Hong Kong software developer ecVision last week rolled out a business-to-business electronic commerce platform that supports development and deployment of Internet EDI (electronic data interchange), and will be implemented by the Hong Kong Article and Numbering Association (HKANA).
Dubbed XpressCommerce, the software is aimed at e-commerce service bureaus that are Internet-based, such as HKANA's EZ*Trade service, said Thomas Ng, managing director of ecVision, which was started in January this year and is part of the Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre's business incubation program.
HKANA is due to make XpressCommerce available as part of the EZ*Trade service before the end of the year, according to Ng. Currently, ecVision is working on integrating its product with EZ*Trade.
"The traditional way of doing EDI is very expensive," Ng noted, adding that the costs are much more reasonable when it's moved to the Internet.
In addition to providing cost savings, ecVision's EDI software supports offline document preparation and validation, handles complex documents, and can be integrated to work with users' existing systems, Ng said.
Ng maintains that ecVision's product is well suited to the Internet EDI space because it uses XML (Extensible Markup Language) instead of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language).
"XML allows us to support integration to the back end," said Ng. He explained that HTML is more geared for formatting and displaying documents, while XML is better able to support both data and display.
After researching the market and conferring with an international XML EDI interest group, ecVision maintains that it's the first company to launch an Internet EDI product based on XML.
For security, the software suite uses 128-bit encryption technology from the UK and the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol, said Ng. ecVision is hoping to export its product and is planning to look for distributors in North America on a trade mission later this month.
"If this can get into the US market, it will represent a breakthrough in Asian software technology," Ng noted.