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Choice Homes Goes Live With Covast for B2B Initiative
Covast Technology Bridges the Gap Between EDI and XML for National Home Builder

ATLANTA and ROTTERDAM – June 16, 2004 – Covast, provider of the recommended electronic data interchange (EDI) solution for Microsoft Corp’s BizTalk Server, today announced that Choice Homes, the 18th largest homebuilder nationwide, selected Covast and Microsoft BizTalk Server to serve as its EDI platform of choice for its network of vendors and trading partners.

Choice Homes relied on a proprietary EDI system along with a third-party application to manage the connection to the company’s value-added network (VAN). The company was looking for a more robust and efficient system to expand its EDI transaction capabilities. Choice Homes looked closely at Microsoft BizTalk Server and assessed it in conjunction with the Covast EDI Accelerator.

“We quickly realized Covast had already created the technology that we would have had to develop ourselves, in-house,” said Tim Farmer, project manager, Choice Homes. “Therefore, we made a decision to go with the combination of Microsoft BizTalk Server and Covast’s EDI Accelerator.”

According to Farmer, the biggest hurdles that Covast was brought in to overcome were the translation from EDI to an XML-readable format and managing the company’s connection to the VAN, which serves as a centralized location for business partners to send transactions.

Choice Homes is utilizing both the EDI Accelerator for BizTalk Server and the AS2 Adapter from Covast. In just three weeks Choice Homes’ first EDI partner was live on the system. In the first use of the system, Choice Homes is receiving invoicing data from its electricity vendors, which in the home building industry is a significant number of transactions. Within days of the first deployment, Choice Homes was able to quickly add additional partners using Covast and BizTalk Server.

“We are pleased that the Microsoft/Covast combination has enabled Choice Homes to lay the foundation for a robust EDI platform,” said Daan Scheer, CEO, Covast. “The homebuilder is now looking at bringing on many new EDI trading partners, and we look forward to being their B2B partner for years to come.”

Choice Homes, known as a technology leader in the homebuilding industry, believes using technology to improve operational efficiencies is more important than ever. “We are excited about the value that Covast has added to our BizTalk Server investment,” said Andrew Brimberry, Choice Homes Chief Information Officer.

About Choice Homes

Since its emergence into the homebuilding marketplace in 1987, Choice Homes, Inc. has established itself as one of the largest builders in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. From one community in 1987 to more than 160 in 2004, over 28,000 homeowners currently live in Choice homes throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, Amarillo, Tyler, San Antonio, Galveston, and Lubbock Texas, and Atlanta and Macon, Georgia. Choice Homes continues to grow rapidly, always emphasizing value and homebuyer satisfaction. Choice's current product line contains over 200 different floor plans and a myriad of options.

Choice Homes is on the web at www.choicehomes.com. Headquarters are in Arlington, Texas, with additional regional offices in Houston, San Antonio, and Atlanta.

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 www.covast.com.

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

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