The AIRPEX Newsletter

Second Newsletter

This marks the second edition of the BMS AIRPEX Newsletter. The first edition was sent to all our customers and to others we thought might be interested. This second newsletter is being sent to the original mailing list plus others suggested by you. If you intend to forward this to others, give us their names and addresses and we will be happy to add them to our mailing list.

The purpose of the newsletter is to keep you informed about the latest changes in AIRPEX, our plans for the future and where we think the use of computers in the Transportation Industry will go in the future. Please email or fax any articles about your successes or any other topic you may think appropriate to the addresses below.


AIRPEX and the Internet

AIRPEX has been making Web Tracking services available since June, 1998.   We have set up Home pages for several clients, which include Tracking and client-provided information about their capabilities and services.  Some sites attract as many as 400 hits per hour during peak periods.

Besides the Tracking application, we have developed the capability to present reports designed specifically for your major customers.  If you frequently fax reports to customers, check with us to see if that report can be put on the Internet.

On the BMS Web page, there is a sample of our Web Tracking and special report applications.  If you wish to demonstrate to your customers how this capability can benefit them, we can link this demo to your home page.  It will look like your own Tracking Pages.

At your request, BMS will set up an Intranet Home Page for you. This is an internal home page, accessible only by persons on your company network.  You can use it for company announcements, documentation and anything else you can think of.  One of our clients has its entire ISO9000 documentation on its page.


Information about Our Staff, Address and Phone Numbers


Ad Brault
Dennis Makurat
Stuart Gathman
Ed Bond
Greg Rice
Mike White
Susan Bond

Phone Numbers

703) 591-0911
(703) 591-6154

BMS Address

Business Management Systems
4001 Williamsburg Court
Fairfax, Virginia 22032-1139


BMS is Y2K Compliant

 Customs Test
 Onsite Test


We are Ready!  Business Management Systems is Y2K Compliant.  As we approach January 1, 2000, BMS feels it is important to share with you our efforts to ensure that the Year 2000 (or Y2K) has no impact on our systems or on your use of them.

Throughout the evolution of the computer industry, storage and memory capacity was limited. This meant that, in many instances, dates were reduced to six digits with two digits being used to indicate the year. For example a date of August 24, 1999 would often be represented by 08/24/99. With a six digit date, the year 2000 would be represented as “00”. Thus, some computer software cannot distinguish between 2001 and 1901, 2002 and 1902. Being ready for Y2K means that computer hardware and software can understand this date change.

BMS has been planning for the year 2000 ever since its founding more than 20 years ago. This is a complex subject with many facets, which we explained briefly in our article on Year 2000 and BMS Systems.  Basically, systems consist of several levels starting with the hardware and ending with the application programs our customers use.  The levels in our systems are Hardware, Operating Systems, Application Environment Programs, and Application Programs.

Back to Y2K Menu


Customs Y2K Test

Last February, BMS passed the U. S. Customs Y2K test by sending messages to Customs for about a week.  Customs has certified AIRPEX is Y2K Compliant with respect to date data being received from our application programs.  Consequently, for those customers who link with Customs, all date data sent to and received from Customs will be Y2K compliant.

Back to Y2K Menu


Onsite Test for Y2K

AIRPEX was designed to be Y2K Compliant.  Dates are calculated as the number of days since January 1, 4713 BC.  This system of date storage will be valid for several more millennia.

Within AIRPEX, date processing is handled by a centralized set of routines linked to the individual programs at compile time.  Due to our testing, we made some changes to these routines. We now assure that every program at every customer site has the fully compliant version of these routines in place.

Back to Y2K Menu


Some New AIRPEX Features

 AES Certification
 Program Changes



BMS has successfully finished certification testing for the combined U.S. Customs and U.S. Census Bureau new Automated Export System (AES).

In a press release, exporters were advised that the 30 year old Census Automated Export Reporting Program (AERP) would end December 31, 1999. It is being replaced by the Automated Export System (AES), run jointly by Census and Customs. Exporters were encouraged to either sign on to AES right away, while there is time for needed testing, or they would have to revert to filing Export Declarations manually as of January 1, 2000.

