channels, such as e-commerce sites, portals, handheld and wireless devices, and electronic marketplaces. www.documentum.com, www.softquad.com
SEQUOIA SOFTWARE & DOCLINX . COM PARTNER
Sequoia Software Corporation announced it has entered into a three-pronged strategic alliance with Doclinx.com. Sequoia has licensed Doclinx’s Docsan XML search engine, enhancing the search performance of XPS, Sequoia’s XML-pure portal software. Doclinx has become a value added reseller of XPS, and will expand the scope of its consulting practice to focus on portal engagements. Sequoia is also turning to Doclinx for Java consulting expertise as it ramps up the development of XPS for Unix, based on Java 2 Enterprise Edition. The Docsan XML search engine gives users the ability to conduct free text and XML-based searches across data and documents in over 200 file formats. Sequoia selected Docsan over other better-known search engines, because of its native support for XML and proven performance. www.doclinx.com , www.sequoiasoftware.com
ARTESIA RELEASES TEAMS 4.1
Artesia Technologies announced a major enhancement for its software for the management and distribution of rich media. Slated for general availability later this month, TEAMS 4.1 will offer integrators and consultants a number of new APIs that open customization and implementation opportunities for creating new enterprise-class applications. The newest version of TEAMS incorporates support for such video formats as Real, AVI, Quick-time, Microsoft ASF, MPEG1 and MPEG2, and provides users with the ability to edit and sequence video programming via their web browser through the inclusion of TEAMS’ Clip Identifier (CI), Clip Time Adjuster (CTA) and Play Decision List (PDL) features. The full integration of Virage’s VideoLogger into TEAMS allows the software to seamlessly ingest video and audio programming into a central repository so that the user may take advantage of Artesia’s search and retrieval functionality in order to located specific assets based on key frames, speech that has been converted to text, and a number of other parameters. Based on J2EE JSP technology, TEAMS 4.1’s web user interface provides users with a full range of advanced functionality to capture, manage, access, retrieve and distribute digital assets. In addition, TEAMS’ web interface incorporates support for localization and internationalization using ISO8859 character sets. With the addition of these and other web-based capabilities, TEAMS can allow creative, trade and marketing partners to collaborate online in the development and deployment of digital assets of all types. Pricing for TEAMS 4.1 is available from Artesia Technologies or an authorized reseller. www.artesiatech.com
PYBIZ ANNOUNCES FREE EVALUATION OF XML SEARCH & INDEXING PRODUCT
PyBiz announced a change of policy that makes the use of XDisect, their high-speed XML indexing and search engine free during the development phase of customer projects. PyBiz had been working with pilot customers for evaluation of its XDisect product in an enterprise environment. The December release of XDisect has been greatly improved as a result of incorporating this valuable customer feedback. XDisect now offers very high speed indexing capabilities. It also includes the ability to make incremental changes to the XML data. The new version can easily index millions of XML documents. XDisect supports index sizes of greater than 2 Gigabyte on Windows NT/2000, Solaris and Linux. It has an open XML/HTTP API to make integration to all major programming environments simple and easy. Queries against XML documents can now be done using the standard SQL Language. Since most application developers are familiar with SQL, it makes working with XDisect very rapid. The addition of a new browser based GUI environment helps programmers understand the structure and semantics of their XML data very easily. www.pybiz.com
BIZ ALK SERVER 2000 RELEASED
Microsoft Corp. announced the release to manufacturing, pricing and licensing of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000. The latest release in the Microsoft .NET Enterprise Server family, BizTalk Server 2000 is a comprehensive solution that unites enterprise application integration, B2B integration and BizTalk Orchestration technology to allow companies to easily build dynamic business processes that span applications and organizational boundaries. Enterprise Edition. BizTalk Server 2000 Enterprise Edition is targeted at large organizations, trading hubs and digital marketplaces and has support for integrating unlimited internal applications with unlimited trading partners over the Internet. BizTalk Server 2000 Enterprise Edition will support multiple processor and clustering deployments to handle even the largest transaction volumes. The suggested retail price for BizTalk Server 2000 Enterprise Edition is $24,999 per CPU. Standard Edition. BizTalk Server 2000 Standard Edition is targeted at small and medium-sized organizations and has support for integrating up to five internal applications with up to five external trading partners, such as exchanges or digital marketplaces. Intended for small to medium-sized transaction volumes, the standard edition will not have support for multiprocessor or clustered deployments. The suggested retail price of BizTalk Server 2000 Standard Edition is $4,999 per CPU. BizTalk Server 2000 is scheduled to be generally available in January 2001. Microsoft today also published the final version of its BizTalk Framework 2.0 specification. Based on industry standards for data exchange and security such as SOAP 1.1, XML and S/MIME, the BizTalk Framework enables the secure and reliable exchange of business documents over the Internet. Development of the BizTalk Framework is overseen by the BizTalk Steering Committee, which comprises industry partners, consortiums and standards bodies. www.microsoft.com
RIGHT WORKS LAUNCHES OPEN COMMERCE NETWORK
RightWorks Corporation announced the launch of the RightWorks Open Commerce Network, an open, horizontal exchange and virtual content aggregation portal that provides centralized access to products and value-added services over the Internet. In addition, RightWorks announced functionality and scalability enhancements to the RightWorks Universal Content Manager, a secure catalog server. Both announcements are part of Right-Works’ strategic supplier enablement initiative to offer “content anywhere.” Powered by the Right-Works Universal Content Manager, the Open Commerce Network enables suppliers to automate and personalize catalogs at a centralized location and selectively publish them to buying organizations. The RightWorks Open Commerce Network incorporates catalog management software from Cardonet to offer suppliers a second-generation set of online self-service tools for maintaining personalized electronic catalogs, which produces cost saving by reducing infrastructure expenses. It also offers a streamlined approach for updating content across organizations; real-time views of buyer-specific pricing and terms; the ability to maintain a single catalog view while assigning multiple pricing contracts; rapid electronic catalog standardization; the ability to define complex products with an unlimited number of attributes; and an automated content cleansing and normalization process that enables fast, accurate, comprehensive item search results. The RightWorks Open Commerce Network also provides suppliers access to new sales channels. A component of the RightWorks eBusiness Application Suite, the RightWorks Universal Content Manager now features a second-generation catalog engine. The new catalog server enables organizations to maintain millions of SKUs on a single database. Because it is “stateless” and “cacheless,” processing updates to the catalog content takes just minutes. The new catalog server also provides enhanced functionalities such as advanced parametric search, content standardization, flexible pricing schemes, and ability to tunnel out and in. The RightWorks eBusiness Application Suite, including the RightWorks Universal Content Manager, supports 12 local languages including English, UK English, two variations of French (Continental and French Canadian), two variations of Spanish (Continental and Latin), Portuguese, German, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Modules are priced separately and will be available in mid-December. www.rightworks.com
