Syntrex B2B App Invades U.S. Market

An Italian developer is bringing its business-to-business data transfer technology to the U.S. market.

An Italian developer is bringing its business-to-business data transfer technology to the U.S. market.

Syntrex Corp., formerly known as Communications Services International Srl., next week will introduce BDE (Business Data Exchange), a platform that moves data among disparate systems within an enterprise and to outside partners and customers.

The Internet-based software, which has been available in Europe for three years, will be marketed as a less expensive alternative to electronic data interchange networks and more secure than FTP or HTTP, according to Syntrex CEO Maurizio Balestrieri.

The heart of the BDE platform is a Java-based server that manages the data transfers. Once an enterprise installs the server, it makes 400KB Java clients available to its internal and external users either through e-mail, a Web browser or an embedment in an existing application or database.

When the client sends or receives data, a digital signature is created. The server authenticates the user, encodes the data, issues a return receipt and logs the event.

A restart feature ensures that transmissions that are interrupted resume automatically where they left off. This is important when users send very large files.

Scalability and fault tolerance are guaranteed through the server architecture, Balestrieri said. Security is available through an embedded PKI (public-key infrastructure) certificate. Although some PKI vendors have faced difficult financial times, Balestrieri said that has more to do with their business models than with the efficacy of PKI technologies.

"They dont have the right pricing ... [but] they will change," he said. "We have our own X.509 PKI certificate; we dont charge anything for it.

"We do interface with the other PKI vendors."

Ease of integration is also a key differentiator from other business process integration developers, Balestrieri said. BDE does not transform the data being moved, as do some of its competitors. Instead, the software can make a call into a database or an application or be the subject of a call.

The company, based in Padova, Italy, with U.S. headquarters in Manchester, N.H., this spring built a connector to Microsoft Corp.s BizTalk business process orchestration server. While BizTalk provides some level of security on its own, the connector to BDE makes BizTalk security rock solid for business-to-business data transfer, Balestrieri said.

Privately held Syntrex, which claims to be profitable, next week will announce it has secured a $9.2 million investment from London-based 3i Group plc., an international venture capital company.

BDE, available now, is priced at about $50,000 per server CPU plus a small per-user fee.