SUN MICROSYSTEMS: Sun Microsystems and Java technology shine at NRF. `98 (M2 Presswire; 01/20/98)

-- From JavaPOS to data warehousing - and beyond

At the National Retail Federation's 87th Annual Convention & EXPO, Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java technology will take center stage, as the National Retail Federation (NRF) and a consortium of more than 20 major technology and retailing companies unveil JavaPOS specifications, the highly-anticipated standard for point-of-sale systems using Java technology.

In its exhibit (Booth #731), Sun and its allies will feature several retail solutions based on Java technology -- all possessing the ability to run on diverse hardware and software platforms -- as well as mission-critical retail enterprise applications based upon the robust Solaris operating environment, such as data warehousing and merchandise management.

The JavaPOS spec is the first technical standard to be endorsed by the National Retail Federation's Information Technology Council. The NRF and its members are embracing JavaPOS specifications as a standard because this platform-independent technology can help ensure that all point-of-sale environments - from existing POS terminals to emerging platforms including portable devices, the Web and telephony -- can communicate and share applications. Because Java applications can run on a wide variety of systems and devices -- from smart cards to POS to retail enterprise host systems -- this technology holds great promise for the retail industry as it searches for next-generation, fully open solutions.

"Retailers are demanding genuinely open standards that will give them more options, and JavaPOS will fill this need," said Bob DeLaney, manager, worldwide market development, retail and distribution, Sun Microsystems. "Because POS terminals function as a `thin client' devices with specific applications and functions, they're ideal for Java based applications and development. Sun is proud to have played a key role in bringing retailers together with the industry's top hardware and software vendors to create this new, open vision of technologies in the future of retailing."

DeLaney will participate in two events focused on the new JavaPOS standard scheduled for today at Jacob Javits Center. The first, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 1E14, is a panel discussion on "JavaPOS - A New Standard for POS" that will also include David V. Evans, CIO of J.C. Penney Inc., Curtiss Monroe, CTO of NCR Corporation, and Hollis Posey, CTO of IBM Corporation. DeLaney will also be a featured speaker at the NRF's press conference on the JavaPOS standard at 1:30 p.m., in Room 1B04.

Sun's NRF exhibit will showcase how retailers can leverage the power of Java technology in stores and throughout the retail enterprise to become more competitive - without obsoleting their existing investments in systems and architecture. Sun and its more than two dozen allies in the exhibit will demonstrate power and versatility of Java technology as applied to point-of- sale, supply chain management, interactive kiosk, electronic commerce and other critical retail applications.

In addition to Java applications, Sun and its fellow vendors will demonstrate the JavaStation network computer (NC) and Sun's powerful, highly scalable Sun Enterprise and Netra servers running on the Solaris operating environment, whose high reliability and robustness make it ideal for demanding retail applications. Sun's broad server and workstation families enable retailers to leverage a seamless, scalable computing architecture from the store level through regional distribution centers up to headquarters data centers (with systems such as the 64-processor, mainframe-class Sun Enterprise 10000).

As the leader in network computing, Sun continues to champion open standards through its own technology and the best-of-breed retail technology vendors it carefully selects. Together, Sun and its associates provide end-to-end solutions to many of the world's leading retail organizations. Exhibitors at Sun's booth are scheduled to include: Telxon, Datafit, Intrepid Systems, BACG, Information Advantage, Cornerstone, Island Pacific Systems, HYPERparallel, The Allied Group, MMK AG Multimedia Communications and Apunix. Some of the highlights will be displays from:

The Allied Group Inc. The Allied Group Inc., is the developer of inTOUCH, a kiosk platform and software application tool that brings the best of today's technologies together. inTOUCH is a kiosk development tool kit based on Java technology that creates a rapid prototyping environment, reduces development time and lowers the overall cost of ownership of Web-based kiosk solutions. It runs on Sun's JavaStation network computer.

Apunix' Retail Kiosk is unique because the content is based on the Java platform, is completely user configurable, can be configured with video, and can be interfaced to SQL databases. A Product Locator Module applet helps the customer find products, and a Web-enabled Gift Registry Module makes it easy for loyal consumers to register for gifts.