INTRA NET SOLUTIONS ANNOUNCES X PEDIO 4.5 WITH AUTOMATIC CONTENT CATEGORIZATION
IntraNet Solutions, Inc. announced the release of Xpedio 4.5, the latest version of its Xpedio Content Management system. The Xpedio 4.5 release includes enhancements to Xpedio’s two primary components – Xpedio Content Server and Xpedio Content Publisher – as well as the addition of two new components, Xpedio Dynamic Converter and Xpedio Content Categorizer. Xpedio 4.5 continues to provide rapid deployment, enabling companies to have operational business Web sites up and running in days or weeks. With Xpedio Dynamic Converter, based on dynamic conversion technology from the Information Exchange Division which IntraNet Solutions acquired in July 2000, site developers have the option of converting and delivering Web content from the native source to HTML dynamically upon user request, as opposed to publishing all content to the Web site at the same time. Xpedio Content Categorizer allows content to be automatically categorized and tagged, rather than manually, when input by individuals or in a batch process, which is useful when there is a large amount of content to be entered or when the source content changes frequently. The enhanced Xpedio Content Publisher now enables users to publish content to WML standards that are specific to mobile phone microbrowsers, including Nokia and Phone.com. Xpedio 4.5 will be available in mid-December 2000. Expanded wireless support will be included in Xpedio Content Publisher, priced at $30,000 USD. Xpedio Content Categorizer will be sold as an optional module and is priced at $50,000 USD. Xpedio Dynamic Converter will also be sold as an optional module, priced at $30,000 USD. All other features will be available as part of the core Xpedio Content Server, priced at $175,000 USD. www.intranetsolutions.com
IEEE & DCMI COLLABORATE TO DESIGN METADATA ARCHITECTURE FOR WEB -BASED LEARNING
Representatives of the IEEE Learning Technology Standards Committee Learning Objects Metadata (LTSC-LOM) Working Group and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the commitment to develop mutual interoperable metadata for technology-supported learning, education and training tools. The MOU signifies that a core set of specifications and accredited standards is emerging to support an interoperable infrastructure for worldwide e-learning technology. Ready access to comprehensive repositories of metadata is increasingly noted by developers of Web-enabled learning technology products as a critical factor in the next generation of learning and knowledge creation. However, to be useful, that metadata must be highly interoperable and reusable worldwide. The agreement signals a path forward for how education and training practitioners engaged in developing metadata can best support e-learning. Representatives from concurring projects sponsored by the following organizations support the joint effort between the IEEE LTSC-LOM and DCMI: ARIADNE (Alliance of Remote Instructional Authoring and Distribution Networks for Europe), EdNA (Education Network Australia), GEM (Gateway to Educational Materials), and the IMS Global Learning Consortium. http://purl.org/dc/
MICROSOFT OFFERS XML-BASED PROTOCOL FOR EXTENDING BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE TO WEB SERVICES
Microsoft Corp. announced the release of the beta specification for XML for Analysis – a new protocol that extends the Microsoft business intelligence strategy to the Microsoft.NET vision of Web services, allowing application developers to provide analytic capabilities to any client on any device or platform using any programming language. Built on HTTP, XML and SOAP with more than 50 industry players instrumental in its development. As an extension to OLE DB for OLAP and OLE DB for Data Mining, XML for Analysis uses the Internet as the platform for building analytical applications from diverse sources of data, thus enabling developers to provide better Web services for analytic data. Corporations can now allow trading partners, customers and suppliers to access data easily and securely over the Web without worrying about client operating system, application language or middleware compatibility issues. XML for Analysis expands access to business intelligence by increasing the flexibility for developers to incorporate analytical data within applications that reside remotely on the Internet, or even those that are hosted by another company. Users can achieve a new level of pervasive data analysis because they have access to data from any client ranging from a PDA to an Internet-enabled phone, interactive TV device, laptop computer or PC. XML for Analysis is a fully compatible advancement to the OLE DB for OLAP and OLE DB for Data Mining protocols. The beta specification of XML for Analysis is now available for download at www.microsoft.com/data. A beta software development kit of XML for Analysis is planned to be available for download in early 2001, and final specification and software for XML for Analysis are scheduled to be available in the first half of 2001. www.microsoft.com
EPICENTRIC & DOCUMENTUM ALIGN
Epicentric, Inc. announced that it has entered into an alliance with Documentum, Inc. Epicentric will integrate its E-Business Network platform with the Portal Edition of Documentum’s 4i eBusiness content management platform. The integration will allow joint customers of Epicentric’s E-Business Network platform and Documentum’s 4i Portal Edition to take advantage of Documentum’s content management and collaboration capabilities within the networked business communities that were created through Epicentric. By implementing Epicentric’s E-Business Network platform with Documentum’s content management platform, Global 2000 companies can accelerate the delivery of upto-date strategic information across networked business communities. Key information, such as sales data or market research, can be instantly accessed and shared with the employees, partners or customers who require the data. Epicentric’s integration framework enables companies to deliver a unique, privately branded interface to each business community and users to tailor the information to meet their personal needs. www.documentum.com , www.epicentric.com
ENTERPRISE CONTENT MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE SERIES LAUNCHED BY AIIM, GCA, & BLUEBILL ADVISORS
Bluebill Advisors, Inc., AIIM International, and the Graphic Communications Association (GCA) announced “Enterprise Content Management 2001” (ECM 2001), a new conference series covering all the technologies and trends related to integrating content and data into enterprise e-business applications, including: content management, corporate portals, XML, digital rights management, digital assets, rich content, syndication, content aggregation and categorization, e-catalogs, enterprise meta and metadata integration strategies, and application and information integration. The three organizations will jointly produce the new events. The first three-day conference will be held October 2-5, 2001 at the Westin Century Plaza in Los Angeles, CA. Today, businesses have to be able to publish content via multiple channels, including Web, wireless, kiosk, and print, but publishing is only a small part of how enterprises must manage content. Content also has to be shared with suppliers, customers, channel partners, and employees, for a wide variety of enterprise applications. ECM 2001 is the only educational event dedicated to all the application and infrastructure technologies for managing content across and between enterprises. ECM 2001 is an educational, vendor-neutral event designed specifically for e-business and IT managers responsible for developing strategies involving content management, and for project managers in charge of implementing solutions. www.aiim.org , www.bluebilladvisors.com , www.gca.org
