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Versant Object Technology unveils strategy to deliver object solutions across the Web; Company leverages natural evolution of telecommunications success and expertise.

MENLO PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 18, 1996--Versant Object Technology Corp., the premiere supplier of object database management systems for large-scale applications, today unveiled its strategy to pursue the market for advanced object applications on the World Wide Web.

Focused on Intranet and private market applications, the announcement includes an enhanced version of the company's Versant ODBMS, support for the emerging standards of Internet computing, as well as the alignment of world-class partners with Versant. Versant also showcased leading customers EDS and the Global Shopping Network, who are both using the Versant ODBMS to deploy advanced object applications that operate across the Web.

According to Versant CEO, David Banks, "We are nearing the third phase in the evolution of the Web as a legitimate computing infrastructure -- one that is dominated by distributed objects. First generation Web computing is dominated by Web server management of simple files and shallow, static information; the second generation enables network commerce and simple transaction capabilities. Proliferation of these trends has led us to the third phase where our customers rely heavily on objects to manage distributed transactions, use software agents that perform remote tasks, and manage distributed transactional content."

"We also see the trend toward Internet-based computing driving a more rapid adoption of object databases," said Steve McClure, manager of the Software Service at International Data Corporation, a market research and consulting firm based in Framingham, Mass. "This is because object databases play an important role in managing the complex content associated with Web applications."

Versant Technology Advancements for Internet Computing

Versant is delivering a series of product extensions designed to offer high-bandwidth transactional activity across the Internet. In April, the company will release a Java interface to the Versant ODBMS, allowing organizations to manage and store Java applets, as well as use Java to supplement existing object-oriented development in C++ and Smalltalk.

Developers will be able to write Java applications or applets using a variety of tools being released by third parties, such as Borland, Rogue Wave, and JavaSoft. As part of its Java solution, Versant will support JDBC during the third quarter of 1996. Java language support will be provided free of charge to existing Versant customers.

Versant will also release the Versant Internet Adapter (VIA), a set of extensions to the core object database. VIA includes a URL translator and Web page loader that provides Internet access to the Versant ODBMS. VIA, in conjunction with any Web server, will create the industry's fastest, most complete solution for managing, vending and distributing Web pages, business objects and applets.

In combination with object request brokers (ORBs), the Versant Web-enabled ODBMS will be a core part of the distributed object infrastructure that will allow electronic commerce to flourish. The Versant Internet Adapter will be available free of charge to existing Versant customers and will ship early in the third quarter of 1996.

Versant Strategic Partnerships

As part of its strategy to provide high-end Internet solutions to customers, Versant is also announcing a set of agreements with leading technology and solution providers. Within the burgeoning Internet computing paradigm, there is already a rapid migration from electronic billboards and simple transactions to sophisticated distributed electronic commerce applications. The infrastructure demands of electronic commerce on the Internet require that Versant partner to provide best-of-breed joint solutions to accelerate the availability of this critical object infrastructure for the Web.

To support this effort, the company has formed partnerships with companies focused in three key areas of technology that are fundamental to deploying electronic commerce applications on the Internet: Web application and tools providers; object request broker (ORB) vendors; and legacy access and integration suppliers. Versant announced the following specific relationships, which represent a combination of new and existing partners:

-- Web development and management tools: ParcPlace-Digitalk (VisualWave and VisualWorks integration); Art Technology Group (Dynamo); HNC (Semantic Text Search Engine); and BMC Software (Distributed systems and network management).

-- Object Request Brokers: Iona Technologies (Orbix); Expersoft (PowerBroker); PostModern Computing (ORBeline, TPBroker).

-- Legacy Access and Integration: Apertus (legacy mapping to Versant); ONTOS (relational mapping to Versant); Rogue Wave (class library access to relational); Ilog (class library access to relational); and Versant/UniSQL (SQL and ODBC access to Versant.)

Showcased Customers

Versant announced several customers who are using the Versant OBDMS to build object database applications that operate on the Web, including EDS, Global Shopping Network, Passage Systems, Stats Canada and TRW. These are just a few of the Fortune 1000 companies that have production applications involving distributed transaction processing and complex multimedia content across the Web using the Versant ODBMS.

The Global Shopping Network -- Shopping Mall on the Web

Global Shopping Network (GSN) is a leading Internet service provider focused on developing comprehensive Internet directories from Internet shopping malls. With 35,000 products and 25,000 Web pages, GSN plans to use Versant's ODBMS as a truly distributed infrastructure to link millions of products to millions of companies in real-time through its search engine.

EDS -- Multimedia Asset Management on The Web

Electronic Data Systems (EDS) is using Versant in its industry-leading Media Vault, a digital content management system designed to facilitate the reuse of video, photographic, audio and text objects. Coupled with advanced broadband network technology, Media Vault enables a new generation of interactive and collaborative applications for content producers and publishers as well as telecommunications providers. EDS currently has hundreds of gigabytes of video data stored, catalogued, and available for use by its customers.

About Versant Object Technology

Versant Object Technology is the industry's leading provider of object database management systems for multi-user, distributed environments. Versant offers a complete product line including the VERSANT ODBMS, the VERSANT Fault Tolerant Server, programming language interfaces to C++, Smalltalk, and Java, SQL-based legacy data integration, and a family of customer support services. Versant customers include Alcatel, Ameritech, AT&T, British Telecom, GTE, Informix, MCI, Panasonic, Scotiabank, Siemens, Sprint, Telstra, Texaco, and many other leading organizations worldwide.

Additional information about Versant and its products may be obtained via the World Wide Web at -0-

Note to Editors: Versant, Versant ODBMS, and Versant Fault Tolerant Server are trademarks of Versant Object Technology Corporation. All other company names and product names are trademarks of the individual companies.

CONTACT: Versant Object Technology

Jay Mellman, 415/329-7500


The Horn Group

Susan Rozmanith/Shannon Hall, 415/579-6400
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 18, 1996
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