Sean Rowland and Rick Pa published and distributed 80,000 copies of PC Currents, a bi-weekly computer news magazine for Hawaii and the Pacific Basin. This issue announced the commercialization of the internet. Shortly thereafter Rowland and Pa began to re-invent the traditional sales catalog so as to make it work over the internet, unwittingly pioneering e-commerce.
On May 8th, HyperMedia Corp. is registered as a corporation formed to conduct business as a publisher of internet media and software. The staff grows from 2 to 6 pioneers and an e-commerce solution featuring dynamic content is under development with a few select testing partners. Hypermedia Corp. would eventually become ECware Corp.
Hypermedia Corporation offers a hosted server-side e-commerce service to merchants in Hawaii and Japan. The software behind the service is part of HyperMedia’s CyberMerchant hosting plan and not released as the ECware stand-alone software package until version 2.0 of the service is tested and ready for installation on other web servers. The first release (version 1.1) of the e-commerce service is rigorously tested in live operation using a variety of real-world merchants with varied requirements.
HyperMedia orchestrates the first live CyberCash supported credit card transaction in the Pacific Basin with ECware 2.x beta testing customer, ColorCom, through First Hawaiian Bank and MAPP.
Soon after releasing version 2.0 of the CyberMerchant e-commerce service, a distributed software version is released and the name is changed to “ECware” (short for electronic commerce software). ECware 2.0 becomes the first ever turnkey server-side e-commerce product with full payment system integration. ECware supports the “try-before-you-buy” concept by distributing a free 60-day evaluation version through major online distribution points such as TuCows, Beverly Hill Software, Ziff-Davis, and many others.
After careful review of ECware 2.0 by CyberCash, HyperMedia is awarded the status of CyberCash Technology Partner and signs a Software Integration and Distribution agreement with CyberCash, Inc. to provide full integration of the CyberCash secure Internet payment system with ECware 2.0 electronic commerce software. CyberCash is the only online payment system available for conducting real-time credit card transactions over the internet. Hypermedia is one of 5 Technology Partners at this time, the other 4 being banks and 1 large computer manufacturer.
ECware Pro 3.02 is officially released. New features include automatic email notification, Dynamic Catalog Pages (DCP), ActiveCGI, UPS Quick Cost Calculator, and enhanced order management features, including a new “order collections” tool for easy order organization and AVS code capturing for credit cards, which helps trap fraudulent orders.
O’Reilly Media – then known as O’Reilly & Associates – recognizes ECware Pro 3.02 as the best e-commerce product to bundle with the latest version of their web server software, WebSite Pro 2.0. At the time, WebSite Pro is the only HTTP server for the Windows Server platform. O’Reilly and HyperMedia Corp. sign a Compatibility Partner Agreement. ECware Pro 3.02 is awarded the WebSite Pro 2.0 Compatibility Sea, is bundled with the shrink-wrapped and online versions of WebSite Pro 2.0, and is showcased on the WebSite Pro web site.
ECware Pro 3.02 is reviewed and rated by Ziff-Davis’ team of professional software evaluators and is awarded the top-level rating of five stars. Ziff-Davis highly recommends ECware Pro 3.02 and describes it as an “electronic-software package that has it all” and as a “major-league” product which is “technically superb”. HyperMedia signs redistribution agreement for the 60-day evaluation copy of ECware Pro 3.02. Ziff Davis redistributes ECware on a free CD-ROM that is included with selected Ziff-Davis magazines.
ECware Pro 4.0 beta undergoes strict testing by CyberCash and is one of the first products to be certified as a CyberCash approved e-commerce product. CyberCash’s Chris Deephouse of engineering calls ECware Pro 4.0 beta “one of best examples of CyberCash integration I’ve seen yet”.
ECware Professional Version 4.0 is officially released at the Fall Internet World in New York City. ECware Pro 4.0 is the world’s first server-side e-commerce software designed specifically for ISPs and developers to offer solutions to the growing small business sector who currently make up the majority of e-commerce prospects. ECware Pro 4.0 attracts small businesses due to its combination of a rich feature set, low price point, easy administration, and because it significantly reduces lead time and initial deployment costs through site development efficiency.
ECware Pro 4.0 e-commerce software enable merchants to customize currency symbols and all text that shoppers see, making it possible for ECware Pro 4.0 to be used to sell products over the Internet in any language. Open currency support is already available.
HyperMedia Corporation announces the sale of the 10,000th ECware online store. This announcement comes only 8 months after HyperMedia announced it had reached sales of 5,000 online stores. “Sales have been increasing at a phenomenal rate during the last several months”, said Sean Rowland, ECware Software’s CEO and Creative Director. Rowland added: “In addition to strong growth of sales to our U.S. clients, we are also selling increased volume to Europe and Asia as e-commerce catches on in those markets.”
HyperMedia Corporation, a pioneer of electronic commerce software, announces a corporate name change that more closely represents the focus of the company and identifies the company with the software brand, ECware.
ECmerchant 2000 (ECware Pro 5.0) is officially released at the Spring Internet World in Los Angeles CA. ECmerchant 2000 is a server-side commerce solution for small to mid-sized merchants and is distributed through HyperMedia’s ASP partners. ECmerchant 2000 makes itself available to U.S. and foreign SMCs, who, before now, were limited by the localization restrictions that ECware’s rival e-commerce products present.
Within days of the announcement of ECmerchant 2000, several dot-com businesses were shut down as the stock market took a deep dive. This trend continued for 2 years, ending in 2002. Because HyperMedia is a small privately-owned business with positive cash flow and is privately funded, it survived the dot-com implosion and remained a small company focused primarily on the maintenance and upgrading of its own well-established customer base.
ECware 5.5 is released after having released versions 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4 to our private customer base since 2000. New features include a completely rebuilt back-end with improved payment and fulfillment management, improved organization of orders, and easier management of products. On the front end, products can be presented with unlimited extensions and the checkout process is reduced to 2 clicks.
ECware 6.0 is a complete rewrite, moving the source code to the .Net platform in c#. New features include improved performance, modular design, increased customization, and many enhancements to existing functionality.
ECware 7.0 is released with the addition of direct marketing features and full OrderMotion OMX integration support. Version 7.0 is adopted by Northern Response, the largest direct marketing company in the Northern hemisphere, including Canada, the U.S., and Europe.
ECware 8.0 is released having undergone a complete rewrite using the MVC design pattern and incorporating full social media and SEO support at the meta tag level, making good use of product names and descriptions and adding ad-hoc product embedding tags for use in non e-commerce web pages. Flagship customer, Waikiki Aloe, who agreed to be a test case for the new SEO features rapidly climbed to the first page of google, bing, and yahoo! search engines for the phrase “aloe tanning” and stayed there! It moves between 1st and 3rd place organically (after paid positioning) on the first page of google searches.