DOCUMENTUM INTRODUCES XML ENTERPRISE CONTENT MANAGEMENT PLATFORM
Documentum announced the release of the next generation of its 4i eBusiness Platform. The release features significant enhancements, offering complete support of XML for content management and B2B interchange, as well as full internationalization and multilingual support, automated delivery of content to multiple channels, and integration with industry-leading source code management systems. XML content management provides the basis for streamlining the content creation process by enabling content reuse and automating the generation and delivery of assembled content for multiple channels. This is achieved by adding intelligence to content earlier in the process and separating the creation and delivery processes. Content can now be re-purposed rather than recreated and intelligently transformed and customized to suit the characteristics and formats of different devices and channels (e-commerce sites, portals, PDAs, wireless devices, and online exchanges/marketsites). Full lifecycle, workflow, security, and library services enable organizations to automate their business processes, and sophisticated link management services enable the reuse of content globally. Documentum is actively involved with XML e-business standards organizations, such as OASIS, ebXML, UDDI.org, WAP Forum, and XML.org. Documentum and Arbortext also announced an extension of their partnership integrating Arbortext’s Epic. www.documentum.com
TIBCO LAUNCHES PRODUCT FOR MANAGING XML ASSETS
TIBCO Software Inc. announced XML Canon/Developer (XCD). XCD, the first member of the XML Canon family, is a development platform that enables the life cycle management of XML-based business rules in a Web-accessible repository. XCD allows businesses to dynamically create and adapt XML-based standards that facilitate collaboration for e-business internally and with trading partners, customers and industry groups. The XML Canon product line supports the diverse requirements and various stages of XML development organizations are implementing. First to be launched is XCD for organizations developing and deploying XML infrastructure assets (e.g. XML schemas, DTDs, instance documents, stylesheets, or adjuncts.) Key Features include: managing business rules and taxonomies, web-enabled collaboration, life cycle management, extensible architecture, and full integration across TIBCO Extensibility product family: Turbo XML, XML Authority, XML Instance, and XML Console. XML Canon/Developer will run on Windows 2000, NT 4, SP6 with support for SQL 7.0 SP1 or Oracle 8i. Microsoft IE 5.0 or 5.5 is also required. TIBCO’s Extensibility client interface Turbo XML is also required. To sign-up for the limited early access beta program visit: www.extensibility.com/tibco/solutions/xml_canon/ www.tibco.com
KINECTA ANNOUNCES FREE APPLICATION FOR B2B SYNDICATION
Kinecta Corporation announced plans to deliver a free content distribution tool, Kinecta Syndicator Lite. Kinecta Syndicator Lite enables organizations to set up open, dedicated channels for automating ongoing business-to-business content delivery instead of relying on manually intensive and error prone methods such as e-mail or FTP (file transfer protocol). It also avoids unscalable and inflexible click-back methods such as linking and framing. Kinecta Syndicator Lite also manages delivery of multiple content types, formats, content sources and delivery frequencies. Like Kinecta Interact, Syndicator Lite automates the distribution of any type of digital asset in a wide range of file formats, including XML, HTML, text, PDF, graphics, audio, video and streaming media. Users can download the Kinecta Syndicator Lite Java-based server application, and then authorize a limited number of partners to distribute content to. Businesses that need access to more advanced functionality and support for larger distribution networks can easily upgrade to the enterprise-class Kinecta Interact syndication platform. Kinecta Syndicator Lite is expected to be generally available on February 1, 2001 as a free download. Interested users can begin registering online today. Basic support will be provided for free along with an online community of users of ICE technology and Kinecta ICE-based products. Kinecta Syndicator Lite will also come with a “Getting Started” guide which will provide a step-by-step process to enable users to quickly get their syndication networks up and running. For easy set up, Kinecta recommends running Syndicator Lite with Windows NT and the Microsoft Access database. For experienced information professionals, Syndicator Lite can be run with Sun Solaris or Linux and a relational database, and it can be customized and extended using a free Software Development Kit. Additional services and support can be purchased online. For more information on ICE, visit www.icestandard.org , www.kinecta.com
SEMIO UPDATES INTERFACE TO CONTENT MANAGEMENT SOLUTION
Semio Corporation announced a new version of its content categorization solution, Semio Tagger, offering open interfaces to categorization information. Version 4.1 makes the content categorization information generated by Semio Tagger readily accessible to other programs, for easier integration with online content solutions and business portals. Semio Tagger extracts key concepts from a wide variety of document sources to build customized content categories. These categories may be integrated in a variety of online applications, including content navigation and personalization in portals. With Semio Tagger 4.1, Semio Corporation offers a comprehensive and open interface to the results obtained through its patented categorization processes. This interface will support future partnership integration efforts through published interfaces and toolkits. Semio Tagger 4.1, Semio Taxonomy Viewer 4.1 and Semio Map Viewer 4.1 are currently available from Semio Corporation, available on Sun Solaris 2.7 and above, Windows NT and Windows 2000 platforms. www.semio.com
SAQQARA INTRODUCES CONTENTWORKS
SAQQARA Systems, Inc. introduced SAQQARA ContentWorks, a new application that speeds, simplifies and automates the complicated and labor intensive task of acquiring and transforming product data from multiple sources into ‘product content’ – technical, marketing and business information about products that is organized and structured to drive Internet-based transactions. ContentWorks is part of the comprehensive SAQQARA solution for B2B suppliers (manufacturers, Net market makers and distributors) to help them to implement a Transformation, Management and Exchange (TME) product content strategy. TME defines the processes necessary to ensure the creation of branded and differentiated product content that allows B2B suppliers to effectively market and sell on the Internet. ContentWorks streamlines the process of creating and maintaining fully branded and differentiated product content that gives B2B buyers all the information they need to make informed buying decisions. ContentWorks allows suppliers to acquire product data from a variety of sources, including structured databases, word processing formats, flat files, HTML and XML, and transform it based on rules created by the supplier’s product domain experts. The resulting product content can easily be published in an e-catalog or syndicated to trading partners in any required market taxonomy and interchange format including XML, cXML, xCBL, CIF, etc. With SAQQARA ContentWorks, B2B suppliers, especially Net market makers and distributors, can leverage their product domain expertise to simplify and automate the acquisition, cleansing, translation and classification of product data from multiple sources and in different data formats and taxonomies. SAQQARA ContentWorks is available today. www.saqqara.com
SUN ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF JAVA TECHNOLOGIES FOR XML
Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced the early access availability of two key Java technology APIs for the XML: the Java API for XML Messaging (JAXM) and the Java API for XML Parsing (JAXP). Both APIs are downloadable free of charge through Sun’s Java Developer Connection at http://java.sun.com/jdc/ . These two APIs, along with the Java API for XML Data Binding (JAXB), form the core of XML support in the Java 2 platform. JAXB, formerly called Project Adelard is nearing completion through the Java Community Process (JCP) program. These Java technologies for XML give developers a powerful, easy-to-use API tool set for developing and deploying Java technology-based applications that harness the synergies of the Java platform’s portable code and XML’s portable data. All three technologies are being developed through the JCP program, the open, community-based organization that stewards the evolution of the Java platform. JAXP, JAXM and JAXB are expected to be included in the next releases of the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE). The draft specification for JAXM is available through the JCP; the projected final shipping date of JAXM is early 2001, pending JCP and ebXML specification availability. Sun hopes to make the final reference implementation of JAXM available to developers through a credible open source organization, such as the Apache Software Foundation. For more information on the Apache Software Foundation’s XML parser project, please visit www.xml.apache.org. The draft specification for JAXP is available through the JCP, and the projected final shipping date of JAXP is calendar Q1 2001. The draft specification for JAXB is available from JCP website as JSR 31, and pending the approval of the JAXB specification by the JCP, JAXB is expected to be shipped Q1 2001. http://sun.com
AUTONOMY ANNOUNCES COMMERCE APPLICATION BUILDER
Autonomy Corporation plc announced its new Commerce Application Builder. Autonomy Commerce Application Builder provides a flexible, scalable and fully automated infrastructure for managing and personalizing e-commerce content to enable more and higher quality transactions. Built to be integrated with leading E-Commerce transaction systems, Autonomy’s Commerce Application Builder automatically aggregates, organizes, links and personalizes commercial content regardless of its format (XML, HTML), language or storage (RDBMS, Content management systems). Commerce Application Builder analyzes human-friendly information, identifies its main ideas and then automates critical operations on it. Commerce Application Builder enables sites to manage, rapidly update and maintain highly personalized content rich exchanges, e-marketplaces, and Web stores, all at lower costs. Easily integrated with many transaction systems including Cybercash, and Intershop, Commerce Application Builder also supports extended functionality to enable mobile commerce through WAP and i-Mode wireless standards as well as speech, digital TV and auctions in future releases. Commerce Application Builder includes advanced personalization features. It provides automatic user profiling, which can be utilized for automatic targeted advertising and promotions and for user defined personal shopping assistants. Autonomy Commerce Application Builder technology is available for immediate integration with Intershop’s enfinity site transaction systems. Autonomy can plug-in CyberSource as the transaction back-end for Commerce Application Builder for environments that have not standardized on another transaction system. CyberSource has experience and functionality for providing real-time payment processing, fraud protection and digital product delivery. CyberSource provides secure credit card authorization, delivery address verification and Internet fraud screen enhanced by VISA. Commerce Application Builder is available for Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 2000, LINUX, Sun Solaris and most versions of UNIX. www.autonomy.com
INTERWOVEN & DATACHANNEL TO COUPLE ENTERPRISE PORTAL & CONTENT MANAGEMENT
Interwoven and DataChannel announced an alliance to integrate DataChannel’s Enterprise Information Portal Server, DataChannel Server (DCS) 4.1 with TeamSite 4.5, Interwoven’s content management platform. The integration will bring together the critical functions of content management and content presentation and interaction. The companies have also agreed upon a jointly developed road map that tightly couples the unique functionality of their respective products. The combined offering will serve two classes of users, content contributors and the targeted users who access the final version of that content. First, TeamSite content authors and editors will now be able to access critical TeamSite software functionality, including TeamSite Templating and metadata tagging, through a consolidated and personalized application interface via DataChannel’s Enterprise Information Portal. Participants in the content management process will also be able to see their workflow action items and timelines in their own personalized “queue.” To enable this, all TeamSite users will be automatically logged-on to TeamSite through an intelligent DataChannel Xpertlinx when they authenticate through DCS. This single sign-on capability will provide direct authentication to personalized TeamSite workspaces. Secondly, the joint solution will impact the targeted users who access content in its final form. The DataChannel Enterprise Information Portal provides access to content that is targeted to specific user needs. It also optimizes a user’s interface to the numerous sources of information found throughout the enterprise and across the Internet. DCS creates the taxonomy, or organized layout, for content that is then appropriately tagged and published directly from TeamSite into the DCS portal. www.datachannel.com , www.interwoven.com
SOFTQUAD TO ACQUIRE ADEI
SoftQuad Software, Ltd. announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Advanced Data Engineering, Inc. (ADEi) of Petaluma, California. ADEi is a provider of content transformation solutions that enable organizations to convert large volumes of existing data from multiple sources into XML. The ability to convert existing content directly into XML is a fundamental requirement for companies as they migrate their enterprise content infrastructures to XML. With the ability to transform large volumes of existing documents in formats such as Word, Quark, Page-maker and PDF, ADEi’s systems solve the content transformation challenges that many organizations face. Additionally, ADEi’s XML-it Document Markup System, now part of the SoftQuad content services offering, provides an easy way to transition existing Word content into XML. This gives customers total control over their migration to an XML content infrastructure. ADEi’s management team and engineering staff are all expected to join SoftQuad. SoftQuad plans to maintain ADEi’s facilities in Petaluma as a strategic services, sales, and business development center in close proximity to Silicon Valley. Under the terms of the transaction, SoftQuad will acquire all of the outstanding shares of ADEi for approximately 750,000 shares in newly issued SoftQuad common stock, subject to minor post closing working capital adjustments. Further terms and conditions were not disclosed. The transaction, which is immediately accretive to SoftQuad earnings, has been approved by the Board of Directors of each company and is expected to close in November 2000. www.softquad.com , www.adei.com
TEXTERITY LAUNCHES AUTOMATED PDF TO XML CONVERSION SERVICE