Certification for BMS means that as a service provider, our AES software package is considered fully developed, has successfully passed the U.S. Customs certification process, and is available for your use with AES. But you, too, must sign on and pass the routine interface test. The main difference will be that the Export Declaration screen will have some new fields and new procedures for data entry.

The U.S. Customs AES Trade Interface Requirements (AESTIR) documentation provides complete information describing how you can become an AES participant, as well as how you can provide export information to AES, and receive transmissions from AES, once you have become a participant. An overview of AES is provided in the AESTIR, along with instructions on how to become an AES participant. The main body of the AESTIR consists of the transportation and commodity data formats, which are to be used when transmitting export information to Customs via AES. We have taken care of this problem for you. AES data will be transmitted using the same equipment you currently use to communicate with Customs for ABI.

For help or information on how you can sign on as an AES participant, contact Dennis.

Also for your benefit, we will add a Related Links of Interest to our BMS Home Page. In particular, we will include links to both the AES Home Page for AES Information and the AESTIR for AES Implementation Information.

AES has begun accepting transmissions for AES-Option 4. This option allows authorized parties post-departure filing privileges. Only the exporter is allowed to apply for the program and once approved, the exporter or forwarder (on behalf of the exporter) must file the detailed export information as soon as details are available. AES is accepting Letters of Intent to participate in the AES-Option 4 program. The implementation of AES-Option 4 is paving the way for significant increases in AES participation.

Back to Features Menu



FDA Data on the Parts Database

You now have the ability to tie FDA data to an entry in the Parts Database. The data kept for each part has also been expanded. We will soon be adding FCC data as well. These features are automatically installed on your system.

Statement Number Changes

We have changed programs to handle the upcoming change to the statement numbers in the Daily Statement. When there are more than 999 statements for a district, Customs has begun using letters as well as numbers for the statement number. This was a significant programming effort for us in order to stay compatible with Customs, affecting 9 programs and 5 data files, all of which have been automatically installed on your systems.

Reconciliation Flagging

The ability to flag entries for Reconciliation Processing has also been automatically added to your system. The fields can be found on the Miscellaneous Data screen (F9) from the Log Edit screen.

Trade Disputes with the EU

A new program that will check entered worksheet data against a database of countries and HTS numbers has been added. If a Chapter 99 number is applicable, the worksheet data is automatically changed. Currently data for the banana dispute is available. Data for the beef dispute will be available shortly. This feature is not automatically installed. If you would like to have it installed on your system, please call Dennis.

Back to Features Menu


New Technology




BMS attempts to stay abreast of technology that might benefit its clients.  An example is a Virtual Private Network, or VPN.  A VPN uses the Internet to establish a secure “tunnel” between a remote location (say a branch office) and the headquarters system.  This can save hundreds of dollars per month in communication costs.

In order to set up a VPN, an Ascend Pipeline router is required at each end, with the proper features, and each location will need at least an ISDN connection to the Internet.  The Internet connection must be high quality.  The $20/month variety will not work. We have already installed VPN's at five locations. If you would like to know more about installing one, call Ad.

Back to New Tech Menu



Another emerging technology is a Digital Subscriber Line, or DSL.  This technology claims to offer high-speed connections to the Internet.  You probably have been receiving offers for this service.  We do not recommend a DSL at present for two reasons.  First, routers currently available for this service do not support the secure firewall and the VPN technology we have adopted.  Second, indications are that DSL performance will not be as good as one would expect from the bandwidth promised.  When appropriate routers become available, probably next year, BMS will install and test a DSL and determine its performance.

Back to New Tech Menu



Sun Microsystems, Inc. introduced Java in late 1995. Java 1.1, released in early 1997, nearly doubled the speed of the Java interpreter and included Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to support database access, remote objects, an object component model, internationalization, printing, encryption, digital signatures, and many other technologies.

