Cleo Enhances Automation with AS2 Software for OS/400
April 20, 2004 Alex Woodie
One of the software vendors now writing OS/400 communications software for newer transaction protocols, such as the AS2 standard used for sending EDI documents over the Internet, is Cleo Communications. The established emulation and communication tools vendor from Loves Park, Illinois, entered the OS/400 software market last March, with Version 2.1 of its LexiCom AS2 software. Last week, Cleo updated the technology underlying LexiCom, which it calls VersaLex, with several new automation features.
Cleo’s LexiCom AS/400 software extends traditional EDI systems to the Internet by enabling users to send and receive documents, such as purchase orders or advanced shipping notices, securely, using the AS2 or FTP/S or HTTP/S (SSL-enabled) protocols. The Java-based product integrates with EDI products from Inovis, Sterling Commerce, and Agilisys (formerly Future Three), and ships preconfigured to support major value-added networks (VANs), such as those run by Wal-Mart, IBM, and DaimlerChrysler.
Last week, Cleo launched a new release of VersaLex, the Java foundation of the LexiCom product line. With VersaLex Version 2.1.7, the company has incorporated new automation features into the product, such as the capability to kick-off an e-mail or execute an action when a system-level failure, such as a scheduling error, occurs. Cleo also says diagnostics have improved with this release, through the addition of several new status messages and through greater detail in existing status messages.
Performance was also addressed with this release. VersaLex 2.1.7 consumes less processing power and has greater speed when sending or receiving AS2 messages, the company says. Additionally, the new release can detect any duplicate AS2 message as old as 48 hours, and features new preconfigured interfaces for additional VANs, including 3M; ACE Hardware; Atomic Box; Burrows; Cardinal Heath; Dunham’s Sports; Edict Systems; EasyLink; EFS Networks; General Mills; Hyundai; J.B. Hunt; KB Toys; Maytag; McKesson; Toys R Us; and Tyson Foods. The company supports many more company-specific VANs beyond this short list.
Cleo, which started developing mainframe emulation products 20 years ago, is moving strongly into the UCCnet data synchronization market. In the last month, it has formed two new technology alliances and announced three new offerings for UCCnet. It partnered with Kodiak Group for its new Synchronized Commerce Service hosted offering. Similarly, a new partnership with Enterworks will provide the technological foundation for the upcoming Synchronized Commerce Catalog and Synchronized Commerce Director products. Cleo says OS/400 shops will need to connect to its Synchronized Commerce Suite through a Windows box for now.
There is a need right now for AS2 and UCCnet software on the iSeries. Established OS/400 software vendors in the EDI and e-business markets say mandates from companies such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot are driving demand for next-generation connectivity software.
LexiCom for the AS/400 requires OS/400 V5R1 or V5R2. Pricing for LexiCom for the AS/400 starts at $1,500, which allows a user to connect to one trading partner. For more information, go to www.cleo.com.