Texterity, Inc. announced the release of TextCafe, an automated document conversion service that accepts PDF, Quark, and Word files and converts them to structured XML, HTML and Open eBook formats. TextCafe also supports automated creation of Microsoft Reader, Rocket eBook, and Adobe PDF formats. The service is initially targeted to publishers who have large amounts of trade books that need to be moved into structured XML format. The service is faster, less expensive, and more accurate than alternative solutions, which involve manual labor and proofing. TextCafe provides the following key features: detection of text blocks, including paragraphs, which can be reflowed automatically; dynamic creation of a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) based on normalized styles used in the document; chapter and sub-chapter recognition and tagging based on document type; recognition and removal of running headers and footers in XML output; recombination of words broken between lines, columns, or pages based on language-specific dictionaries; extraction of embedded images with links created in XML output; and automated generation of XML, HTML, Open eBook (OeB), Micro-soft Reader (.LIT), Rocket eBook (.RB), and reflowable PDF. TextCafe works by using artificial intelligence algorithms to deduce the hierarchical structure of documents. This is done based only on the visual cues available in the document and a knowledge of document type, such as novel, white paper, or manual. The result is richly-tagged, pure and valid XML that can be repurposed endlessly. TextCafe is available immediately. Pricing is based on document type and conversion volume. Quotes can be obtained by web-based submission at the Texterity web site www.texterity.com
NETEGRITY & OTHERS TO DEFINE XML STANDARD FOR SECURE E¬COMMERCE
Netegrity, Inc. announced that it is working with a group of companies to define a standard for enabling secure e-commerce transactions using XML called Security Services Markup Language (S2ML), that will create a common language for sharing security information about transactions and end users between companies engaged in online B2B and B2B2C transactions. Authors of the S2ML specification are Bowstreet, Commerce One, Jamcracker, Netegrity, Sun Microsystems, VeriSign, and web-Methods. Reviewers of the specification include Art Technology Group, Oracle, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and TIBCO. Traditionally, security has been implemented within a single enterprise. However, companies are now conducting inter-company business using the Web, which has expanded the scope and range of their e-commerce transactions. For example, in the B2B industry companies now use a number of different e-marketplaces to purchase a broad range of supplies and products. Each of these marketplaces may have different proprietary authentication and authorization solutions, which makes interoperability across marketplaces difficult if not impossible. In B2B2C commerce, users often are involved in business transactions that span several different company Web sites that have joined forces to create an affiliate network of services. In this case, users are forced to log on multiple times and re-start their transactions. The business transactions in both of these markets must span multiple companies, multiple Web sites, and multiple marketplaces that have their own unique and heterogeneous set of platforms and e-commerce infrastructure components. S2ML is intended to solve these problems by helping to unify access control methods through an open, standards-based framework for the next generation of secure e-commerce transactions. The S2ML specification addresses three main areas of security services: authentication, authorization, and entitlement/privilege. S2ML defines standard XML schemas, as well as an XML request/response protocol, for describing authentication and authorization services through XML documents. S2ML also will provide specific bindings for various protocols such as HTTP and SOAP and B2B messaging frameworks such as ebXML. The S2ML effort is an open industry initiative in which any organization can participate and implement the specifications. The vendors behind the S2ML initiative plan to submit the S2ML 0.8 specification to the W3C and OASIS for consideration within the next 30 days. www.S2ML.org , www.netegrity.com
MEDIASURFACE UPDATES E¬BUSINESS CONTENT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE & ATG INTEGRATION
Mediasurface Limited announced Mediasurface 3.5, the next generation of its content management application software. The product includes new functionality to enable open integration of the Mediasurface content management platform into enterprise e-business architectures. Today, more organizations than ever before are basing their e-business offerings around an open application server platform. The challenge for these organizations is rapidly integrating best of breed e-business applications such as content management, personalization and e-commerce without complex, proprietary interfaces. New features in Mediasurface 3.5 directly address this issue. New functionality includes: Java API to enable seamless integration with application server providers such as ATG; Enterprise directory integration, allowing centralized management of users, groups and access rights; Support for Microsoft Windows NT Server and Hewlett Packard HP-UX operating systems; And support for Oracle 8i. Mediasurface 3.5 will be available to customers beginning in November 2000. www.mediasurface.com
VIGNETTE ROLLS OUT EWIRELESS APPLICATION
Vignette Corp. announced Vignette eWireless, an e-business application that enables companies to conduct B2B transactions and exchange information with business applications using any wireless device, is available and shipping to customers. Based on open Internet standards, including XML and the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), and featuring a powerful intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), Vignette eWireless enables a fully interactive Web experience on virtually any wireless device. The new product allows a company’s employees, customers and trading partners to conduct transactions – such as purchasing from product catalogs, approving requisitions or accessing back-end applications – directly from their handheld wireless device. Devices supported include WAP-based phones, PDAs and pagers. For example, an industrial supplier using Vignette eWireless can provide its customers with a wireless device pre-loaded with a custom catalog of products they routinely purchase. When these customers are out in the field or at a job site, they will be able to use a wireless phone or PDA to order or reorder products, approve a price quote and purchase order, and arrange for delivery at a specified time – without tracking down a telephone, fax machine or filling out paperwork. Unlike some wireless solutions, which consist of simple notification systems that do not facilitate B2B transactions or allow access to back office systems, Vignette eWireless allows companies to rapidly wireless-enable their existing applications, data and processes, as well as those of their trading partners. Vignette eWireless is currently available and shipping. www.vignette.com
ANTARCTI.CA REDEFINES WEB NAVIGATION & PRODUCTIVITY FOR ENTERPRISE NETWORKS
Antarcti.ca Systems Inc., a developer of visual network maps, announced the launch of its public website, http://map.net , an integrated continent-sized map of the Internet. This site, a showcase for Antarcti.ca’s Visual Net product, enables users to explore the Web in 2D and 3D, representing sites and subject categories visually. Led by XML coinventor Tim Bray, Antarcti.ca sees Visual Net as the next step in the evolution of how people and companies access and share information on the Internet and their enterprise Intranets and Extra-nets. The Antarcti.ca showcase at http://map.net maps the category structure of the entire Web onto one screen. The basic data is sourced from Netscape/AOL’s Open Directory Project ( http://dmoz.org) and enhanced by Antarcti.ca’s proprietary technology. At the heart of the technology is Antarcti.ca’s Visual Net product, which plots and diagrams hundreds of thousands of subject categories and millions of Web sites on 2D and 3D maps that communicate not only the categories but also the sizes of the sites, their popularity and their quality of service. The 3D experience immerses users in a videogame-like environment, allowing them to ‘walk around’ the Web and look at sites in great detail without having to actually visit them, resulting in more efficient navigation. In addition, each of the 300,000 categories includes chat