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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • IBM Japan, Nihon Sun, Others Form JavaPOS Study Group
  • March 3, 1999 (TOKYO) — IBM Japan Ltd., Nihon Sun Microsystems K.K. and other computer companies have established a study group for Java technology called JavaPOS, for point-of-sales (POS) systems used by retailers.
    The study group, which is called the JavaPOS Study Group, was established on Feb. 24. It includes major department stores. Among the department stores that have joined is Isetan Co., Ltd.

    Management of the group is shared by nine key companies: IBM Japan, Nihon Sun, Isetan, WithSystem Inc. (an affiliate of Hankyu Department Stores Inc.), Mycal Systems Inc. (an affiliate of Mycal Corp.), Siemens K.K., Seiko Epson Corp., NCR Japan Ltd. and Fujitsu Ltd.

    A plenary meeting for launching the group was held Feb. 24, with 20 member companies including those key enterprises.

    The group intends to encourage widespread use of JavaPOS and obtain input on commercial applications of the technology by organizing meetings and seminars for domestic vendors and users. The JavaPOS Study Group will collect information as well as help create opportunities for its members. Also, it intends to exchange ideas with overseas JavaPOS groups, such as those in the United States, which were started as early as March 1997 by Sun Microsystems Inc., IBM Corp. and other companies.

    The group said there are no membership fees. Free membership is aimed at encouraging distributors and other businesses to join the group, and thus promote a wider diffusion of the JavaOS.

    The nine key member companies are jointly exhibiting their studies under the group name at an exhibition called ’99 SA SHOW, which is being held at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight) March 2 through March 5 for retail businesses. This is a part of their efforts to popularize the JavaPOS. (The exhibition is sponsored by Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc.)

    The companies are exhibiting Mycal Systems’ trial model of a POS system based on the JavaPOS.

    The JavaPOS is an application programming interface (API) for POS terminal applications. It was jointly defined by U.S. vendors, including Sun Microsystems, IBM and NCR Corp., in a collaborative effort with major retailers including JC Penney Co.

    JavaPOS-based systems have been introduced in trial cases by some major U.S. retailers, including The Home Depot Inc. and Men’s Warehouse.

    Seiko Epson Corp. has decided to commercialize POS equipment that works with JavaPOS-based software by this summer. The product will be sold overseas.

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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