Hot Standards

Four51 releases cXML-based WildFire

MINNEAPOLIS  March 12, 2001  Four51 has announced the development of an XML transport module designed specifically to enable cross-platform interoperability for print materials distributors, their customers and their suppliers. The transport module, called WildFire, is based on Commercial eXtensible Markup Language (cXML) and complies with the PrintTalk standard to support an open and standard communications interface between applications built for the graphic arts and print materials industries.

"This is a major step forward for Four51," said Rich Landa, Four51's CEO and co-founder. "With our XML module in place, Four51 users now have incredible flexibility when it comes to systems interoperability. Not only will distributors and suppliers have the opportunity to link Four51 to their own back-office applications, they will also have the opportunity to extend Four51 into their customers' applications, too."

Four51 promotes a standards-based approach to systems interoperability in order to maximize flexibility for distributors, their customers and their suppliers. Bryan Schueler, Four51's vice president of technology operations, said, "cXML and the PrintTalk standard will make two-way, real-time communications between technology platforms cost-effective and much more easily attainable than with 'one-off' integration."

Four51 has approached the major distributor-focused, back-office software providers to solicit their interest in pursuing interoperability, and is currently moving forward in Beta on interoperability initiatives with those that have opted to participate. The company expects to market WildFire broadly within the print materials marketplace's independent distribution channel beginning in the second quarter of 2001.

"Our primary goal is to promote a common standard that addresses the needs of distributors, their customers and their suppliers, while preserving their flexibility and independence," Landa said. "We're striving to ensure that the people we do business with can take advantage of a standards-based offering that meets their needs, and complies and keeps pace with their customers' and suppliers' evolving needs."