FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Posted at 5:19 PM PT, Apr 16, 1997
Actra's e-commerce offerings to debut in May
By Jim Balderston
A year after formation, Actra Business Systems will
announce its first home-grown products -- tools for
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and electronic commerce --
Actra, a joint venture between Netscape and General
Electric Information Systems (GEIS), leverages Netscape's
Merchant and Publishing Systems as well as GEIS' experience
with EDI and virtual private networks (VPNs).
Netscape has focused its attention on the enterprise
market, leaving the business-to-business and
business-to-consumer electronic-commerce efforts to Actra.
Like its parent, Netscape, which announced its Crossware
software strategy last month, Actra will follow a similar
theme, introducing is product line under the umbrella term
Actra's first product offerings on May 19 will include
ECXpert, an EDI-enabling tool which allows legacy systems to
support EDI, according to Jack Corsello, senior product
manager at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Actra. OrderXpert
Seller and OrderXpert Buyer also will be introduced.
All three products will be used for conducting EDI over
the Internet, as opposed to existing over VPNs. Actra also
took over the stewardship of Netscape's Merchant and
Publishing Systems when the company was formed in May 1996.
It will offer an update to both products later this year.
Version 2.0 of Publishing System is due out in the third
quarter of this year, and will offer document management,
replication, push delivery, as well as one-button
Publishing System 2.0 will also feature support for Java
The next Merchant System release, due possibly by the end
of the year, according to Corsello, will offer a number of
- increased flexibility for store-front presentation;
- customizable back-end services;
- order status monitoring;
- customer profile information; and
- dynamic catalogue presentation.
The Merchant System also will support a number of
customer services, including refunds, credits, and coupons,
as well as order status checking and customer outreach.
Merchant System is available on a number of Unix
platforms. A Windows NT version is in the works, Corsello
"The customers we have are running high-volume sites, and
they are running them on Unix platforms," Corsello said.
Actra LLC in Sunnyvale, Calif., is at (408) 542-3200 and