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Edge Side Includes (ESI)

Industry Leaders Co-Author Specification for Dynamic Assembly of Web Applications and Content

Akamai, ATG, BEA Systems, Circadence, Digital Island, Fort Point Partners, IBM, Interwoven, <kpe>, Macromedia, Mirror Image, Open Market, Oracle, SilverStream, and Vignette Promote Edge Side Includes (ESI) as Open Specification.

New York, NY, USA. May 15, 2001.

Leaders in the Application Server, Content Infrastructure, Content Management, Technology Strategy and Integration, and Content Delivery Network (CDN) industries announced today their support for Edge Side Includes (ESI), a simple markup language used to define Web page fragments for dynamic assembly and delivery of Web applications at the network edge.

Unique to ESI is a mechanism for managing content transparently across Application Server solutions, Content Infrastructure, Content Management Systems and CDNs. As a result, ESI enables companies to develop Web applications once and choose at deployment time where the application should be assembled - on the application server, the content infrastructure, the content management system or the content delivery network, thus reducing complexity, development time and deployment costs.

Akamai, ATG, BEA Systems, Circadence, Digital Island, IBM, Interwoven, Oracle, and Vignette have co-authored the specification as a proposed open language for creating a uniform programming model that facilitates interoperability of ESI-compliant applications across multiple vendor implementations. In addition, Fort Point Partners, <kpe>, Macromedia, Mirror Image, Open Market, and SilverStream have endorsed ESI as a proposed specification to provide more flexible and cost-effective solutions to their customers.

"The delivery of dynamic content from the edge of the network is one of the more difficult technological challenges," said Rob Batchelder, Research Director at Gartner. "It is essential that businesses have the ability to move database and application logic from centralized data centers to distribution points closer to their end users. When they can, businesses will begin to more fully realize performance improvements, bandwidth savings and increased efficiencies."

"We support the development of an open specification that will enable the application server, content management server and content delivery technologies we use to integrate seamlessly, enhancing the total performance of truly dynamic Web pages and applications from the edge of the Internet," said Joe Seibert, CIO at Viacom. "ESI will simplify how we create and operate our websites, and will make it easier to reduce our infrastructure costs while our customers enjoy the fastest and most reliable delivery of dynamic content and applications running on our website."

"The industry is ready for the adoption of a uniform method to express, assemble, and invalidate cacheable and non-cacheable elements of a Web site," said Marty Boos, Chief Architect and Vice President of Information Systems at Digital River. "The introduction of a common, simple markup language that allows developers to build Web pages and applications in HTML fragments that can then be dynamically assembled into complete, personalized pages, makes it easier for us to create and manage our 9,000 Web sites and improve the experience for our customers. This technology will enable Digital River to cache static and dynamic content either locally or remotely on the edge of the Internet."

"Our goal is to continue to extend the richness and functionality of our site while ensuring the highest levels of performance," said Eric Schvimmer, vice president of technology at "That requires being able to deliver dynamic Web content in a reliable manner, while also maximizing the efficiency by which constantly changing and personalized content reaches our end users. We are in support of an open specification that enables application server infrastructure and content delivery capabilities to interoperate for, not only a good user experience, but reduced total cost of ownership."

For more information on ESI, including a draft of the specification, an ESI Overview and technical documents, please visit

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Industry leaders who are promoting the ESI specification have provided the following quotes:

"ESI represents a true paradigm shift for how enterprise applications will be written and deployed in the future," said Danny Lewin, CTO at Akamai Technologies, Inc. "The ability to separate the presentation logic from the business logic has traditionally been unique to every Web application. ESI standardizes this approach amongst all the systems within a company's Web infrastructure, enabling increased efficiency and reduced complexity in the development and deployment of next-generation Web applications."

"ATG drives some of the largest Java-based Web sites in the world. Our customers are demanding massive scalability, and as such, we see Edge Side Includes (ESI) as another key element in our strategy to deliver personalization and scenario-driven applications on an Internet consumer scale," said Joe Chung, CTO of ATG. "As the number of users and devices continues to dramatically increase, we see this as an opportunity to promote an important industry-standard that provides customers with high-performance Web applications."

