Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 ECXpert Available: EDI over Internet






ECXpert Fully Supports Open And Secure EDI Internet Standards


SUNNYVALE, CA -- May 19, 1997 -- Actra, a joint venture between GE Information Services and Netscape Corporation, today announced immediate availability of ECXpert™, the first product in Actraís CrossCommerce™ portfolio of Internet commerce application software. ECXpert addresses the needs of traditional Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) programs as well as providing a foundation for emerging EDI on the Internet. ECXpert includes advanced functions for communications, data translation, document tracking, and trading partner relationship management. ECXpert is the first EDI software product available designed from the ground up on interoperable Internet standards. ECXpert is also the first EDI software product to use Netscape server products as core components and the first EDI product to have a Java user interface.

ECXpert provides communications through open, standards-compliant support of FTP, SMTP, and HTTP. To provide security and data integrity, ECXpert employs Secure Socket Layer (SSL), RSAís S/MIME for data encryption and partner authentication and X.509 v.3 certificates. ECXpert is fully compliant with the Internet standards defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) EDI Work Group, EDIINT, and is the first product commercially available that has successfully completed all levels of interoperability testing sponsored by CommerceNet and led by Actra.

"With ECXpert and the Internet, EDI is now simpler and far less expensive than using traditional EDI software. It enables organizations to extend their reach to trading partners that do not have EDI programs as well as leverage the existing EDI programs for more cost effective, streamlined Internet commerce programs," said Jim Sha, President and CEO of Actra. "The pay by the drink model has been challenged by ECXpert and the cost efficiency and openness of the Internet which encourages volume use. Many existing Netscape customers have been searching for an EDI product that shares the same Internet standards-based architecture as their existing intranet infrastructures, to create an extranet environment. ECXpert is that new product."

By providing integration to legacy applications and databases, ECXpert enables organizations to leverage and extend their existing software investment. ECXpert can map between most data object types, including traditional EDI standards and proprietary data formats. ECXpert enables companies to pass data from an existing EDI system directly into ECXpert for transmission to the trading partner, allowing companies to use investments in current EDI mapping programs.

Robert Chlebowski, Senior Vice President, Electronic Commerce, at Wells Fargo Bank was instrumental in the decision to use Actraís ECXpert product. " Wells Fargo is a significant player in EDI and is committed to business-to-business electronic commerce. The fact that Actra is driving EDIINT standards to enable secure, interoperable Internet standards and that ECXpert is built upon those security standards was a huge benefit to our customers. Proprietary systems that require our partners and customers to have the same software as us, in order to communicate, has never been a satisfactory option. Actra ECXpert offers an open, secure alternative that makes the Internet a viable business alternative for communication. We need a product that will enable us to carry out a complete commerce cycle from our back-end systems through to any number of small, middle market or large corporate customers needing to enact payment. Wells Fargo looks forward to working with businesses interested in electronic commerce solutions to meet their business needs, and as an early adopter of Actra ECXpert stands ready to assist companies with their implementations."

"As a leading internetworking company, we leverage Internet technologies such as ECXpert to remove the barriers of distance and time when conducting business," said Maynard Webb, CIO of Bay Networks. "Our testing shows that by integrating ECXpert with our SAP system we will be able to seamlessly transact business with our key partners either directly over the Internet or via EDI. We believe this will drastically reduce our operating expenses and increase efficiency, allowing us to more tightly focus our resources on our core competencies."


A Total, Integrated Solution

Through ECXpertís Java-based user interface, customers can take advantage of the core functional components of the ECXpert product including communications and security, activity tracking capabilities, including non-repudiation, systems monitoring, document management and trading relationship controls. Actra ECXpert also leverages underlying base technology such as the Netscape FastTrack Server, Netscape Mail Server, Netscape Navigator Gold, TSI Mercator System, Oracle7 Workgroup Server, Seagate Crystal Reports, RSA S/MIME encryption and authentication, and VeriSign Digital IDs.

The Java user interface enables organizations to quickly establish precise, cross-enterprise relationships, document workflow and user privileges across multiple platforms. By leveraging popular Web browsers, ECXpert offers ease of installation, administration, and report generation to systems administrators. "Using ECXpert is as easy as clicking on a bookmark in your browser," said Actra product manager Lincoln Yarbrough. "Now, EDI users can migrate to an operating environment that is next-generation."

"GE Information Services looks forward to working closely with Actra to help companies reap the benefits of Internet commerce," said Bruce Chovnick, vice president of Global Internet Solutions, GE Information Services. "The combination of Actra's software and GE's global systems integration and Internetworking expertise creates a potent Internet commerce solution for the business marketplace."


Pricing and Availability

ECXpert runs on Sun Solaris 2.5.1 systems and Intel-based Windows NT 4.0 and 3.51 workstations and servers. ECXpert pricing is based on a per processor pricing model, with final pricing to be determined by Actraís distribution channel. ECXpert is available immediately through Actra's master distributors, including GE Information Services and Netscape Communications. For more information call Netscape at 1 800 638 7483, GEIS at 1-800-560-4347 or Actra at 408 542 3183 and check out Actraís website at Outside the US and Canada please contact a Netscape or GEIS representative.


About Actra

Founded in April 1996, Actra is a joint venture between Netscape Communications Corporation and GE Information Services (GEIS). Benefiting from GEISí market expertise as the worldís leading provider of business-to-business Internet commerce services and Netscapeís leading position in developing and marketing software for the Internet, Actra provides next-generation Internet commerce applications solutions for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer commerce markets. Additionally, Actra is taking an active role in promoting open standards for Internet commerce.


CrossCommerce and ECXpert are trademarks of Actra. All other products mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.


Media Contacts:


Suzanne Burnip

(408) 542-3181

Golin/Harris Technologies

Becky Wood

(415) 904-7000, x276




About Actra | Products | Services | Partners | News | Careers | Home