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webMethods:News:Press Release

webMethods Leverages XML for Automated E-Commerce

Web Automation Products Built on XML, Paving the Way for 100% Web Alternative to EDI

New York (Java Internet Business Expo, Booth #735.30), August 26, 1997 -- webMethods, Inc. (Fairfax, VA) today announced that the core of its Web Automation technology has been built around the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). webMethods' Web Automation product suite now uses XML to define automated access to Web data and services, and can be used against existing HTML or new XML-based Web resources. These products are already being deployed in Global 2000 corporations, making webMethods one of the first companies with XML applications delivering real business value.

"By combining the power of Java with the flexibility of XML, webMethods' Web Automation products transform the Web from an access medium to an integration platform, providing real business value now and into the future," said Dr. Lew Tucker, director of corporate and ISV relations at JavaSoft.

Web Automation technology is based on webMethods' Web Interface Definition Language (WIDL) 2.0, an XML application that defines Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to Web data and services.

XML is being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Although XML is a recent and ongoing development, leading vendors such as Sun, Netscape, and Microsoft have already committed to supporting XML. XML allows developers to markup data in Web documents so that it is machine-readable. Influential organizations like CommerceNet now believe that XML is the "killer application" needed to make data on the Web useful for electronic commerce.

"WIDL 2.0, as an application of XML, offers powerful new possibilities for automating information exchange over the Web, offering a 100% Web-based alternative to EDI for business-to-business e-commerce," said Phillip Merrick, president of webMethods, Inc.

Web Automation Enables Business to Business E-Commerce Now
E-commerce on the Web has been primarily targeted at end-users; it has in many cases re-introduced manual inefficiencies in business processes. End users are left to manually transcribe data from Web browsers into internal business applications. webMethods' products automate request/response interactions with Web-based services.

How WIDL Enables Web Automation
WIDL, the heart of webMethods' Web Automation technology, describes business objects on the Web and is the basis for generation of application code in Java, C/C++, Visual Basic, and JavaScript. Business objects described with WIDL are accessible via thin-client C libraries, JavaBeans, or an ActiveX control. WIDL enables centralized management of business objects, and insulates client applications from changes in Web-based services. WIDL allows developers to integrate Web access directly into business applications.

Although WIDL is an XML application, it does not require Web content that is formatted in XML. WIDL creates XML definitions over existing HTML content, so companies can take advantage of Web Automation now.

About Web Automation Products
The Web Automation Toolkit Release 2.1 is a graphical environment for generation of Java, JavaScript, C and C++ classes which encapsulate Web resources; it provides an interactive testing environment and utilities for the management of objects representing Web data and services. The Web Automation Reporter quickly and easily pulls data from intranets or the Internet directly into new, aggregated Web pages. Prices begin at $995 per developer seat. To preview sample applications and software, visit the webMethods site at http://www.webmethods.com.

About webMethods, Inc.
webMethods is the first and leading provider of Web automation and integration solutions to the Global 2000. webMethods' Web Automation technology enables business information systems to exchange data with any Web site - automatically - with or without a browser. webMethods' suite of Web Automation products uniquely allow corporations to leverage the real value of Web data, by fully integrating it with mainstream business applications. These award-winning products are in use at leading companies including DHL Airways, Texas Instruments, Aramco and the US Postal Service. Founded in 1996, privately held webMethods, Inc. is based in Fairfax, Virginia.

For more information, contact webMethods Inc., 3975 University Drive, Suite 360, Fairfax, VA 22030. Phone: 703/352-8501; Fax: 703/352-0370; Email: info@webMethods.com; Web: www.webMethods.com


webMethods and the webMethods Automation Toolkit are registered trademarks of webMethods, Inc. All other products are trademarks of their respective owners.

Caren DeWitt
Director of Marketing Communications
Zachary Shess
Cooper/Iverson Marketing

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