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AT&T opens gate for e-commerce

Broadening its electronic commerce offerings, AT&T EasyCommerce Services will add electronic data interchange capabilities to its network.

Broadening its electronic commerce offerings, AT&T EasyCommerce Services will add electronic data interchange capabilities to its network.

AT&T said the announcement is the first in a series regarding transaction services. Plans include integrating Internet EDI with Web sites and embedded systems, thus opening the service to more businesses.

"AT&T is committed to providing secure, safe and easy electronic commerce solutions to our customers," Kathleen Earley, EasyCommerce vice president, said in a statement. "Today's announcement reinforces our strategy to integrate the AT&T value-added network and the Internet."

Electronic data interchange uses forms to transmit specific kinds of data securely from computer to computer without human intervention, usually over expensive private networks. EDI over the Net holds the promise of being cheaper and more widely available.

AT&T will use Templar software from Premenos and Sparc server hardware from Sun Microsystems.

Templar is the first encryption and authentication software on the market to provide secure, reliable business-to-business EDI over the Internet.