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N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie’s Gastransport Services Goes into Production with Covast for EDI
The Largest Gas Transportation Company in the Netherlands Relies on Covast to Make Online Trading More Efficient

Atlanta and Rotterdam - March 17, 2004 - Covast, provider of the recommended electronic data interchange (EDI) solution for Microsoft Corp.'s BizTalk Server, today announced that GTS (Gastransport Services, part of N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie), the largest gas transportation company in the Netherlands, has deployed Covast to provide EDI functionality to its trading partners.

A primary mission of GTS is to facilitate the transportation of gas throughout the Netherlands. GTS has to communicate with a large number of partner companies that buy, sell and trade gas and rely on GTS as the intermediary engaged in gas transport. To serve its partners, GTS needs to know how much gas is involved, when and what point the gas goes into the GTS network and at what stage it goes out. Protocols based on EDI (specifically, EdiG@s) have been established within the gas industry as to facilitate communications among the various market players.

Internally, GTS uses Microsoft's BizTalk Server 2000 for application integration. However, the company was not utilizing BizTalk Server to communicate with external parties. GTS is using AS2 as a security protocol and wanted to embark on utilizing EDI for business communications. But the company needed more than BizTalk 2000 to support AS2 and the chosen EDI specifications it sought to utilize. "We chose Covast's EDI Accelerator based on Microsoft's recommendation of Covast as their select EDI partner," said Norbert Ploeger, technical architect, GTS. "Because we had integrated our internal applications using BizTalk, we wanted a product that integrated with BizTalk Server easily. The whole messaging process is seamless - when the message comes in, the process is one uninterrupted transaction."

After the system went live January 1, 2004, the whole process of business communication has been automated using Covast and Microsoft BizTalk Server integrated with back-office systems. "Because GTS has XML and BizTalk as a corporate standard for their internal applications, a very important aspect of the system for the company is the fact that Covast does the translation from EDI to XML," said Daan Scheer, CEO, Covast. "Along with AS2 support, the ability to translate EDI to XML has been and continues to be a very important value proposition across our customer base."

In terms of business objectives, a key goal for GTS was to deploy this system to better respond to the recently deregulated gas market in the Netherlands. All of GTS' internal systems needed to be ready to cope with this new paradigm in which GTS has to facilitate in transporting gas for several parties. Now, GTS partners are connected through a virtual private network (VPN) that was set up between all partners and serves as a shared network. Covast acts as a messaging gateway to the VPN and BizTalk Server is the application broker connecting together all of Gasunie's various applications.

Currently, the system serves 58 trading partners and Gasunie is expecting that to grow considerably in 2004. They are averaging several thousand EDI messages a month between all trading partners on the VPN.

About Gastransport Services (GTS)

Gastransport Services (part of N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie) is a transmission company, responsible for marketing gas transport capacity and related services in the Netherlands. The company also operates the country's gas transmission network, modifying and expanding the system as necessary. The company engages in research and development related to gas transport. In addition, the company makes its knowledge and expertise available on a consultancy basis to clients at home and abroad. Gastransport Services pursues a policy which pays particular attention to health, safety, environmental awareness and saving energy. For more information, please visit

About Covast
Covast provides the Microsoft recommended EDI solution for BizTalk Server. The combination of Microsoft BizTalk Server, the Covast EDI Accelerator and AS2 Adapter delivers the ultimate B2B solution - enabling companies to easily integrate their EDI infrastructures with internal applications and providing a gateway for connecting trading communities. With its European headquarters in the Netherlands and its U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, Covast has strategic relationships with partners and customers including Microsoft, HP, Citrix, Flextronics, Siemens, Ocean Spray, Grampian Foods and ABX Logistics. For more information, visit

NOTE: The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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