In one of their early papers about the language, Sun described Java as “A simple, object-oriented, distributed, interpreted, robust, secure, architecture neutral, portable, high-performance, multi-threaded, and dynamic language.”

What Sun had developed, was a programming language that simplified the creation of a “Home Page” -- or site -- on the Internet’s World Wide Web. The software enabled producers to make the Web as lively as a CD-ROM, but with the added advantages of continuous updates and real-time interaction between people. At the unveiling of Java, Netscape upstaged the Java developers by announcing that it had agreed to integrate Java technology into the omnipresent, omnipotent Navigator browser. The prospect of Navigator being able to open these new, mysterious, and simple Java technology-based applets on any Web page from any platform was unbelievable and electrifying news.

Java Technology has now evolved to the extent that the Internet and private networks have become the computing environment. Coupled with the power of networking, the Java platform is helping computer users to do things that were previously unimaginable. For example, users can securely access their personal information and applications when they're far away from the office by using any computer that's connected to the Internet.

The idea is simply that Java technology-based software works just about everywhere -- from the smallest devices to supercomputers. Java technology components don't care what kind of computer, phone, TV, or operating system they run on. They just work, on any kind of compatible device that supports the Java platform. Java technology is widely regarded as revolutionary, because it was designed to let computers and devices communicate with one another much more easily than ever before.

If you're reading this in a Web browser on a personal computer or workstation, you've probably already got the Java platform. It's incorporated into all major Web browsers. And soon the Java platform will be built into next-generation telephones, TV set-top boxes, smart cards that fit in your wallet, and many other consumer and business devices. Other kinds of Java technology-based software: programs written in the Java programming language can run directly on your computer (without requiring a browser), or on servers, on large mainframe computers, or other devices. For example, Java technology-based software running on servers in large companies monitors transactions and ties together data from existing computer systems. Other companies are using Java technology-based software on their internal web sites to streamline communication and the flow of information between departments, suppliers and customers.

BMS is now using the power of Java in our Web tracking applications and it is being used for new development of low-level support programs in our AIRPEX application. Ultimately we will use Java to support all our applications, but this will actually be transparent to the user. It’s just that your customers’ tracking usage will be faster and more efficient.

Back to New Tech Menu



Backups run automatically at night. REMEMBER! You must change the backup tapes daily. Although we enhanced the backup routines on all AIRPEX systems, the most important task is to change the tapes. Not changing tapes can result in the loss of data, so a program warns you that the tape has not been changed. Automatic messages are sent to BMS tech support, so be sure to carefully review any email regarding backups.

Besides changing tapes, you are also responsible for cleaning the tape drive heads and cleaning the air filters. Remember the tape drive is the most likely thing to fail.  If you need training for these tasks, please contact us at


Employee Profile

In each Newsletter we will profile an employee to help you get to know the people on the other side of the telephone, or who answer your email questions. Last time Greg Rice was profiled, so if you missed it, click on Newsletter No. 1.

This newsletter features Stuart Gathman, who joined us in 1978 as a Programmer.  He has a B.S. in Mathematics from George Mason University.

His many accomplishments outside the office include gourmet cooking and playing the piano. Raising four daughters, ages 1½ to 10 years, takes up most of his time, however.

Stuart is BMS’ Chief Scientist. He is almost solely responsible for the underlying technology which makes BMS systems work, including the creative design, development, programming, maintenance, and the integration of new, evolving technologies available today.

Currently he is programming the EDX/Java Interface, which will eventually be transparent to the users. To learn more about the look and feel of this TUI (Text User Interface) click on Java AWT on our BMS Home Page.

Welcome to Mike White! Mike is a Licensed Customs Broker with extensive experience in designing and implementing computer systems for both import and export applications. We are happy to welcome him to our staff and expect he will help us to serve you better.


Published by Business Management Systems Inc.
4001 Williamsburg Ct., Fairfax, VA 22032-1139.
Copyright © Business Management Systems Inc. August 1999