capability, enabling users to connect with dynamic communities of shared interests. Antarcti.ca is fully internationalized, containing thousands of categories and hundreds of thousands of sites in languages ranging from Afrikaans and Arabic to Thai and Ukrainian. Antarcti.ca’s Visual Net is an ideal application for enterprise networks. Over the last 5 years, enterprises have made immense investments in leveraging their human capital by deploying Intranets and Extranets. Antarcti.ca helps complete this process by making network interaction more efficient and enjoyable and thus help realize the full return on these investments. The showcase Web site is free to the public and available immediately at http://map.net . Enterprise network mapping projects are delivered on an ASP basis and fees vary depending on the size and complexity of the data. The Antarcti.ca Visual Net product has an open API based on Web standards, chiefly HTTP and XML; the company invites technology partnerships with those who wish to build network-map-based applications. Antarcti.ca client software is Open Source, and the client-server protocol fully documented; anyone wishing to explore alternative visions of network maps will have the company’s support. http://antarcti.ca
W3C ISSUES DOM LEVEL 2 AS A RECOMMENDATION
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released the Document Object Model Level 2 specification as a W3C Recommendation. The specification reflects cross-industry agreement on a standard API for manipulating documents and data through a programming language (such as Java or ECMAScript). Created and developed by the W3C Document Object Model (DOM) Working Group, this specification extends the platform- and language-neutral interface to access and update dynamically a document’s content, structure, and style first described by the DOM Level 1 Recommendation. The DOM Level 2 provides a standard set of objects for representing XML documents and data, including namespace support, a style sheet platform which adds support for CSS 1 and 2, a standard model of how these objects may be combined, and a standard interface for accessing and manipulating them. DOM Level 1 was designed for HTML 4.0 and XML 1.0. With DOM Level 2, authors can take further advantage of the extensibility of XML. Simply put, anywhere you use XML you can now use the DOM to manipulate it. The standard DOM interface makes it possible to write software for processing customized tag-sets in a language- and platform-independent way. DOM Level 2 provides support for XML namespaces, extending and improving the XML platform. The DOM provides a uniform way to produce programs that work across a variety of different devices, so all may benefit from dynamically generated content. The DOM Level 2 Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) API makes it possible for a script author to access and manipulate style information associated with contents, while preserving accessibility. DOM Level 2 also includes an Events API to provide interactivity anywhere someone uses XML – in documents, in data, or in B2B applications. Other W3C Working Groups are currently at work in extending further the DOM Level 2 platform for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and Mathematical Markup Language (MathML). The DOM Working Group is currently at work developing DOM Level 3, the next layer of functionality for DOM. www.w3c.org
RECIPROCAL ANNOUNCES VERSION 3.0 OF RECIPROCAL COMMERCE ACCESS PROTOCOL
Reciprocal Inc. unveiled Version 3.0 of Reciprocal Commerce Access Protocol. This enhanced XML-based communications technology enables the secure transfer of permit order information between Reciprocal and its customers. Reciprocal Commerce Access Protocol allows content companies, retailers or distributors to better control and manage digital content by communicating order information back to Reciprocal’s clearinghouse. This communication allows clients to easily integrate their content business with Reciprocal’s DRM services. Information and a series of instructions are communicated via the Reciprocal Commerce Access Protocol from a retail site to the Reciprocal Digital Clearing Service, which then fulfills the retailer’s instructions and issues the permits that allow the end-user to have access to secure content files. Once packaged, the digital content can then be securely distributed with predefined business rules that consumers must satisfy before accessing the content. Business rules can range from payment, collection of consumer information, or other exchanges of value defined by the content owner. Retailers looking to take advantage of Reciprocal Commerce Access Protocol do not need to install any new hardware or software. Rather, they can simply send a secure XML message to integrate with Reciprocal’s services. www.reciprocal.com
ARBORTEXT ANNOUNCES B2B COMMERCE SOLUTION
Arbortext, Inc. announced the availability of Epic Intermarket, a solution that enables suppliers and net marketplaces to deploy catalog applications that offer more extensive, more personalized and more usable content. Epic Intermarket is built upon Arbortext’s Epic E-Content Engine (E3), a Web-based system for aggregating, storing, assembling and distributing enriched content. Epic Intermarket leverages the power of E3 to gather content from multiple sources including Word, FrameMaker and Interleaf, and convert that content into reusable XML components. E3 also works with Arbortext’s Epic Editor and Epic Editor LE, both of which enable direct creation of XML content. Epic Intermarket integrates with repositories from Oracle, Documentum and others to enable seamless creation and management of reusable and intelligent XML information components. Through E3, Epic Intermarket extracts content from the repository, assembles it according to individual requirements, and automatically transforms it for any purpose not only for publishing to the Web, but also for traditional catalog formats such as print and CDROM as well as newer devices such as PDAs, e-Books and cellular phones. In addition, Intermarket can syndicate catalog content to multiple marketplaces. Epic Intermarket supports the e-commerce schema standards from Open Applications Group, Inc., so Intermarket can exchange catalog content with business-to-business online marketplace providers such as Ariba, CommerceOne and Oracle. Epic Intermarket will ship in January 2001. Epic Editor and the Epic E-Content Engine are included in a minimum Intermarket installation. Epic Intermarket runs on the Microsoft IIS Web server running on NT Server 4.0/SP5 or later or Netscape’s iPlanet Web server running on Sun Solaris 7. Epic Inter-market works with Oracle 8iFS and Java Runtime Engine 1.1.8 or later. www.arbortext.com
VITRIA EXTENDS SUPPORT FOR EDI
Vitria Technology announced the availability of a new integration solution for EDI. Companies can now use Vitria’s leading ebusiness platform, BusinessWare, to transparently access information and transactions managed by EDI-enabled business systems. BusinessWare’s EDI solution enables customers to automate core business processes – such as order management or inventory replenishment – that integrate EDI systems with other internal enterprise applications, and with external EDI and XML-enabled trading partner systems, with equal ease. BusinessWare converts EDI transactions to and from standard EDI formats, enabling those transactions to be shared with any other system inside or outside the firewall. As companies place greater emphasis on supply and demand chain automation, there is a need to manage key business processes across trading partners regardless of enabling technology. With comprehensive support for EDI and XML-based ebusiness, EDI Solution provides a graceful migration path for companies augmenting or replacing EDI with newer, XML-based B2B integration technologies over time, such as ebXML, BizTalk, and cXML. Vitria’s new EDI solution is available immediately. www.vitria.com
LINQ LAUNCHES LINQPORTAL 3.0