Cornerstone Retail Solutions The Cornerstone Retail Foundation (CRF) is a retail application offering designed to a Web-style architecture with point-of- sale and kiosk components written in the Java programming language. CRF combines the platform independence, efficient software customization and support capabilities inherent in Java technology, with the openness and flexibility of a Web-style application architecture. CRF delivers an application foundation that can run across most operating environments and provide store functionality that can be customized to specific business rules as well as be integrated with other enterprise applications.

Datafit BeanStore is a software suite based on Java technology providing a complete store automation solution with exceptional levels of functionality, re- use and platform independence. The business functionality provides a full- function POS system designed for the specialty and department store environment, with mid-office functions on the store server to support the store operations.

HYPERparallel, a software development company specializing in high performance parallel data mining, will be showing: 1) Discovery Server - A data mining architecture and suite of data mining algorithms specifically designed for the development of data mining applications. 2) Customer Relationship Marketing //Solution Framework - A retail specific recipe for Customer Relationship Marketing built upon the HYPERparallel Discovery Architecture. The recipe is designed to allow a retailer to uncover the likes and preferences of its best customers so that it can optimize marketing expenditures and maximize revenue and income.

Island Pacific Systems The Eye, Island Pacific Systems' integrated data warehouse, EIS, planning and allocation system based on Java technology is now available in Release 1.4 of their I3 Merchandising System. The Eye is a completely soft, integrated and user definable data warehouse, EIS and planning tool that incorporates an n-dimensional spherical data warehouse with workbenches of user data marts. Island Pacific is rewriting all of their existing retail applications in the Java programming language.

Open Market Transact is the pre-eminent product in the new category of Internet commerce enterprise application software. In its three years in the marketplace, Transact's depth and breadth of functionality has made it the standard for Internet commerce enterprise applications. The Transact installed base consists of the "Who's Who" of Internet commerce such as Disney, Time- Warner, and AT&T. Combined with an on-line catalog product like Open Market's LiveCommerce, Transact provides a powerful, complete solution for large retailers.

Telxon Telxon's PenClient hand-held mobile computer is ideally suited for the retail industry. Running the JavaOS or a HotJava browser, PenClient runs retail applications to perform price check verification, remote points-of-sale and inventory management. The PenClient can be configured with a wide area network or local area network. With models weighing less than 2 pounds., the PenClient offers the portability and lower administration cost advantages of Java technology, and has the capability to serve as a complete and portable wireless cash register.

The Vision Factory, Inc. Cat@log is a powerful, open, and productive software package for building, operating, and maintaining sophisticated business-to-business and business-to-consumer electronic commerce sites. Cat@log sets the standard for creating and maintaining live and compelling catalogs, supporting thousands of items and dynamically updating pages to reflect relevant database changes. Cat@log offers complete ODBC as well as native integration to many of the modern SQL databases.

intraWeb Information Technologies GmbH WebKiosk-1 - The revolution in the world of multimedia kiosk systems: The WebKiosk-1 is a brand new kiosk system incorporating an Sun's JavaStation network computer, the latest TFT-touch- screen technology and audio capabilities. It is therefore a zero administration, plug and play kiosk system. It is housed in a sleek designer casing and has been developed to include optional components such as a keyboard with a touch pad or trackball, a magnetic card reader, Smart Card reader or a printer. Check out http://www.intraweb.de/WebKiosk

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision, "The Network Is The Computer," has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of hardware, software, and services for establishing enterprise-wide intranets and expanding the power of the Internet.

Sun's global retail clients include discount and mass merchandisers, department stores, hard and soft goods companies, specialty chains, grocery chains, convenience store chains, catalog and home shopping organizations, as well as hotel and restaurant chains. With more than $8.5 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 150 countries and on the World Wide Web at http://www.sun.com.

Sun, Sun Microsystems, Java, Sun Enterprise, Netra, JavaStation, JavaPOS, Solaris, JavaOS, HotJava and "The Network Is The Computer" are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

CONTACT: David Berkowitz, Sun Microsystems Tel: +1 650 786 7511 e-mail: david.berkowitz@sun.com Marty O'Loughlin, Burson-Marsteller for Sun Tel: +1 650 287 4004 e-mail: marty_o'loughlin@bm.com