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Covast Releases the Covast Map Accelerator for Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004
New Product Drastically Reduces the Effort and Costs Associated With Migrating Legacy EDI Systems

Bellevue, Washington – February 8, 2005 – Covast, provider of the recommended electronic data interchange (EDI) solution for Microsoft’s BizTalk Server 2004, today announced the general availability of the Covast Map Accelerator for Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004. The Covast Map Accelerator serves as an automated solution to enable enterprises to migrate legacy EDI systems to Microsoft’s modern integration platform.

Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004 and the Covast EDI Accelerator provide extended B2B functionality while allowing customers to manage and monitor internal and external communications from one central point. A significant hurdle in migrating legacy EDI systems to a next-generation Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004 and Covast EDI Accelerator environment has been the effort and cost involved in the migration of maps and document specifications. Previous Covast conversion projects have shown that the average cost of manually converting one map to a new environment totals around $5,000. Even if the development is done offshore, the average cost is still $750 per map.

“Today companies can easily consolidate their internal and external application integration solutions on one platform,” said Daan Scheer, CEO, Covast. “We developed the Covast Map Accelerator to overcome the hurdles companies face when converting from legacy EDI systems to this new integration platform that supports both their EAI and B2B needs.”

“Covast's Map Accelerator for BizTalk Server 2004 overcomes a big challenge in map conversion projects,” said Matthew Mulligan, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft Corp. “Maps with conditions, calculations and built-in functions have historically been very labor intensive to migrate. The automated functions of the Covast Map Accelerator will improve the speed and efficiency of conversion projects for our customers.”

Based on evaluation of migrations of legacy EDI systems to BizTalk Server 2004, a 100% migration success for the source and target document definitions and an average automatic conversion rate of 80% of the map is typically achieved. The remaining 20% of the map that could not be converted automatically will be annotated with all the details available in the original map. This will help the consultant responsible for the migration finish the map development manually without needing repeated access to the legacy EDI system, since 100% of the original map information is available to the consultant in the BizTalk Mapper environment.

“The Covast Map Accelerator will enable customers to migrate from legacy environments at a fraction of the cost involved when doing it manually,” said Gijsbert in ’t Veld, CTO, Covast. “Another key feature of the Covast Map Accelerator is that it guarantees that the produced schemas and maps are 100% correct. This makes sure that the consultant responsible for the conversion does not have to go through the entire map again – which would severely diminish the benefits of using a migration tool. One of the design requirements for the Map Accelerator was actually that the generated BizTalk maps should be understandable for and maintainable by a consultant – meaning that after the conversion, the maps can actually be further built upon.”

The new Covast Map Accelerator for Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004 - an automated solution for enabling enterprises to migrate legacy EDI systems to this modern integration platform - is available today. For a free white paper titled “Covast Map Accelerator for Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004,” please visit http://www.covast.com/library/map_accelerator_whitepaper.pdf.

About Covast

Covast provides the Microsoft recommended EDI solution for BizTalk Server 2004. The combination of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004 with the Covast Map Accelerator, EDI Accelerator and AS2 Adapter deliver a complete 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 http://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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