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May 12th, 2000

[10:00 AM] New Ecommerce Product For Mac OS X To Debut At WWDC
by Staff

Ecommercesoft has announced MetroShop ASP, a new add-on to the MetroShop ebusiness suite of products. MetroShop is an Internet business management solution developed with WebObjects. The company intends on debuting the product at next week's WWDC. According to Ecommercesoft:

The MetroShop suite features Internet-borne business management software solutions containing embedded business-logic, flow-processes, legacy integration, complete ERP back-office functionality, and an intuitive Web site front-end.

MetroShop ASP is designed to enable ASP's (Application Service Providers) to broaden the scope of their business services by providing their customers with the ability of instant eCommerce Web site creation. Ecommercesoft claims that this is a significant development, because it essentially enables an ASP to become a one-stop-shop solution-provider for customers of diverse requirements.

According to Victor Wong, President and CEO of Ecommercesoft, "MetroShop ASP is a plug-in and leave-alone value-added service, helping ASP's to increase sales and margins through incremental business. The eCommerce hosting market is projected to be $14 billion by 2004. In the highly competitive world of ASP's, anything that helps set an ASP apart from their peers is crucial."

MetroShop ASP, with its easy, powerful management of multiple eBusinesses, integrates with existing releases of the MetroShop suite, enabling ASP's to offer MetroShop Express, MetroShop Pro, and MetroShop Corp to their clients, creating an instant "virtual mall". MetroShop Express is an ideal solution for a beginning merchant needing a quick jump-start into basic business online, complete with online shopping functionality. MetroShop Pro is designed for businesses that may already be taking orders online, but are in need of additional functionality to enhance the customer shopping experience and to maintain accurate inventory count. MetroShop Corp is ideal for businesses that have been on the Internet with online ordering capabilities, but face growing issues, like integration problems with their legacy systems, or the lack of back-office business management tools capable of dealing with the Internet.

MetroShop ASP, like MetroShop Express, MetroShop Pro, and MetroShop Corp, is fully scalable to tailor-fit the needs of any ASP or merchant of any level. The transparent modularity of the MetroShop suite enables quick and easy upgrading to any level, eliminating the need for costly data-migration, or frustrating user-reeducation.

MetroShop, based on WebObjects from Apple, can be deployed using Mac OS X Server, Windows NT, or Solaris. The default database for Mac OS X Server is FrontBase, for Windows NT is Microsoft SQL, and for Solaris is Oracle, however; MetroShop SB and Pro are compatible with virtually all other ODBC databases. Optional hosting by Ecommercesoft is available and is provided via Sun Enterprise Servers, Solaris and Oracle (or FrontBase) with 24/7 server support.

Pricing for MetroShop ASP varies depending on the number of servers and processors used. You can find more information at the Ecommercesoft web site.

The Mac Observer Spin: Many Observers may remember Mr. Wong from his days as an outspoken Mac cloner. Mr. Wong was the CEO of PowerTools, a Motorola sub-licensee that fought for its existence as hard as it could. Today, in addition to his role with Ecommercesoft, Mr. Wong is involved with Bottom Line Online, the Mac only online retailer with a store front retail presence in Austin, Tx.

That out of the way, MetroShop is an important product for Mac OS X, all the more so because it is cross-platform. Business oriented solutions have always been an area where the Mac has not competed that strongly, for a variety of reasons. Mac OS X will change much of that, as the platform is more suited to enterprise development, scaling, and other business areas that require what Mac OS X has. Products like MetroShop will be a part of that.


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