iPrint Technologies to Deliver Web Services With Microsoft .NET Platform
Monday, June 11, 2001
MENLO PARK, Calif.--June 7, 2001--iPrint Technologies inc., the leading online printing technology and infrastructure provider, today announced that it has expanded its relationship with Microsoft Corp. by enabling iPrint.com as an XML Web Service using the Microsoft .NET Platform. The relationship will initially focus on allowing customers to seamlessly incorporate iPrint's online service offerings with their own applications and services. iPrint will enable its Web service with the .NET Framework and .NET Enterprise Servers. "iPrint provides businesses and consumers a fun and easy way to improve the print buying process,'' said Steve Bauman, general manager for e-commerce at Microsoft. "By enabling their solutions as XML Web Services using the .NET Platform, iPrint will allow companies and Web properties of all sizes to quickly integrate a comprehensive e-printing solution in theirofferings and take advantage of iPrint's many business benefits.'' In November 2000, iPrint initiated a relationship with Microsoft by supplying a photo gift fulfillment service for visitors to MSN. iPrint's online environment for designing and ordering photo gifts appears on Picture It! on MSN, http://www.pictureit.msn.com. Recently, iPrint participated in the launch of the Microsoft Technology Center-Silicon Valley (MTC-SV) in Mountain View, Calif., where iPrint confirmed its commitment to the .NET Platform and utilized the MTC-SV lab environment to migrate iPrint's systems to Windows 2000 and SQL Server 2000. "The Microsoft .NET technologies let us offer iPrint services so customers can directly incorporate them into their own applications or services,'' said Dave Hodson, chief technology officer for iPrint. "Allowing our customers to integrate iPrint as a set of XML Web services, it increases both the business value and reach of our services.'' iPrint plans to use the .NET Framework to allow users to design and order custom-printed products. The .NET Framework gives iPrint the ability to exchange information and interact with a number of Web sites that want to take advantage of iPrint's e-printing services. iPrint can also offer e-printing services to consumers via Microsoft's software and online services such as MSN and Passport. iPrint currently works in this capacity with other companies by way of its XML-CommerceConnect(TM) technology. Microsoft's robust .NET Enterprise Servers and flexible standards- based interfaces, including SOAP and UDDI, give iPrint the opportunity to implement its technology into other corporate sites and establish business partnerships with companies of all sizes. iPrint's integrated Web service will enable customization and fulfillment of e-printing products from any Web site, portal or software application. This feature enables companies to offer printed and promotional products, as well as document fulfillment, directly from their systems, ensuring an enhanced user experience, more flexibility and greater customer ownership. Users will access iPrint's Web services using the Microsoft Passport user authentication technology and iPrint's CommerceConnect(TM) API by "punching out'' -- linking via XML-based APIs -- to an iPrint-enabled site. This would allow customers to create their custom-printed products, "punch back'' into a shopping cart and seamlessly proceed to checkout. The two companies will also explore enabling iPrint's services with the forthcoming "HailStorm'' Web services from Microsoft. The companies will jointly promote iPrint's Web Service offerings and future services. iPrint also offers specialized commercial printing services such as facilitating the printing of brochures, bound documentation, promotional and apparel items, and direct mail and fulfillment services. Printing is done through iPrint's extensive network of commercial printing partners or via direct output to existing vendors.