LINQ is extending the functionality of LinqPortal with the launch of version 3.0. LinqPortal has been developed on a vision to be a corporate portal product for international deployment together with collaborative and borderless working. LinqPortal contains all of the broad range of built-in functionality to support the scenario detailed above, including: borderless working, personal alerts, integration of groupware, personalization, role based information, application integration/single sign-on, competency & content searching, active content, case management, project work-spaces/collaboration, multi-lingual (14 languages today), ERP connectors, and 100% XML architecture. Additionally LINQ is a Microsoft Dashboard software partner – any web-part developed to the MS Digital Dashboard standard can immediately be run inside of the LinqPortal. www.linq.com
NEXTENSO TO INCORPORATE INTRANET SOLUTIONS’ OUTSIDE IN
IntraNet Solutions, Inc. and Nextenso announced an agreement allowing users of Internet portals powered by Nextenso to access virtually any office document from their mobile phone, wireless information device, computer and/or fixed-line Internet telephone using IntraNet Solutions’ Outside In technology for transforming information to HTML and WML. For example, users of Nextensopowered portals can display email attachments as an HTML or WML file, or deliver them as faxes. Nextenso integrates into existing network environments, leveraging the value of portals by taking advantage of existing Internet content. Nextenso will initially distribute the Outside In technology as an optional feature to customers who request it. This agreement forms the basis of a strategic relationship that can be extended in the future to general distribution for all Nextenso customers. www.nextenso.com
AETHER ANNOUNCES SCOUTWEB V.1.1
Aether Systems, Inc. announced the general availability of ScoutWeb v.1.1, a key software component of the company’s ScoutWare product suite. ScoutWeb allows content providers (enterprise businesses, web portals, publishers) and wireless carriers to deliver intranet and Internet content to mobile workers via handheld devices, whenever and wherever they need it. ScoutWeb v.1.1 now supports a range of encryption levels, including the highest level of SSL encryption available (128-bit SSL v3). This enables users to access web content and applications through Internet standard SSL connections that were previously unavailable to mobile devices. ScoutWeb follows a create once, deliver everywhere philosophy. ScoutWeb software dynamically transcodes HTML content for display on HTML-based or WML-based handheld devices using any handheld device browser including the Palm Web Clipping Browser, Pocket Internet Explorer, and WAP enabled smart phones. This create-once, deliver-everywhere approach eliminates the need to build and maintain separate web pages for different devices and browsers, or the need to install proprietary browser software on the hand- held device. Additionally, ScoutWeb lowers production and editorial costs, and eliminates the need to install and upgrade software on the handheld device. Other features of ScoutWeb include: Support for HTML, WML, XML, and XHTML; Support for all mobile devices and mobile operating systems including PalmOS, Windows CE and the new generation of smart phones; Mark-up language conversion for content tuning to suit device capability; And an interpolation feature which allows for varying degrees of image conversion. ScoutWeb is available from Aether starting at $30,000 ( U.S.) for a single CPU server. www.aethersystems.com
SILVERSTREAM ENHANCES EBUSINESS PLATFORM OFFERING
SilverStream Software, Inc. released its updated eBusiness Platform. The Java and XML-based SilverStream eBusiness Platform includes: Silver-Stream ePortal 2.0 – An integrated offering comprised of an application framework, business components, and underlying eBusiness services for delivering Internet applications; Enhanced business manager tool suite; Personalization; A new workflow engine; Enhanced content management capabilities; SilverStream xCommerce 2.0 – Am XML-enabling service that allows Internet applications to access mainframes and external business systems; Enhanced support of J2EE standards; Enterprise Enablers for IBM 3270, 5250 and CICS; and Silver-Stream Application Server 3.7. Customers can combine elements of the SilverStream eBusiness Platform for a comprehensive integrated solution, or deploy separate products that integrate flexibly into any enterprise architectures. Web services created in xCommerce are deployed to open, standards-based J2EE application servers running on Windows NT and Unix. In addition to supporting the SilverStream Application Server, xCommerce 2.0 now supports IBM’s WebSphere. Additionally, SilverStream supports RosettaNet, OAG, ebXML, cXML, xCBL, ACORD, tpaML and SOAP. www.silverstream.com
AGENTWARE INTRODUCES AGENTWARE SYNDICATOR FOR EXCHANGES
AgentWare released AgentWare Syndicator for B2B Exchanges, a software infrastructure solution that provides Global 2000 companies and B2B Exchanges a packaged solution for building and managing trading communities. This solution allows e-businesses to develop and manage B2B exchange applications without the traditional dependencies on costly infrastructure and labor. AgentWare’s e-business syndication platform, the Syndicator, provides an open Java and XML based architecture that helps e-businesses build and adapt Internet applications quickly to meet changing market demands. The Syndicator provides a scalable, efficient solution that enables customized syndication of content, commerce and services from multiple sources on the Internet to any device connected to the Internet. www.agentware.net
SOFTLOCK UNVEILS VERSION 3.0 OF ITS DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT SERVICE
SoftLock.com, Inc. announced Version 3.0 of its digital rights management (DRM) service. Version 3.0 offers digital content providers a highly scalable solution for the distribution of secure digital content. The widespread use of XML as a core technology in Version 3.0 allows content providers to easily integrate their business and e-commerce services with SoftLock’s content hosting, security, and marketing services. SoftLock’s Dynamic Content Locking, a key feature of Version 3.0, enables digital content to be packaged, secured and distributed in real-time. Dynamic Content Locking is an innovative approach to DRM, which allows consumers to order digital documents that are customized to their interests, packaged on the fly and delivered within seconds. This technology allows content providers to focus on maintaining their content database rather than on the production and distribution of the final packaged product. Version 3.0 enables digital content marketing through integration points that deliver content offers to consumers through affiliate retailers, search engines, registration and contextual mapping. DCM provides the tools to market, distribute and sell premium digital content securely, through a comprehensive network of innovative technology, services and partners. Another feature of Version 3.0 is an enhanced rendition of SoftLock’s Passalong viral marketing technology. Passalong, an integral part of SoftLock’s digital content marketing offering encourages sharing amount colleagues and friends, while the content’s copyright security wrapper remains intact. Content publishers encourage the use of Passalong because it results in additional sales while reducing customer acquisition costs. www.softlock.com
CITRIX & SEQUOIA INK NFUSE LI¬CENSING DEAL
Citrix Systems, Inc. and Sequoia Software, Inc. announced a software licensing agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Sequoia can market and demonstrate Citrix NFuse application portal software with its XML Portal Server, XPS, for customers that are already running applications on the Citrix MetaFrame server. As part of the deal, Sequoia also has joined the Citrix Business Alliance at the Premier level. Sequoia will use NFuse to create XPS Content Delivery Agents (CDAs), which are individual, easy to use Web-based applications that snap directly into a portal users’ homepage. The NFuse-based CDAs will appear alongside other work-related information and applications, allowing users to easily retrieve and assimilate information from MetaFrame-based applications directly from through XPS. In addition to establishing joint enterprise marketing and sales opportunities, the Citrix/Sequoia agreement sets the stage for channel development and joint sales force education. www.sequoiasoftware.com , www.citrix.com
