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Kelly Hankins
Tel: 650-858-1930 x225
E-mail: kelly@commerce.net


CommerceNet Advocates XML

Industry-Leading Consortium Launches XML Demonstration Program for Internet Commerce

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA, August 21, 1997 – CommerceNet, the premier industry association for promoting and building global electronic commerce solutions on the Internet, believes that XML may just be the "killer application" needed to open up the Worldwide Web for electronic commerce. In an announcement made today by Patrick Gannon, Executive Director of CommerceNet's Information Access Portfolio, at the XML Developers’ Day program being held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, CommerceNet gave its full support to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) development of the Working Draft Requirements for the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and launched its international industry initiative to demonstrate commercial viability of XML in Internet Commerce.

"CommerceNet believes that XML unlocks the potential of the Worldwide Web for electronic commerce," stated Randall C. Whiting, President and CEO of CommerceNet. "While HTML gave us the ability to present information on the Web, it didn’t do anything to help us understand how to use that information. With XML, we have the potential to create powerful objects that will form the basis of online commerce."

The CommerceNet initiative is designed to close the time gap between the development of industry standards and implementation of open, interoperable applications in the electronic commerce arena. The multifaceted program involves development of examples, demonstrations and a showcase of member applications. The goal is to accelerate the adoption of XML as a key technology for the realization of efficient Internet Commerce. One of the key facets of this effort will be to demonstrate how a buyer's need for comparison shopping and a merchant's need for brand differentiation can both be achieved using open, non-proprietary technology standards.

The CommerceNet program is made up of three strategic projects:

XML Catalogs & DTDs. Develop example product catalogs for multiple vendors of similar products using XML and associated Document Type Definitions (DTDs). This activity will also provide a roadmap for members, to show the role of various XML tools (editors, parsers and browsers) in the authoring, publishing and use of XML product catalogs.

iMarkets. Build a demonstration virtual marketplace which utilizes the multiple vendor XML catalogs with standard DTDs and allows shoppers to search for products across vendors by specifying product and merchant attributes.

XML/EDI. Create demonstration testbeds to showcase the use of XML-based product descriptions in EDI transactions. CommerceNet's Information Access Portfolio and EDI & Network Services Portfolio will jointly sponsor development of examples to demonstrate XML/EDI solutions.

In support of this effort, CommerceNet is announcing the formation of the XML/EDI Task Force which will hold its initial meeting on Tuesday, September 16, 1997, during CommerceNet's portfolio and member meetings at TechMart in Santa Clara, California. Companies interested in joining this Task Force should contact Rik Drummond (drummond@commerce.net) or Patrick Gannon (gannon@commerce.net).

XML is creating much excitement in the Internet community as the new meta-language for describing complex Internet web sites. Patrick Gannon commented, "our members are interested, not only in learning about the latest developments in Internet technology, but they also want concrete examples of how the technology can be applied in their electronic commerce endeavors."

About CommerceNet

CommerceNet Consortium is the premier industry association for businesses using the Internet for business or developing electronic commerce applications. Launched in April 1994 in Silicon Valley, CA, its membership has grown to more than 500 companies and organizations worldwide. With consortium offices and programs in 13 countries they support leading companies who are transforming the Internet into a global electronic marketplace. CommerceNet can be contacted at Tel: 650-858-1930; Fax: 650-858-1936; URL: <http://www.commerce.net>.

About W3C

The World Wide Web Consortium was founded in 1994 to develop common protocols for the evolution of the World Wide Web. W3C is an international industry consortium, jointly hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory for Computer Science [MIT/LCS] in the United States; the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique [INRIA] in Europe; and the Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus in Asia. The W3C can be contacted at Tel: 617-253-2613; Fax: 617-258-5999; URL: <http://www.w3.org>.


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