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NewsWatch - January, 2000

NewsWatch - January, 2000







IIS Claims Its New Language Is a CF Competitor

Inline Internet Systems recently announced its new Web programming language, iHTML v2.8. The new version adds increased availability across UNIX platforms to its existing Web building capabilities. However, Inline president, Russ Cobbe, claims that while similar to ColdFusion and Microsoft's Active Server Pages, "iHTML is considerably faster and now portable across Windows and UNIX platforms."

Payment Service Introduces ColdFusion Tag

Atomic Software, makers of iAuthorizer, an Internet payment service, announced a ColdFusion tag that allows Web developers to integrate real-time credit card processing into e-commerce enabled Web sites.

"The advantage of a custom tag is that it minimizes the development effort to integrate online credit card processing onto a Web site using ColdFusion. The integration is almost as simple as 'cut and paste'," notes Steven Petrokovich, Atomic's Director of Internet Development. The tag validates the credit card as an acceptable algorithm, passes a valid card to a financial processor and returns the processor response to the Web site.

The ColdFusion interface, named CF-iAuthorizer, is available at the Allaire Developer's Exchange. It is also available as a part of Atomic Software's Application Programming Interface (API) Developers Kit.


Retailers Lack Web Presence, E-Tailers Lack Strategy

According to a recent report from consulting firm Deloitte & Touche, while it may seem that e-commerce sites are sprouting up everywhere on the Web, many traditional retailers and consumer product manufacturers still lack a Web presence.

The study was conducted after a record online holiday shopping season, where many e-tailers turned in record sales results. However, the study shows that traditional retailers with a Web presence lack a Web strategy. Thus, many traditional retailers were shut out of the holiday sales due to delays in launching and maintaining Web sites and the inability to fulfill orders.

The report said that as the Internet is of little or no strategic importance to the majority of survey respondents, a substantial opportunity is being given to those e-tailers who are taking the lead.

Interesting findings from the survey of 400 traditional retailers include: of the two-thirds of respondents who have Web sites, only one-fourth of those said they were selling online, 31% said their sites lack strategic purpose, while another 4% couldn't explain their strategic purpose. Of the companies selling online, 46% are fulfilling orders from the same distribution centers as their retail stores and 30 are fulfilling orders directly from store shelves.

The study concludes that while the solely online e-tailers have defined the business model, traditional retailers aren't that far behind. The companies that will succeed in the long run will define both online and offline strategies.


Allaire Announces Record Results

The Allaire Corp. announced record year-end results and a profitable fourth-quarter. Revenues for the quarter were $18.3 million, a 164% increase over fourth-quarter results from 1998, which were 7.0 million, and a 22% increase over the $15.1 million third-quarter 1999 results.

Year-end results were $55.2 million a 158% increase over 1998's year-end results of $21.4 million.

The results reflect Allaire's growth in the last year, including the acquisitions of Bright Tiger Technologies, Inc., Live Software, Inc., and Valto Systems, Inc., and it's emergence as a software leader in the application server business, which is expected to grow from $453.8 million in 1998 to $2.4 billion in 2003. International Data Corp. ranks Allaire fourth behind Oracle, Sun, and Apple Computer in revenue for application servers. Other competitors in this arena include IBM, Microsoft, and dozens of others.

"1999 was a breakthrough year for Allaire," said David Orfao, Allaire's president and chief executive officer. "This year, we emerged as the leading independent e-business platform provider, enabling both large enterprises and emerging Internet businesses to drive more innovative and profitable online business strategies.

"We've released several new products, most notably Allaire Spectra, a packaged system for content management, e-commerce and personalization, which has exceeded our expectations since it became generally available in December.

"Additionally, our recent acquisitions and new partnerships have extended our strategy of providing a standards-based, open e-business platform that enables companies to build their businesses on the Web. And, as we move forward into 2000, we believe Allaire is very well positioned to take advantage of the huge opportunities in the e-business platform market," said Mr. Orfao.

Two-for-One Split Announced

Allarie Corp.'s Board of Directors recently approved a two-for-one stock split of the company's outstanding shares of common stock. The split is subject to the stockholders increasing the authorized shares at a special meeting of stockholders scheduled for March 13, 2000.

The split would take effect in the form of a stock dividend and would entitle stockholders of record on February 15, 2000, to receive one share for every outstanding share of common stock held on that date. If the stockholders approve the increase on March 13, the pay-out date will be March 14, 2000 and split-adjusted shares will start trading on March 15, 2000.

Studio 4.5, HomeSite 4.5 and CF 4.5 Server Maintenance Updates

Shortly after the New Year, Allaire Corp. identified and resolved specific technical issues with ColdFusion 4.5 Studio and HomeSite 4.5; version 4.5a updates are now available for both products. A number of "Hot Fixes" are also available for ColdFusion 4.5 Server. Allaire strongly recommends that these updates and Hot Fixes be applied to your respective 4.5 product installations.

The Studio 4.5a and HomeSite 4.5a maintenance updates resolve two issues: one that may lead to data loss, and a color-printing issue.

Studio 4.5 Update to 4.5a (12MB):

HomeSite 4.5 Update to 4.5a: (12MB)

ColdFusion 4.5 Server "Hot Fixes," quick downloadable server fixes for specific issues:

Worldwide Allaire Developer Conference 2000

The dates for the the Worldwide Allaire Developer Conference 2000 have been set for November 5 – 8 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC.

To assist in making this year's conference yet another quality event, Allaire needs you to participate in a brief on-line survey to help them shape the technical sessions. Send them your thoughts and win the chance of a free conference pass — a $795 value!