MARIMBA PARTNERS WITH CACHEFLOW TO DELIVER CONTENT MANAGEMENT
Marimba, Inc. announced it would integrate support for CacheFlow Server Accelerators into its Timbale product family, as well as join the Adaptive Content Exchange Initiative. The combined solution will facilitate the distribution of updated and dynamic content from the content publisher to the content consumer. ACE is the CacheFlow-led industry initiative that combines building blocks from CacheFlow and over 30 leading industry partners to deliver an end-to-end solution for content intelligent networking. Through this partnership, the companies will provide their customers an end-toend content management solution that allows dynamic and changing content to be transparently updated throughout the network. This solution will provide up-to-the-second content by efficiently delivering it from the application server to distributed caching appliances. www.cacheflow.com , www.marimba.com
VCIX RELEASES BROWSER-BASED INTERFACE FOR CORTRA SITE STUDIO
VCIX introduced ObjectXplorer, a graphical user interface for its Cortra Site Studio software. The uniqueness of ObjectXplorer lies in its object-oriented approach to the editing and management of web-based content. Articles, photographs, multimedia presentations, and other industry formats for web publishing are managed as flexible objects using ObjectXplorer. In addition to greatly simplifying the task of editors and website designers, ObjectXplorer makes it unnecessary to develop new and separate GUI’s for each individual project. ObjectXplorer not only speeds development time but also enables VCIX to provide customers with a single user interface for all of the web-based applications that Cortra currently provides: a portal manager, a classified ad manager, a digital asset manager, an intranet, an extranet and an e-commerce application for integration with on-line shops and stores. Cortra Site Studio enables nontechnical staff to control all aspects of a web site’s content management, without the need for programmers or skilled technicians. A wide range of objects including text, images, and streaming media can be easily published, archived, scheduled, and managed, thereby producing a dynamic, robust, and scalable site that is easy to maintain and to adapt to changing business requirements. The Cortra software includes built-in support for XML. www.vcix.com
VIGNETTE TEAMS WITH VIRAGE
Virage, Inc. announced that it has joined forces with Vignette Corp., Sun Microsystems and 12 other partners to define enterprise requirements for content management. The group has created the eXtended Content Management (XCM) Alliance – a one-stop destination for companies looking for comprehensive content management solutions for building online businesses. The alliance intends to create and define the standard criteria for content management solutions and help companies develop a framework for evaluating their various business needs to create fully-integrated, end-toend solutions. In addition, it plans to allow customers to contact one source when buying the highest quality content management solutions available that are extensible, scalable and easily integrated. The XCM Alliance brings together vendors from the three major categories that make up the content management world: Content Development Management, Application Content Management and Content Delivery/Acceleration Management. Classifying content management applications in this way is designed to enable customers to make faster, smarter purchasing decisions. www.vignette.com , www.virage.com
SOFTWARE AG TO ACQUIRE SAGA SYSTEMS
Software AG and SAGA Systems Inc. announced that Software AG will acquire all outstanding common stock in SAGA Systems for US$11.50 per SAGA Systems share in cash, for a total transaction value of approximately US$360 million. (Until March 1997, SAGA Systems was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Software AG, at which time the senior management of SAGA Systems together with Thayer Capital acquired 90% of the share capital.) SAGA’s markets and services Software AG’s products in North and South America, Japan and Israel. In addition, SAGA Systems licenses and services its own enterprise application integration product, Sagavista. With the acquisition of SAGA, Software AG will gain direct access to the large customer base in North and South America, Japan and Israel. The combined sales force will provide Software AG with a platform for accelerating growth of its Electronic Business products in the North American market. Software AG will combine the North American operations of Software AG and SAGA Systems into a single operating unit. Software AG, with its new headquarters in Reston, VA. and a major branch office in San Ramon, CA, will be present in 14 major business locations across the U.S. Software AG expects to incur a one-time cost of up to Euro 20 million in 2001. The transaction is expected to be significantly revenue and earnings enhancing to Software AG, excluding one-time costs. The acquisition of SAGA Systems is expected to close in Q1 2001. www.softwareag.com , www.sagasoftware.com
WORLDWEB.NET & IBM PARTNER ON E-RETAILER SOLUTIONS
worldweb.net, Inc. and IBM Global Services (IGS) announce a partnership in which IGS will bundle Expressroom I/O into its e-Commerce for Retail solution. IBM’s e-Commerce for Retail solution is a bundled software, hardware, and services solution designed to provide a full-function, productionready, e-Commerce web site to customers who desire an efficient, scaleable, and reliable e- Commerce presence. This solution provides the essential elements of a retail e-Commerce application, enabling a customer to quickly implement a functional site using a combination of technologies. Expressroom I/O will be used with Web- Sphere and WebSphere Commerce, as a core component of IBM’s e-Commerce for Retail solution. Within this framework, customers will be able to easily create, manage, deploy, and deliver their content in one complete e-Commerce solution. Content is seen as an essential component of this offering, and worldweb.net’s Expressroom I/O is the chosen solution to meet the demanding content management needs of the IBM Global Services e-Commerce for Retail customers. www.worldweb.net, www.ibm.com
RIOLABS UNVEILS RIOTRADE 2.0
RioLabs Inc. announced the availability of RioTrade 2.0, a solution that enables rapid integration of suppliers into e-marketplaces. RioTrade 2.0 allows faster time-to-market for suppliers who need to rapidly integrate with e-marketplaces of their choice, and with online buyers. RioTrade’s technology uses a virtual file system that links enterprise information sources with applications through a graphical interface – without writing any code. Version 2.0 includes: Commerce One xCBL support, Ariba cXML support, SAP support, EDI support with pre-built XML-EDI maps, Windows 2000 Datacenter Server support, and 3-5 day implementation. RioLabs’ offering helps e-marketplaces deliver on the promise of B2B e-commerce by quickly enabling the supply side of the equation. RioTrade quickly enables companies who want to establish electronic trading relationships with business partners by mapping disparate enterprise systems to XML-based transactions. This technology offers customers performance, reliability and scalability for automated transactions. RioTrade 2.0 includes support for existing EDI systems, allowing suppliers to maximize existing EDI investments. It handles all EDI formats, including ANSI X12 and EDIFACT. RioLabs also supports EDI applications such as TIE Commerce, GE Global Exchange Services, Sterling Commerce, Peregrine Systems and Compaq-DEC. www.riolabs.com