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By: Lisa A. Sandford

Abstract: Daily news summary for 6 October 1999. Edited by Lisa A. Sandford.

Give your computer the finger

Closed network managers will soon be able to raise system security to a new level with Intershop Communications software. Using a server-based biometric scanner,  Intershop's e-commerce solution will authorize system access with a plug-in fingerprint reader.  The locally installed reader will send an image of a user's fingerprint to a central server where it is matched with those in its database. Once authenticity is established, the user is set to work. The scanner, dubbed Goldfinger, is intended to eliminate the need for passwords.

Partnering with the developer of Goldfinger, Berlin-based Brain Trust Marketing, Intershop looks to incorporate this new security feature in the merchant and hosting editions of Intershop Release 4.

And on a related note...

Intershop announced Intershop efinity, an e-commerce offering, at Internet World this week.  According to Intershop marketing VP Ed Callan, "Intershop efinity offers Global 2000 customers the best of both worlds -- the ability to rapidly deploy a profitable e-business initiative today with the flexibility to grow with future e-business needs.  With efinity's unique, component-based pipeline architecture and unprecedented support for industry standards such as XML and Java, it's the only e-business application on the market to enable companies to sell anywhere, integrate everything, today and tomorrow."

Intershop efinity comprises four major pieces: a transactivity server, an application server, a catalog server, and a management center. APIs allow integrators to extend the product by integrating third-party software and services.  Initially SAP, CyberCash and CyberSource interfaces will be available. Other APIs under development include integration with ERP, content management and personalization, payment and fulfillment, and customer relationship management.

"Intershop efinity is one of the most comprehensive enterprise applications on the market today, and Intershop shares Sun's commitment to open Internet software standards -- such as the Java platform and XML," commented Sun Microsystems VP George Paolini.  In his keynote speech at Intershop's Open E-Commerce Summit, Paolini continued, "Both XML and Java technology have the same goal -- hardware and software independence.  There is great synergy between XML and the Java platform:  XML provides portable, maintainable and reusable code.  In combination, Java technology and XML create a powerful platform for building enterprise applications and we're pleased to see such a great implementation in Intershop efinity."

All hands on Web site

Companies frustrated by the time and cost of creating and maintaining Web sites found an answer last week.  Ektron's eContentManager v. 1.1 is a Web content and documentation management tool designed for nontechnical staff. With eContentManager, nontechnical employees companywide can contribute to Web updating in their areas of expertise.

"With eContentManager, the entire organization shares the responsibility and satisfaction of creating a site that supports business goals and responds to changing business strategy," says Ektron CEO Bill Rogers. "This product requires no knowledge of programming and gives anyone, anywhere, the hands-on ability to do real-time Web updating -- while still providing much-needed security and administrative control."

Version 1.1's features include content creation/editing using standard Microsoft Word functions; cutting-and-pasting from Word, PowerPoint and Excel without losing formatting; image uploading; hyperlinking; spell checking; table creation and editing; and more. It is currently designed for use with ColdFusion sites, with Microsoft Active Server Page (ASP) compliance planned for November 1999.

Keep systems online with Pulse

Seven-day-a-week, 24-hour-a-day performance monitoring is one of the premier features of Precise/Pulse 2.0 from Precise Software Solutions Inc. Precise/Pulse 2.0 gives system managers the freedom to focus on mission-critical business without the worry of undetected system performance problems. Precise/Pulse 2.0 detects potential system stresses before they have serious impact. System managers receive user-defined warnings (e-mails, sounds, pages) that indicate something seems amiss. This gives the user time to research and remedy a potential problem, possibly reducing costly down time.

Precise/Pulse 2.0's PulseCenter management console provides at-a-glance status monitoring, historical trend information, an overview of current system events, and monitoring of standard database and application metrics, including Oracle Applications. Precise/Pulse performance data can also be viewed by other vendor management consoles, including Computer Associates' Unicenter TNG and Hewlett Packard's OpenView. Users of Tivoli's NetView can enlist Precise/Pulse 2.0 via SNMP to secure a complete view of their Oracle database application performance.

Precise/Pulse 2.0 helps ensure optimal system performance, including ERP, e-commerce, data warehousing, and Web-based applications. 

Also announced this week was Precise Enterprise 3.0, a comprehensive suite of business tools to manage the performance of Oracle-based business environments. In addition to Precise/Pulse 2.0, the suite includes Precise/SQL 3.0 and Precise/Interpoint 3.0.

Precise/SQL 3.0 identifies the exact cause of performance problems, such as poorly written SQL statements or system resource constraints. New to version 3.0 are improved reporting capabilities and graphics, along with a GUI for quick data overview. Within Precise/SQL 3.0 is the Precise Performance Warehouse, an archive of historical system performance data.

Precise/Interpoint 3.0 tracks and identifies SQL errors by monitoring the Oracle database and the ERP application. Precise/Interpoint 3.0 manages system overloads, regardless of cause -- be it database parameters, the core ERP application, or user customizations and extensions.

Server Response from: ETNASC04