Telecom hangs up CommX

CommX, one of the country's first predecessors to online marketplaces, is being wound down and the few users left migrated to the esolutions Biztalk platform.

CommX, one of the country’s first predecessors to online marketplaces, is being wound down and the few users left migrated to the esolutions Biztalk platform.

CommX was an electronic data exchange service launched in June 1998 by Netway, at that time a subsidiary of Telecom and later brought back into the Telecom fold. At its height CommX boasted over 250 users, grouped into communities, and provided a platform service which enabled companies to trade electronically using browsers, fax or existing EDI (electronic data interchange) technology.

The Netway software connected directly into each company’s accounting system and was an outsourced, managed service. It also allowed secure messaging using global X400 standard between branches.

Telecom spokesman Glen Sowry confirms CommX has become a shadow of its former self. “Customers used it as a document management system,” Sowry says. “There are only a handful of customers left. It is being closed up over time and the customers migrated across to esolutions’ Biztalk product.”

Esolutions hopes for a March launch date for its Biztalk offering, says brand manager Sue McCarty. McCarty says it is most likely it will not be launched under the Biztalk brand. She says the offering will include not only Microsoft’s Biztalk Server but hosted services with messaging, monitoring and security.

Biztalk is a Microsoft initiative to promote XML as the common data exchange language for e-commerce. It is a set of guidelines using tags, or schema, that when applied to document files turn them into XML documents able to be sent between applications. The tags can also be used to output XML files into different forms, including faxes.

CommX's URL, www.commx.net.nz, is no longer live.

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