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October 4, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Capitalizing on the growing number of comparative shopping sites and other portal innovations, OnDisplay Inc will announce at this week’s Fall Internet World show in New York a combination of two of its products that can integrate data from multiple disparate sources and integrate them on to a website with a single look and feel. The CenterStage E-Commerce 3.0 is a combination of the company’s previously announced ECat and EContent middleware tools. The former is a catalog loading and synchronization tool and the latter a content aggregation tool. OnDisplay VP marketing Darrell Trimble, recently moved over from Neuron Data, says this is no screen scraping technology or aggregation base on the location of the content, rather, through pattern matching and parsing by example, CenterStage can grab material based on the content.

This week the company will also announce partnerships with Microsoft, Oracle, Open Market, Vignette, Trade’ex and others, whereby CenterStage will support those company’s catalog tools. Trimble says some of the partnerships are also OEM agreements, but he couldn’t say which ones. There are apparently four other partners signed but not announced yet, and in terms of the major portals, Yahoo, Excite and so on, there is activity, but again, no announcements just yet.

Trimble says the company’s products are aimed at both distributors, who need to grab content from their manufacturers and vertical industries, where it is used for internal procurement. The tools can also support dynamic content updates without the need for the target data to alter its format – the non-intrusive approach, says Trimble. CenterStage can call data from most sources, ODBC, CGI, HTML, C++ or Java, among others. There are two elements to the data integration, the builder that creates agents to go and get the content, which runs on Windows 95/98 and NT and the server engine that executes the page agents; it supports NT, IBM AIX, Sun Solaris and HP-UX.

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