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Sun-Netscape Alliance Supports XML E-Commerce

Sun-Netscape Alliance Expands Plans for Integrating XML Into E-Commerce Applications and Services

Alliance's Continued Support for RosettaNet Will Help Enable Collaborative Business Processes for E-Commerce

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California. June 11, 1999.

Furthering its commitment to providing e-commerce applications and services that leverage the strengths of XML, the Sun-Netscape Alliance today reaffirmed its support for the RosettaNet consortium and other key organizations including CommerceNet, or OASIS that are helping to define the industry's XML standards for business-to-business electronic commerce processes. The Alliance also described its plan to integrate XML support across its family of e-commerce applications for commerce exchange, online procurement, online selling and online bill presentment and payment.

In a related announcement, RosettaNet announced its commitment to providing an XML standard for live product implementations by February 2, 2000. The Sun-Netscape Alliance, which has executive representation in the consortium, is supporting this timeline and has agreed to collaborate with the other RosettaNet board members to align business processes to support the organization's XML standard.

American Express' Global Procurement organization is testing an online catalog solution that incorporates a beta version of RosettaNet s XML-based Partner Interface Processes and Netscape ECXpert.

"American Express is supporting RosettaNet's objectives to build a common language and architecture for e-commerce dialogue in business-to-business procurement through participation as a buying organization in an eConcert pilot," said Dan Himes, director of global procurement systems and support at American Express. "The pilot incorporates support for XML and leverages applications such as Netscape ECXpert to enable online commerce exchanges."

"XML is a foundational step for companies to align their business processes and improve interactions with partners and customers," said Steve Savignano, vice president and general manager of the application products division for the Sun-Netscape Alliance. "The Alliance's support for RosettaNet and similar industry consortiums will help streamline adoption of common XML standards to facilitate cross-company electronic commerce."

XML is designed to facilitate the exchange of online data and be flexible to fit the individual needs of an enterprise. The language provides a medium to identify Web content such as e-commerce transactions, catalogs with multimedia content, text and pictures so that it can be read automatically. Details of the Alliance's plans to implement industry-standard XML support into its e-commerce applications follows.

Commerce Exchange:

Netscape ECXpert, an application that enables the exchange of commerce information between business systems of the partners, supplier and customer, will provide an XML interface for sending and receiving XML documents, including support for implementing RosettaNet eConcert Partner Internet Processes. The Alliance has built an XML interface within the Netscape ECXpert application, providing native support for sending and receiving XML documents. For example, upon receipt of an XML document, the XML interface will invoke appropriate Netscape ECXpert functions and services so that the relevant data within the XML document can be processed and exchanged with an external partner or an internal application. Netscape ECXpert with XML support will be available to customers this summer.

Online Procurement and Selling:

Netscape BuyerXpert will leverage XML features within Netscape EXCpert to help link a company's internal procurement function with the procurement system of its external suppliers. Netscape BuyerXpert supports XML as a standard mechanism for catalog content exchange.

The Alliance also has been working with the charter members of the recently announced Sun-Netscape Alliance Supplier Network to define XML-based catalog file exchange formats that would allow customers to receive catalog feeds directly from suppliers in a standard way. Supplier catalog content will be available in XML format for Netscape BuyerXpert customers this summer via the Sun-Netscape Alliance Supplier Network.

Netscape SellerXpert, a powerful business-to-business online selling application, will support XML by leveraging Netscape ECXpert's capabilities. The Alliance plans to unveil its complete XML strategy for online selling in the near future.

Online Bill Presentment and Payment:

Netscape BillerXpert today standardizes on XML for all data loading including membership, account data and billing data as it is translated from print streams. The Alliance plans to expand its use of XML within Netscape BillerXpert for greater interoperability with other applications and greater flexibility in meeting customized presentation needs in vertical markets.

About the Sun-Netscape Alliance

America Online, Inc. and Sun Microsystems, Inc. formed the Sun-Netscape Alliance to provide easy to deploy, comprehensive enterprise and e-commerce solutions to business partners and other companies competing in today's Net Economy. The Alliance product portfolio provides customers with the industry's most scalable, integrated infrastructure software and a family of production ready e-commerce applications. The products are offered on the industry's most widely available product platforms, including DEC, HP, IBM, Linux, SGI, Microsoft Windows, and Sun. The Alliance software product portfolio includes: messaging and calendar, collaboration, Web, application, directory, and certificate servers. The Alliance also offers a family of production-ready applications for e-commerce, including commerce exchange, procurement, selling, and billing.

About America Online, Inc.

Founded in 1985, America Online, Inc., based in Dulles, Virginia, is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies, and e-commerce services. America Online, Inc. operates: two worldwide Internet services, America Online, with more than 17 million members, and CompuServe, with approximately 2 million members; several leading Internet brands including ICQ and Digital City, Inc.; the Netscape Netcenter and AOL.COM portals; and the Netscape Navigator and Navigator Communicator browsers. Through its strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems, the Company develops and offers easy-to-deploy, end-to-end e-commerce and enterprise solutions for companies operating in the Net Economy.

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision, "The Network is The Computer," has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. to its position as a leading provider of high quality hardware, software and services for establishing enterprise-wide intranets and expanding the power of the Internet. With more than $11 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 150 countries and on the World Wide Web at

About America Express

As a buyer in the Information Technology arena, American Express' Global Procurement organization is committed to leveraging electronic commerce to improve the purchasing process. A recognized leader in strategic procurement practices, American Express' Global Procurement organization is a founding member of RosettaNet, and an active participant in a number of standards organizations across many industries.

American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.

SOURCE: Sun-Netscape Alliance

Prepared by Robin Cover for the The SGML/XML Web Page archive.

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