Sterling Commerce Gives Gentran NewLook, XML

In an effort to provide an intuitive graphical interface for AS/400 e-commerce applications, Sterling Commerce Inc. (Columbus, Ohio) has chosen NewLook -- an application integration tool designed by Look Software (Melbourne, Australia) -- to graphically enable Sterling's Gentran:Server product.

Sterling Commerce evaluated AS/400 system modernization software for a period of more than six months before selecting Look Software's NewLook, according to published reports.

The NewLook tool is designed to provide dynamic 5250 data stream recognition and supports both TCP/IP and SNA. The product's dynamic architecture provides for a real-time environment for instant Web-enablement, extension and integration of AS/400 applications. NewLook is also dynamic in the sense that it graphically enables existing AS/400 applications instantly, at execution time. These applications can then be integrated with other desktop, network and browser-based applications.

Sterling Commerce's decision to work closely with Look Software comes on the heals of its announcement to provide an optional data transformation engine for Gentran:Server to support XML (eXtensible Markup Language). Support for XML is expected to coexist in the same mapping and translation components that currently provide support for global EDI standards and proprietary message formats.

"XML is rapidly extending the reach of e-commerce to a broader audience of small and medium-sized businesses and to a rich set of new business applications," says J. Brad Sharp, Sterling Commerce's COO. "Yet, as standards bodies, industry consortiums and software vendors begin to define their own XML standards, our customers are seeking a means to convert from one XML implementation to another and to support applications and commerce community members that are not XML-enabled. GENTRAN:Server now gives our customers the ability to leverage new XML technology, while continuing to support traditional forms of document interchange."

Sterling Commerce made both the NewLook and XML announcements at its EC Strategies '99 conference in Chicago.

--L. Greenemeier