"ESI leverages core strengths of the BEA WebLogic platform---rich support for content generation, caching, and replication, all through Java Server Pages," said Scott Dietzen, CTO of the BEA E-Commerce Server Division. "WebLogic's success is the result of BEA consistently marrying technological innovation with the investment protection that comes from industry standards. With ESI, applications can be redeployed for higher performance without changing either the web content or the business logic, fitting directly into BEA's mission to deliver the fastest, most flexible platform for e-business."

"ESI is a logical step towards addressing the problems facing Internet users today," said Michael Moniz, President, Founder and CEO of Circadence Corporation. "We at Circadence Corporation welcome this new standard as complementary to our own dynamic content acceleration service, Conductor QoS."

"Digital Island is pleased to join other industry leaders who have added their support to this important initiative," said Andrew Swart, vice president of Engineering, Digital Island, Inc. "We believe that ESI will accelerate the pace of integrating content delivery with transaction systems and other essential parts of e-business, and improve the flow of information over the Internet. We also believe that this is a significant step in making content delivery a universal part of the Web."

"Companies that want to maximize revenue through their Internet technology investments recognize that a client's experience must be efficient and persuasive. Striking a balance between rapid delivery and customized content is central to successful eSelling," said James Roche, Co-President and CEO, Fort Point Partners Inc.

"E-businesses have needed a simple, open way to separate content delivery from content generation, while also addressing the assembly and acceleration of dynamic content," said Willy Chiu, VP of High Volume Websites, IBM Software Group, IBM Corporation. "As an industry standard, ESI offers e-businesses future cost savings by reducing the infrastructure required to deliver fast, scalable and fault-tolerant applications, and represents a first step towards how Web dynamic web applications will be deployed. IBM looks forward to working with other industry leaders to support ESI as an open standard."

"With ESI, companies looking to offer a compelling online experience can develop rich and dynamic websites without risking degradations in availability and response time," said Jack Jia, senior vice president of engineering, Interwoven, Inc. "Our broad Content Infrastructure product suite will support ESI and we look forward to enabling users throughout the enterprise to easily capture, manage and test ESI-compliant code and content."

"Macromedia is always looking for ways to make life easier for our developers as they create dynamic Web applications that deliver great user experiences," said Jeremy Allaire, chief technology officer, Macromedia. "By supporting ESI, we are empowering our developers to create highly-responsive Web applications that can take advantage of tight integration between our market-leading dynamic content solutions and technologies at the edge of the network."

"By supporting the ESI standards initiative, Open Market is reaffirming our long commitment to offer high-performance, dynamic delivery solutions at the lowest total cost of ownership," said BC Krishna, chief technology officer at Open Market. "ESI is a clear extension of our open standards development strategy, augmenting the benefits our customers obtain from their J2EE application server infrastructures. And for those customers using Open Market's delivery-enhancing Satellite Server, performance will be even greater."

"As one of the co-developers of ESI, we are pleased to be working with Akamai and other industry leaders to standardize this specification," said Rene Bonvanie, vice president of Oracle9i marketing at Oracle Corporation. "By extending the built-in caching capability in Oracle9i Application Server to support ESI, it will be even easier, faster, and cheaper for our customers to develop and deploy applications that are optimized to deliver dynamic Web content at top speed. And, because Oracle is the first application server vendor to offer support for ESI, Oracle9i Application Server customers will be the first to take advantage of this breakthrough technology."

"At SilverStream, we continuously look for opportunities to increase the performance and scalability of applications built on top of our J2EE-certified application server," said Kim Sheffield, vice president of eBusiness technologies at SilverStream Software. "The JESI specification will enable our customers to seamlessly integrate high-performance, distributing caching into their applications. In addition, standards such as JESI and J2EE help to deliver flexible, future-proof solutions to our customers."

"As an early pioneer and the recognized industry-leader in managing and delivering dynamically generated content, Vignette has long recognized the importance of providing technology that is designed to improve Web site and Web application performance," said Bill Daniel, senior vice president and general manager of application products at Vignette. "Vignette's support for the Edge Side Includes specification will help our customers improve performance and reduce their total cost of ownership by enabling them to use ESI-enabled applications along with other current industry-standards such as Microsoft WindowsDNA and .NET as well as and Sun's J2EE and Java."

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See the discussion and references.

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