Premier Web Services Analyst Spotlights Ascential Software Leadership in $43 Billion Web Services Market

Ascential Software is Only Enterprise Data Integration Vendor Named in Definitive ZapThink Report

WESTBORO, Mass., Jan. 5, 2004 -- Ascential Software Corporation (Nasdaq: ASCL), the enterprise data integration leader, is featured in a new report focused on the future of XML, Web services and service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

Ascential Software is the only enterprise data integration vendor listed in the report, "Service Orientation Market Trends: Predicting the Future of XML & Web Services," by leading technology analyst ZapThink, LLC. The study was published in late December 2003 and highlights Ascential Software as an established "incumbent" vendor with Web services/service orientation capabilities throughout its product line.

"Ascential Software is occupying a prominent place in the Service Orientation market, a market where its customers are clearly headed," said Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst, ZapThink. "The total SOA implementation framework market opportunity will go from $4.4 billion in 2005 to $43 billion by 2010. The Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite(TM) 7.0 and Ascential Real-Time Integration Services(TM) (RTI Services) are well positioned in that market, elegantly extending the reach of Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions to organizations' service-oriented architectures -- a critical need in today's enterprise for realizing the potential of Web services."

The report defines Web services as standards-based interfaces to software functionality. Service orientation is an approach to distributed computing where software functionality is available as discoverable Web services on the network.

In the report, ZapThink identifies Ascential Software as an incumbent in the emerging Service Orientation (SO) information integration segment, projected to rise as high as $4.7 billion in 2010, and the SO application integration segment, projected to rise as high as $7.9 billion by 2010. The coverage reinforces Ascential Software's leadership in the market, recognized in September when ZapThink named Ascential Software a "ZapThought Leader" for helping customers understand how to use XML, Web services and SOAs to build agile, cost-effective architectures.

"This report is a very detailed, objective discussion of the Web services and service-oriented architecture market. Enterprise architects and other IT professionals who are implementing or considering using Web services or deploying a service-oriented architecture will find this report very instructive," said Bob Zurek, vice president of advanced technologies and product management at Ascential Software. "ZapThink's report takes what has been one of the information technology industry's most complex markets and makes virtually perfect sense of it with credible predictions. It also places Ascential Software in its proper context as the only enterprise data integration vendor that has made a meaningful contribution to the SOA state of the art."

In addition to supplying SOA-enabled technology, Ascential Software participates in several Web services standards bodies, including:

* OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards), an international consortium advancing e-business standards for Web services and other technologies; and

* WS-I, an open industry organization committed to promoting interoperability among Web services based on common, industry-accepted specifications and related technologies such as XML, SOAP and others.

About Ascential Software

Ascential Software Corporation is the leading provider of enterprise data integration solutions to organizations worldwide. Customers use the Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite to integrate and leverage data across all transactional, operational and analytical applications with confidence in the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of critical information. Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions enable customers to reduce total cost of ownership and increase return on IT investment. Headquartered in Westboro, Mass., Ascential Software has offices worldwide and supports more than 3,000 customers in such industries as financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, life sciences, manufacturing, consumer goods, retail and government. More information on Ascential Software can be found on the Web at

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events, and these statements are subject to important factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release address a variety of subjects including, for example, the functionality, characteristics and performance capabilities of Ascential's products, technology and services. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in these forward-looking statements: risks relating to the ability of Ascential to expand its market share, growth rates for the enterprise data integration software market, the scope and frequency of data integration projects, the ability of customers to improve performance utilizing Ascential's products and services, integration/divestiture issues resulting from merger/acquisition activities, general business conditions in the software industry, the technology sector, and in the domestic and international economies, rapid technological change in the markets served by Ascential, dependence on international operations, and difficulties that Ascential may experience integrating technologies, operations and personnel of completed or future acquisitions. For a detailed discussion of these and other cautionary statements, please refer to the filings made by Ascential with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, without limitation, the most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Ascential disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements made herein to reflect any change in Ascential's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which such statements are based.

Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite and Ascential Real-Time Integration Services are trademarks of Ascential Software Corporation or its affiliates and may be registered in the United States or other jurisdictions. Other marks are the property of the owners of those marks.

SOURCE Ascential Software Corporation

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Press Contact:    
Chas Kielt
Ascential Software Corporation
(508) 366-3888