[January 03, 2001] "IntuiCat uses MartSoft's Open Catalog Protocol and Open Catalog Format (OCF)."
OCP (Open Catalog Protocol), created by MartSoft, is "an XML-based software protocol that enables the exchange of complex data between product catalogs. OCP consists of a language-independent representation of catalog data based on XML 1.0, and a set of protocol opcodes for specifying a wide variety of operations on a catalog. OCP can be used with any other Internet protocols that support transferring textual data. OCP is the protocol that specifies how two processes could interoperate. While the format of the catalog data being exchanged is OCF (Open Catalog Format). OCP is not yet a formal standard, but MartSoft is working on submitting to the W3C and other standards body. However, OCP is freely available for use and redistribution, and is based on open, standards-based technologies such as XML 1.0."
The Open Catalog Protocol is implemented in MartSoft's IntuiCat. IntuiCat is "an Internet ready solution for E-Commerce, including the powerful IntuiCat catalog engine, a XML-capable database, and a Web server. This is a plug-in and play, out-of-box solution, on most popular platforms. Features include: (1) XML-based hierarchical catalog with attributes inheritance; (2) Parametric and full text search; (3) Local and remote catalog interoperability, based on Open Catalog Protocol; (4) Multiple catalog hosting; (5) Multi-dimensional views; (6) Associative linking." MartSoft has developed a Universal Product Yellow Pages (UPYP) online store featuring precise moderated business classified ads; built upon the IntuiCat technology, UPYP matches buyers and sellers automatically." [In MartSoft's scheme] a catalog server is the application that builds and uses the catalog. It waits for client requests to perform operations on the catalog, both the request and response are in XML format. This is especially powerful because XML is expressive, suitable and extensible to represent the complicated product and category information."
"OCF: OCF is an open standard for describing product catalogs and is used to represent, store, and transport product information. The OCF toolbox enables easy conversion to and from other catalog and database formats, which streamlines interoperability. A catalog consists of a hierarchy of product categories. Each product category contains a list of products. Each product is described by a set of attributes which are defined by the product's category. OCF may represent a single product, a single category, or a subset of, or the entire product catalog. OCF is a generic product representation language. It does not define any specific categorization schemes. For instance, OCF does not define the category hierarchy or the product attribute names of a specific catalog. Instead, the user defines them. Therefore, OCF can be used to implement content-specific standards. Attribute inheritance is one of OCF's fundamental features and has a couple of advantages. First, a search for an attribute value on a high-level category can be propagated to the entire product subtree rooted at that category. Therefore, users can efficiently perform searches on any branch of a catalog tree. In addition, attribute inheritance simplifies the category construction process. Since attributes in parent category are automatically inherited, these attributes don't need to be redefined in the newly created category."