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Vermeer Technologies to pioneer "Webtop" publishing; Venture-funded start-up developing first-of-a-kind, easy to use authoring tools that eliminate the need for programming to publish on the Internet's World Wide Web.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 21, 1995--Vermeer Technologies, Inc. a one year old venture-funded start-up company start-up company

A new business.
, today announced it is developing the industry's first easy-to-use authoring tools for the Internet's World Wide Web that eliminate the need to write programs in order to develop powerful information services See Information Systems.  on the Web.

Vermeer's first product, code-named "Pavilion," is well under development and expected to begin beta testing (programming) beta testing - Testing a pre-release (potentially unreliable) version of a piece of software by making it available to selected users. This term derives from early 1960s terminology for product cycle checkpoints, first used at IBM but later standard throughout the  in Q2.

Pavilion is a suite of visual authoring tools for the Web that is easy to use and requires no programming whatsoever in order to publish commercial grade Web services (1) Loosely, any online service delivered over the Web. Such usage appears in articles from non-technical sources, but not in IT-oriented publications, because definition #2 below describes the correct use of the term.  and perform highly sophisticated functions. The company is targeting the rapidly growing market for Web services along horizontal market Refers to the entire marketplace that crosses all industry boundaries. See horizontal market software. Contrast with vertical market.  lines, including large corporate enterprises, small businesses and workgroups, and individuals who want to deliver on-line Web-based services. Pavilion will enable end-users and professionals to develop Web-based services without the need for programming or central MIS intervention.

"The availability of a powerful, easy-to-use tool like ours will soon make Web publishing accessible to everyone. That's why we're coining the phrase, `webtop publishing,'" said company cofounder co·found  
tr.v. co·found·ed, co·found·ing, co·founds
To establish or found in concert with another or others.

, Chairman and acting CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  Dr. Charles H. Ferguson For other persons of the same name, see Charles Ferguson.

Charles Henry Ferguson (b. March 24, 1955) is founder and president of Representational Pictures, Inc., and director and producer of No End In Sight: The American Occupation of Iraq, which is his first film.
. "Our mission is to provide best-in-class authoring tools for Web-based services, and by so doing, to become the industry standard way to publish on the Web."

Pricing for Pavilion has not been set. Production shipping is planned for the end of Q3. The Web authoring tool will be available on most popular platforms, including Microsoft Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows NT, and Macintosh. It will be able to work with all standards-compliant commercial and academic Web servers, and industry standard platforms, such as SunOS, HP/UX HP/UX Hewlett-Packard UNIX operating system
HP/UX Unexploded Human Particulate Operating System
, or NT.

"We see a tremendous need for easy-to-use Web authoring tools," said Tim Sloane, director at Aberdeen Group, a high technology consulting company in Boston. "While there has been an explosive growth in Web sites on the Internet, these sites rarely offer particularly rich or timely content. Aberdeen research has shown that the largest expense of making a Web site is the creation and management of both the content and the forms that drive the end-user interaction. Tools like Vermeer's Pavilion--designed so business people can directly manage the content on the Web server--will open the floodgates for commercial growth of the Web, and position the Web as a new business tool for managing documents within the company. Vermeer calls this `webtop publishing.'"

Initially financed by Dr. Ferguson, the company received its first round of venture capital financing To start an own company or to bring a new product to the market, the venture may need to attract financial funding. There are several categories of financing possibilities. If it is a small venture, then perhaps the venture can rely on family funding, loans from friends , totaling $4 million, last January, with investments from Sigma Partners, Matrix Partners and Atlas Ventures. Vermeer currently has 25 employees.

Vermeer's technology will enable users to develop their Web services on familiar client platforms, such as the Microsoft Windows family and Macintosh. It will also enable collaboration and team-based authoring. End-users can develop remotely over the internet, for either a single server or for "Web farms" or collocation sites run by Internet service providers Internet service provider (ISP)

Company that provides Internet connections and services to individuals and organizations. For a monthly fee, ISPs provide computer users with a connection to their site (see data transmission), as well as a log-in name and password.
 that are geographically distant from the user/publisher.

"We believe that remote distributed client/server authoring is crucial to the effective deployment of Web services," said cofounder and Chief Technology Officer Randy Forgaard. "That's why we designed our architecture to support remote or collaborative authoring over the Internet."

Vermeer's Pavilion environment will provide easy-to-use interfaces that enable on-line service developers and information delivery personnel to quickly integrate existing information systems. Professionals will be able to customize and maintain on-line systems without having to know specialized programming techniques--thereby providing unlimited opportunities to bring information and commerce on-line.

"We will provide easy-to-use interfaces for frequent tasks, such as WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Pronounced "wiz-ee-wig." It refers to displaying text and graphics on screen the same as they will print on paper or display on a Web page.  editing, interactive forms and graphics generation, document conversion, and a variety of customizable, reusable templates that appear in commonly developed on-line services," said Ed Cuoco, Vermeer's director of product marketing and business development. "We are also designing unique collaboration, navigation and maintenance aids to allow authors to deploy Web service projects in truly distributed, multi-user environments."

Vermeer's open, standards-based architecture is one of its essential components. Through membership and participation in standards groups such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C (World Wide Web Consortium, An international industry consortium founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee to develop standards for the Web. It is hosted in the U.S. by the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT ( ), the company is committed to providing products that do not lock customers into proprietary or nonstandard non·stan·dard  
1. Varying from or not adhering to the standard: nonstandard lengths of board.

 applications or services on the Internet.

Web services developed using Vermeer Pavilion will be fully browsable by all industry standards-compliant browsers, including Mosaic clients, such as NCSA (1) (National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Urbana-Champaign, IL, A high-performance computing facility located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Mosaic, Enhanced Mosaic from Spyglass and Netscape Navigator from Netscape Communications Corp., and deployable on all popular academic and commercial Web servers.

Founded in April 1994 by Dr. Charles H. Ferguson and Randy Forgaard, Vermeer Technologies, Inc. is pioneering the development of powerful easy-to-use World Wide Web authoring tools that let end-users and professionals publish on the Web without programming. Vermeer's first product, code-named "Pavilion," will enable everyone to quickly and easily gain the business benefits of Web publishing. headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., the company's tool suite supports remote authoring on the Web, and the ability for anyone to electronically publish, prompting the company to coin the phrase "webtop publishing."


Vermeer is a trademark of Vermeer Technologies Inc. All other products mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.

CONTACT: Parker, Nichols & Co., Concord, Mass.

Brenda Nichols, 508/369-2100
COPYRIGHT 1995 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 21, 1995
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