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Private keys unlock ecommerce Public key ecryption, in which a document encoded using a private key can be decrypted using only by the creator's public key, is critical for uses being email, EDI and Internet access.  John Pescatore, a computer security analyst in Rockville, MD, said, "users have two basic choices: risk having corporate data stolen or use public-key encryption to lock out unwanted eyes".  "The old-fashioned way of sending data--sending floppy disks overnight--is too expensive and too slow in the 21st century," he said. The Federal Reserve Bank in New York is a heavy user of public-key encryption for these very reasons.

XML boosts EDI "Only 2 percent of the world's businesses use EDI but with XML/EDI you could potentially bring in 70 to 80 percent", said David Webber, an EDI consultant and programmer and a founding member of the XML/EDI Group, a consortium of several hundred companies and individuals dedicated to promoting the concept. "It would mean that EDI would grow up to be what it should have been all along," he said.

Want up-to-the-minute Ecommerce news? Look at The Electronic Commerce Guide for late-breaking topics in the EDI/ecommerce industry.

EDI by fax CommercePath has introduced an EDI-to-fax solution to let businesses extend their reach to their non-EDI compliant trading partners. The EDI Interpoint module for its ecommerce server uses existing EDI implementations and a fax server to give customers EDI-to-fax translation. It receives messages from any EDI translator, converts the messages to fax and delivers the messages to the trading partners' faxes. The EDI Interpoint module is priced at $20,000. Mapping customers' EDI data into fax format is also required.

Affordable EDI The EC Company offers an EDI solution that's affordable for small to medium-sized companies. Their flagship product, EC Exchange, enables customers with EDI capabilities for well under $1,000.  The product lets users dial in to a secure TCP/IP network and brings ecommerce to businesses unable to afford expensive VAN's. Large companies use it between themselves, but EDI technology hasn't reached everyone. CEO Andrew Duncan says, "what we do is extend the technology down to the middle and smaller markets, just like fax technology got pushed down in the early and mid 80's."


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