LODESTAR Supercharges Performance of its Customer Choice Suite(TM) Software for Utilities

    Solution leverages ADO.NET to increase performance; customers see a 2-4x

    PEABODY, Mass., April 9 /CNW/ -- LODESTAR Corporation, a leading
developer of software for the energy industry, today announced significant
technical enhancements to its LODESTAR(R) Customer Choice Suite(TM) (CCS(TM))
software. The upgrades are designed to give utilities improved ease and speed
of access to data.
    LODESTAR's CCS is a comprehensive suite of applications developed
exclusively to help energy companies drive costs down and increase efficiency
in critical business operations. CCS is built upon LODESTAR's Energy
Information Platform (EIP(TM)), a robust platform that includes an interval
data management tool, process management console, reporting framework,
security, the LODESTAR Rules Language (which allows the separation of business
rules from applications), and other robust functionality. The EIP allows for
accurate and quick import, storage, organization and validation of large
amounts of complex usage data.
    LODESTAR's EIP has historically employed Open Database Connectivity
(ODBC) and classic ActiveX Database Objects (ADO) for database access. As a
result, database requests needed to travel multiple layers between the
database and the application, which slowed the entire process. With today's
announcement, CCS now leverages ADO.NET for database access, which eliminates
the multiple layers between the application and the database. ADO.NET enables
CCS customers to realize the following benefits:

    -- Allows for more direct communication between applications and

    -- A performance increase of 2 - 4 times faster

    -- The system now can more quickly and easily manage massive amounts of
       data and allows for users to save large numbers of records

    "When it comes to utilizing data, utilities are among the most
sophisticated companies in the world. As a result, they require world class
technologies that let them quickly access data to streamline operations," said
John Hovan, chief technology officer of LODESTAR. "The technical enhancements
we're unveiling today provide huge value to customers and extend our
leadership in the marketplace."
    In addition to the new underlying data access technology, LODESTAR also
announced several other key enhancements to its CCS solution, including:

    -- Revised Interval Data Structure . Lets users associate interval data -
       such as meter, pricing, weather, etc. - with any entity, allowing for
       much greater flexibility.

    -- Updated Graphical User Interface . Enables users to easily view and
       edit interval data.

    -- Process Management Console . Announced separately today, LODESTAR's
       Process Management Console is completely integrated with its CCS
       solution, enabling utilities with more robust tools and graphical
       interfaces to configure and manage the various business processes that
       are implemented within LODESTAR's system.

    About LODESTAR Corporation
    LODESTAR Corporation is a leading provider of energy software solutions.
Our customers include 125 of the largest energy companies in North America,
Europe, and Australia. LODESTAR Corporation's headquarters is at Two
Corporation Way in Peabody, MA 01960 USA. LODESTAR and LODESTAR's other marks
are either trademarks or registered trademarks of LODESTAR Corporation in the
U.S. and/or other countries. All other brands or products are trademarks or
registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as

    Contact: Michael DiLorenzo

             +1 617.233.4812


For further information:

For further information: Michael DiLorenzo of LODESTAR Corporation, 
+1-617-233-4812, michael_dilorenzo@lodestarcorp.com Web Site:

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