Strategic Valto Acquisition Strengthens Allaire Java Support

Allaire Corp. has acquired Burlington, MA-based, Valto Systems, a leader in Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) server technology. The acquisition will strengthen Allaire's presence in the emerging e-business platform market. It also follows Allaire's acquisition of Live Software in June 1999, which gave Allaire an established base of Java customers, with an estimated 80,000 developers using the Allaire JRun JSP server.

"We're hearing substantial demand from our enterprise customers for additional Java2 server technology," said Jeremy Allaire, Chief Technology Officer of Allaire Corp. "Through the Valto acquisition, we are well positioned to meet the demand. Moreover, this acquisition will allow us to add e-business transaction support across our entire platform, from Allaire ColdFusion to Allaire Spectra."

Allaire will offer a standards-compliant server suite of Java2, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) products that include: a JSP server with full support for the JSP 1.1 and Servlets 2.2 specifications; an EJB server compliant with the EJB 1.1 specification; a full Java transaction server based on the Java Transaction Architecture (JTA) 1.0 specification; and a full Java message queue server based on the Java Messaging Service (JMS) 1.0 specification.

The EJB technology will be leveraged throughout the Allaire e-business platform and new Java technologies will complement, support, and integrate with Allaire's entire product offering.

Allaire will continue selling Valto's product, Ejipt 1.2, and also recently released a public beta version of Ejipt 2.0, which Allaire Beta Testers can download at the Allaire Beta Site.

Valto will move all of its operations to Allaire's headquarters in Cambridge, MA, all Valto employees will join Allaire Corp., and Valto's Founder and CEO, Imre Kifor, will move to Allaire's management team to lead EJB technology development.

MERANT Alliance to Deliver Data Access and Linux-based Integration

Allaire announced a strategic agreement with MERANT, an Enterprise Application Developer, to integrate MERANT's DataDirect® technology with new Linux versions of ColdFusion. This will provide Allaire customers with secure high-availability data access and integration across Linux-based Web applications.

MERANT provides the ColdFusion development environment with a scalable transaction-based connectivity between ColdFusion applications residing on Linux and industry-leading databases including MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL server, Informix, and Sybase.

"MERANT's DataDirect technology was a natural fit for Allaire, providing exceptional performance, scalability and a broad range of database support," said Jack Lull, Vice President for Development for Allaire. "Moreover, MERANT has demonstrated its commitment to support the latest technology features required by our customers such as distributed transactions and a multi-threaded implementation, which are crucial for building high-end, scalable Web applications."

MERANT's DataDirect technology is fundamental to the MERANT Egility Data Integration solution, which lets customers rapidly deliver critical e-business systems across multiple environments.

VP of Business Development Added to Management Team

Allaire Corp. announced the recent addition of George Favaloro to its senior management team. As Vice President of Business Development, Favaloro will manage Allaire's emerging business strategy formulation group, the mergers and acquisition team, and strategic partnerships account team.

"George will make an immediate contribution to our team," said David Orfao, President and Chief Executive Officer of Allaire. "He possesses significant expertise in the field of strategic partnering and marketing Internet solutions to enterprise customers. As a proven industry veteran, George's understanding of the enterprise e-business customer and his strategic vision will help Allaire to thrive in this competitive e-business marketplace."

Previously, Favaloro was Director of Marketing for Compaq Corporation, where he founded and launched Compaq's Internet Solutions Division.


CFCONF '00 Slated for February

Conference to Attract Programmers Interested in CF E-Commerce

Edited by Kristine Glanzer

Rockville, MD — Mark your calendars. The Washington, DC area's second ColdFusion E-Commerce User Conference (CFCONF '00) is only a few weeks away.

On the weekend of February 12 and 13 web developers — beginners and experts alike — will descend on the Rockville area to share techniques for developing successful web sites. According to Michael Smith, President of TeraTech and organizer of the conference, this year's conference is more specialized on e-commerce than last year's event.

"It was important to us to make the conference inexpensive," said Michael. "We felt it was particularly important in this area, with so many government and non-profit employees who might not be able to attend a high priced conference, to make it accessible to everyone. And we are fortunate to have been able to attract some very high level people to speak. It is going to be a highly productive conference for anyone who is interested in ColdFusion E-Commerce."

Last year's conference in June was very well received and brought together 550 people from as far away as Illinois, New York, and Georgia. (See CF Advisor's 1999 conference review.)

This year the two-day conference includes both beginner and advanced topics. Saturday sessions will be geared towards beginning ColdFusion programmers who will learn the basics of setting up an e-commerce site. Some of the topics to be covered on Saturday include: introduction to e-commerce, payment processing, shipping and handling, user experience and site design, and e-commerce site maintenance.

Sunday's session will address advanced strategies for scalability, security, and databases.

The more advanced topics being discussed on Sunday include database design essentials, data warehousing and data mining, server-to-server integration, hosting an e-commerce site, as well as legal considerations and things every e-commerce developer should do.

The two-day event is being held from 9:00am - 5:00pm on February 12 and 13 at Best Western Hotel (Washington Gateway). This year the conference costs $49 for the two days and includes materials. Get more information and register online.

TeraTech, a Washington area consulting firm that offers ColdFusion programming services, and the Maryland ColdFusion User Group (MDCFUG), sponsors the User Conference. Adam Churvis of Productivity Enhancement Inc., publishers of the Database Blocks ColdFusion development tool, will present the seminar.

More Stories By Maria Waddy

Maria Waddy is a ColdFusion Advisor editor.

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