Interchange Connects AS/400 and Trading Partners

Cyclone Commerce (Scottsdale, Ariz.) developed its Interchange Trading Engine with two principles in mind: 1) communication with trading partners is crucial to business, and 2) you can’t control what system your trading partners decide to use.

“My feeling is that you can’t dictate to your trading partners what platform, what security protocol, what Internet protocol they can use,” says Rick Hofmann, director of product management for Cyclone. “But you still have to be able to communicate in spite of that. And our product really gives them the freedom to do that.”

Cyclone recently announced that they have expanded the platform to support Linux and AS/400 in the latest release, Interchange 2.3. Cyclone sees this as a critical means of helping companies build networks of trading partners with disparate platforms and protocols.

“Our goal is providing technology that would allow them to create communities, create relationships,” Hofmann says. “Our introduction of AS/400 just further demonstrates our commitment to open access to the architecture that is best for your company. Obviously, AS/400 has a huge base of support, and this really is the first product of this kind available to them.”

Interchange is 100 percent Java-based software that allows a user to encrypt and send business data securely across the Internet among trading partners. In addition to AS/400, it supports nearly all platforms, including Windows 95/98/NT Workstation or Server, Solaris, Linux, AIX and HP-UX, and is compatible with security services such as RSA, VeriSign, Entrust and others.

With partner updating and grouping capabilities, trading community sponsors can integrate Cyclone Interchange with Windows-based applications, while IBM MQSeries support offers users additional transport, internal integration and messaging options. Companies can more easily add trading partners of various sizes and with different information technology infrastructures. Cyclone Interchange extends IBM’s MQSeries messaging solution to Internet-based trading communities, to allow companies to connect to more business partners without having to re-engineer existing network architecture and business processes.

Historically, Hofmann says, Cyclone’s product has been used by companies running primarily EDI with a value-added network. Interchange allows such business to use just the Internet to transfer data, without the extra expense of a private network.

“Eliminating the value-added network and eliminating those private charges can result in tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings,” he says.

Hofmann says Cyclone decided to add support for the AS/400 and Linux platforms because it saw demand increasing among its customers for a more versatile solution. As companies broadened their “trading communities,” he says, it became necessary to offer a solution that was as adaptable as possible to a variety of different IT infrastructures.

“The reason we have the capability for so many platforms is directly a result of our customers saying they needed all these things,” Hofmann says. “Our trading engine offers the greatest breadth of trading support … that’s our greatest value proposition for our customers.”

Interchange 2.3 with support for Linux and AS/400 platforms is now shipping. It is available in two editions: Enterprise Edition for multiple trading partners and Solo Edition for single trading partner relationships. Subscription and license pricing are based on the platform used.

Related Information:

  • Cyclone Commerce (new window)
  • Interchange Trading Engine Product Overview (new window)