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viaLink Introduces XML-enabled Solutions at FMI Marketechnics

Hosts Workshop about XML Adoption in CPG and Retail Industries

Dallas, TX - March 20, 2000

The viaLink Company (Nasdaq: IQIQ), a leading provider of secure, subscription-based, business-to-business electronic commerce solutions that enable the consumer packaged goods (CPG) and grocery industries to more efficiently manage their highly complex supply chain information, has announced the availability of XML-enabled supply chain solutions.

At the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) Marketechnics Show in San Francisco, February 20 –22, viaLink demonstrated deployable, real-time application integration via XML with viaLink ready Program members, OMI International and Total Control Information (TCI). Together with viaLink ready Program members, viaLink's customers can seamlessly connect their core business processes with end-to-end solutions.

"The decision to introduce XML-enabled solutions reaffirms viaLink's strong commitment and ability to deliver supply chain solutions," said Robert Noe, viaLink's executive vice president.

viaLink also unveiled its eSchema and eInterchange frameworks at the show. These frameworks allow viaLink to successfully incorporate XML technology into its supply chain solutions. eSchema- and eInterchange-based XML integration and collaboration over the Internet offer a more comprehensive process-based access to viaLink business features and functions than can be obtained through more traditional EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and custom format interfaces.

XML, or extensible markup language, is the next generation programming language of the Internet. XML ensures that structured data will be uniform and independent of applications or vendors. This resulting interoperability provides standards for e-business and electronic commerce Web applications that allow for transmission of data without requiring knowledge of underlying systems.

The combination of the Web and XML, described as the "digital dial tone," will be widely associated with communications to support machine-to-machine business-to-business collaborations, according to a report from the Gartner Group.

"Our XML-enabled frameworks, our architectural partnership with UCCnet, and our deployable solutions are beginning to make the 'digital dial tone' a reality today, and demonstrate that viaLink is committed to the market's demand for open and flexible standards," said Bob Baker, viaLink's president.

Workshop Demonstrates XML Solutions, Benefits
In addition to demonstrating XML solutions at its booth, viaLink also sponsored an XML workshop at the show featuring a panel of five e-business experts from viaLink ready organizations. After a brief presentation on XML and viaLink's deployment of XML solutions by Keith Dickerson, viaLink's director of technology systems, the panelists discussed the benefits of implementing XML-enabled applications.

Panelist Denny Driggs, president of, said, "These XML-based frameworks provide us with the ability to easily and seamlessly incorporate viaLink's Item Catalog-based services such as pricing and promotion information with our state-of-the-art shared ordering network. This interoperability ultimately leads to end-to-end e-business solutions for our shared customers."

Panelist Rick Freeman, vice president of e-commerce development at logistics and distribution management systems provider OMI International, discussed the ease and speed of implementing XML solutions. "OMI went from zero XML functionality to basic XML communication in about 80 person-hours," he said.

Other panelists included Rick Hoffman from Cyclone Commerce; Ram Viswanathan from i2 Technologies; and Dale Whetzel from TCI.

About viaLink

The viaLink Company is a leading provider of secure, subscription-based, business-to-business electronic commerce solutions that enable the consumer packaged goods (CPG) and grocery industries to more efficiently manage their highly complex supply chain information. viaLink's services allow manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers to communicate, exchange and synchronize item, price and promotion information in a more cost effective and accessible way than has been possible using traditional methods. By providing more accurate trading information, viaLink believes trading partners can increase sales and reduce costs. Internet access to the company's Web site is available at

Media Relations Contacts:

Bob Noe 
Executive Vice President 
The viaLink Company
(972) 934-5501

Scott Redick
The Reynolds Communications Group
(847) 581-9363 ext. 101

Investor Relations Contacts:

Andy Kerner
Chief Financial Officer
The viaLink Company
(972) 934-5504

Julie Crandall/E.E. Wang
Pondel/Wilkinson Group
(310) 207-9300