Active Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASWX), a provider of e-business infrastructure
software products, and Acta Technology, Inc., an e-commerce data platform
vendor, today announced a partnership that hopes to enable real-time business-to-business
The combined solution can enable organizations to access enterprise data
over the Internet, providing a real-time, online dialogue with customers
and partners. By providing a flow of information across a wide variety
of data sources, organizations may be able to rapidly access the critical
information they need for transactions and business analysis - which can
lead to profitable increases in customer satisfaction and sales.
to the companies, in the Internet Economy, organizations must use new
business channels - including e-marketplaces and direct e-commerce over
the Web - to operate faster and more effectively. These new channels are
creating heavy demands for detailed and historical data such as order
status, product availability, year-to-date purchases, open invoices, early-payment
incentives, etc., that is locked away in back-office systems. Fast, easy
access to this data improves efficiency throughout the enterprise and
the entire supply chain. The combination of Active Software's ActiveWorks
Integration System, and the Acta eCommerce Data Platform, may enable organizations
to gain rapid access to information from a wide variety of data sources
to meet the data-intensive demands of B2B e-commerce.
extended enterprise needs frequent, real-time access to all types of pre-
and post-order information across a variety of different systems and applications,"
said Acta President and CEO Carol Mills Baldwin. "By working with a leading
eBusiness infrastructure company such as Active Software, we can provide
enterprises with an integrated scalable solution for their eCommerce needs."
Under the terms of the agreement, Acta will develop an ActiveWorks Adapter
for the Acta eCommerce Data Platform. The Acta Adapter will enable organizations
to access data in real-time from a wide variety of sources including Oracle,
PeopleSoft, SAP and IBM mainframe systems using CICS and IMS. With this
solution, companies will be able to provide rapid, click-speed response
times to serve the multitude of customers and vendors who request information
via the Web, leading to profitable increases in customer satisfaction
and sales. The Acta Adapter is expected to be available from Acta in the
fall of 2000.
"Active Software provides proven solutions for automating end-to-end business
processes both within the enterprise and with customers and B2B trading
partners across the Internet," said Chet Kapoor, Vice President, Business
Development, Active Software. "Real B2B eCommerce requires automation
of business processes across a range of systems in real-time. Our combined
solution with Acta is being designed to meet these rigorous requirements
and allows our customers to very quickly realize the full benefits of
end-to-end B2B eCommerce."
Acta has a strong presence in the extract/transform/load field in the
vertical area of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Active Software
is strong in the area of enterprise application integration. The combination
of the two should provide a compelling solution to e-business when used
with back end ERP systems. The challenge will be to create an integrated
product that is not a "suite", but a truly combined solution. What Acta
refers to as an adapter is nothing more than a program module coded against
both vendor's API's in order to allow the exchange of data. Whether the
adapter is efficient and has good performance is another question.
Customers investigating B2B e-commerce solutions should include the Active/Acta
solution set on a long list of candidates for a technology selection.
The vendors should be questioned as to how strong the alliance is (i.e.,
are they co-developing the Acta adapter), and when the adapter will be
generally available (currently stated as "Fall of 2000"). Customers needing
a quicker solution should investigate vendors already in the market with
the required technology (i.e., Informatica and Informix/Ardent).