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ARTS Retail Standards Interop

Retail Vendors Stand Behind ARTS Standards

Collaborative Effort Demonstrates Cost-Saving Power of IXRetail and UnifiedPOS

New York, NY, USA. January 08, 2003.

The Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS) will demonstrate the interoperability benefits of IXRetail and UnifiedPOS at the National Retail Federation's 92nd Annual Convention & EXPO, January 12-15, 2003 in New York City. ARTS, a division of the NRF dedicated to creating a barrier-free retail technology environment, will host a pavilion in which retailers can see offerings from a mix of vendors who are dedicated to helping retailers reduce costs by adhering to retail technology standards. The pavilion will also feature other cooperating standards associations that have produced tangible benefits for retailers. The first implementation of POSlog, the standard TLOG for integrating POS to a myriad of related applications, will be previewed in the pavilion as well.

ARTS has developed three standards embraced by the retail industry around the world: (1) Standard Retail Data Model, supporting all retail applications; (2) UnifiedPOS, a detailed, specification for point-of-sale device interfaces; and (3) IXRetail, which provides standard XML schemas to interface applications within the retail enterprise. These standards have been developed through the cooperative efforts of retailers and hardware and software solution providers to reduce the time and cost of implementing retail technology from multiple vendors.

UnifiedPOS and IXRetail Value Demonstrated

The ARTS Pavilion will showcase POS terminals comprised of components from multiple vendors demonstrating the ability to upgrade customer service at the point-of-sale, while minimizing replacement costs or by simply adding new peripherals to existing terminals. Vendors will display a variety of combinations of server platforms, hardware and peripherals, demonstrating the retailer's ultimate freedom-of-choice provided by UnifiedPOS.

The use of UnifiedPOS by an increasing number of hardware and software vendors provides retailers with the freedom to choose best-of-breed components when upgrading their store systems. Having this ability will allow retailers to select a cost-effective total solution made up of the vendors that best meet their business needs. Additionally, retailers will gain the ability to maximize existing investments while adopting newer, more cost-effective technology. "We see UnifiedPOS as a critical requirement for our future to speed deployment and reduce the costs of hardware upgrades and integrations," said Ann McCool, director of store systems for RadioShack.

The newest IXRetail standard, the XML schema, POSlog, (standard TLOG), is the data captured at the point of service, including sales, returns, exchanges, deliveries and customer information. POSlog will reduce the time and cost of integrating POS systems with related applications, such as ERP, inventory, fraud analysis, customer purchase history, big ticket, etc. "The point-of-sale is the most critical system in retail," said Grant Anderson, director of store systems and networks at Garden Ridge. "We feel strongly about POSlog because it will allow us to integrate POS data with our enterprise at a lower cost without jeopardizing accuracy or reliability." Retailers will have the opportunity to see the ease of integrating with POSlog and learn how it can lower technology costs in the ARTS pavilion.

Other IXRetail schemas on display in the ARTS booth will be Digital Receipt, which is an electronic purchase verification transaction that can be used for returns, warranties and analysis of customer purchase patterns. A simulated version of the Remote Equipment Monitoring and Control (REMC) schema, which is scheduled for announcement at NRF, will be available for review. This new series of standard messages provides central operations control of store mechanical equipment including air conditioning, coolers, cooking devices and eventually POS to increase up-time, improving customer service.

"We are very pleased to have the world's leading technology vendors adopting ARTS standards and sponsoring our pavilion," said Richard Mader, executive director of ARTS. "Having four cooperating standards groups in the pavilion sends a clear statement to the industry that standards are important and we can work together to increase speed of availability."

Featured in the ARTS pavilion are a variety of hardware and software vendors that have adopted ARTS standards, including 360Commerce Inc., AfterBOT Inc., CyberData Corporation, IBM Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, NCR Corporation, Retek Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Transtar Systems Inc., Triversity Inc., Ultimate Technology Corporation, and Wincor Nixdorf Inc. Additionally, the booth is sponsored by fellow standards groups The Infrared Data Association (IrDA), The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), Open Applications Group (OAGI) and The Uniform Code Council (UCC), showing cooperation in standards development.

About UnifiedPOS and IXRetail

There are two implementation options of UnifiedPOS available to date. The first is OPOS, which is used for applications running on Windows platforms. The second is JavaPOS for applications running on any platform that supports Java. The implementation of either form of UnifiedPOS can result in greater flexibility for retailers in terms of technology choices, a lower total cost of ownership of those choices, and a faster overall time-to-market in the implementation phase. IXRetail Standards Committees focus on standardizing Extensible Markup Language (XML) messages for exchange between information technology systems that support retail stores. Its initial efforts have centered on creating XML schemas to ease integration of systems that use POS information, which is the most used and important data in retailing.

The exhibit can be viewed during show hours at NRF booth #571. Attendees are invited to stop by the booth to learn more about the standards initiative. In addition, retailers can get an in-depth look into the progress of standards in our industry and hear first-hand how leading retailers are benefiting in an ARTS update session. The session will be part of NRF's Sunday line-up on January 12, 2003 at 11:30 a.m.

The Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS), a division of the National Retail Federation, is a retailer-driven membership organization dedicated to creating an international, barrier-free technology environment for retailers. ARTS was established in 1993 to ensure that technology works to enhance a retailer's ability to develop store level business solutions and avoid situations that limit a retailers' ability to implement change while providing industry standards designed to provide greater value at lower costs.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world's largest retail trade association with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet and independent stores. NRF members represent an industry that encompasses more than 1.4 million U.S. retail establishments, employs more than 20 million people -- about 1 in 5 American workers -- and registered 2001 sales of $3.5 trillion. NRF's international members operate stores in more than 50 nations. In its role as the retail industry's umbrella group, NRF also represents 32 national and 50 state associations in the U.S. as well as 36 international associations representing retailers abroad.

NRF is pleased to grant complimentary registration to editorial staff members of the press. To register online for NRF's 92nd Annual Convention & EXPO, please visit our web site at , or call Ellen Tolley at (202) 626-8189.

For more information about NRF, visit our web site at

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See "ARTS IXRetail."

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