Informix offers online retail tools

Informix is launching new e-commerce products specifically-tailored to "brick and mortar" retailers who want to start online operations.

Two Informix applications -- i.Sell and i.Reach -- are being offered to enable retailers to quickly develop an internet capability to compete with companies that are operating solely online, said Kenneth Leung, global retail industry marketing manager for Informix. The applications will run on Sun Microsystems servers, Leung said.

I.Sell uses an internet retailing application suite, an Informix database server and consulting services that enable retailers to set up an online storefront. I.Reach is a database document storage system for managers and customers to retrieve product information, Leung said.

Retailers using the products can set up detailed storefronts capable of deploying an individualised account for every customer who registers with the store, Leung said. "The key to good retailing on the Web is good personalisation," Leung said. "These products allow retailers to customise product offerings."

Informix, which has run its database software on Sun Microsystems platforms for traditional retail applications, will continue the relationship with the online initiative, Bob Delaney, Sun's worldwide retail and distribution marketing manager, confirmed. The two companies have partnered to serve retailers such as Sears, Roebuck & Co, he said.

One analyst said the launch will bolster Informix as it competes in the online market with the likes of Oracle. Informix is helped by using highly-regarded technology, licensed from Art Technology Group, in its i.Sell product , said Albert Pang, an e-commerce software analyst for IDC.

"Informix has a good customer base to begin with," Pang said. "Plus, they want to piggyback on the reputation of Sun, which positions itself as the 'dot com' company."

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