XML e-commerce standard expected in March

The United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business and the Organization for the Advancement of Structural Information Standards (OASIS) have announced they will be ready to deliver the Electronic Business XML (ebXML) trading standard this coming March. It was originally slated for release next summer.

The ebXML standard will establish transport, routing and trading-partner protocols for businesses looking to trade with other businesses on the Internet. OASIS President Bill Smith, who also serves as the engineering manager for Sun Microsystems Inc.’s XML centre, said he views ebXML as a necessary step in bringing small- and medium-size companies into business-to-business networks. Smith said ebXML would complement rather than replace EDI – still the most popular business data exchange format, according to Giga Information Group Inc.

Internet streaming media alliance formed

In an effort to create a single standard for media streaming over the Internet, five companies announced the founding of the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA).

Apple Computer Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Kasenna Inc., Philips Electronics NV and Sun Microsystems Inc. announced the founding of ISMA in a press release, saying they are joining forces to promote open standards for developing end-to-end media streaming solutions over IP (Internet protocol). The founders believe their collaboration will accelerate adoption of open standards and interoperability, while encouraging the development of competitive streaming media software, the release said.

New firewalls near gigabit-speed ‘net links

Two vendors are addressing a new problem companies face: How do you protect sites served by gigabit-speed Internet connections?

Cisco Systems Inc. and NetScreen Technologies Inc. have introduced gigabit firewalls that support high-speed VPN encryption needed to carry business transactions securely over public IP networks, the two companies claim. Both companies’ products support Triple-DES encryption at speeds slower than 1Gbps, but as a practical matter, companies won’t need to encrypt all traffic flowing over the Internet connections.