All Steel, All the Time

STEEL24-7 is using webMethod's integration and support for ebXML

Brussels, Belgium and Fairfax, VA  October 14, 2002  webMethods Inc, a provider of integration software, today announced that STEEL24-7, an e-business platform for the steel industry, is using webMethods integration platform and support for ebXML. According to the companies, this will provide STEEL24-7's buyers and suppliers with an open, standards-based architecture for automating the global supply chain.

STEEL24-7 is a European platform for the steel industry founded by Arcelor, Corus and ThyssenKrupp Steel. The company operates a communications hub for buyers and suppliers in the steel industry. By implementing the webMethods integration platform, STEEL24-7 said it is going to automate supply chain processes by enabling buyers and suppliers to connect back-end enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and communicate in real time.

As for steel buyers and suppliers, they will have the ability to integrate directly with their business partners through a connection to a neutral, industry-supported hub, instead of with traditional electronic data interchange (EDI) technology. Through STEEL24-7, buyers and suppliers can extend their EDI technology, thereby reducing the manual labor and high costs of point-to-point integrations, according to the companies.

Furthermore, STEEL24-7 has the ability to automatically convert messages, which will enable communication between business partners using different messaging standards and formats. In particular, STEEL24-7 can offer translation services between EDI and Extensible Markup Language (XML) messages.

STEEL24-7 uses the XML and EDIFACT document standards specified by EUROFER, the European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries, based on the ebXML and UN/CEFACT standardization work. Initially, STEEL24-7 will support the key messages involved in the ordering and delivery business processes. Based on the progress made with EUROFER, further messages and message translation capabilities will be incorporated into the hub infrastructure on an ongoing basis.

Jean-Claude Delobel, CEO of the steel hub said, "Being able to quickly and efficiently provide integration services to our members ensures that they can enhance their commercial relationships from the moment they connect through STEEL24-7."