Custom eCommerce Development in PHP and SQL Server

Sometimes off-the-shelf software is a simple choice and a smooth integration. For many ecommerce retailers determining which shopping cart platform to use is a big decision and a process of reviewing the pros and cons of each platform and weighing those to determine which path to take. For other companies, an off-the-shelf solution doesn’t provide the workflow integration that they require and custom development is necessary.

Dixon Ticonderoga Company had done research into various shopping cart platforms and how they would potentially interface with JD Edwards, their ERP system, but couldn’t find anything that would dynamically generate content and orders through their system to minimize their administrative work. The workflow requirement of orders being entered by CSRs at HQ but automatically processed at their distribution facilities was paramount.

In early 2013, Dixon Ticonderoga Company approached Technetium about developing an ecommerce store that would perform these dynamic tasks and integrate with their ERP system and current workflow requirements. After several initial meetings and discussions, we were engaged to lead the charge on this development initiative.

sprint-cycleThis project was very sophisticated in how it needed to interact with existing SQL data, so we began by developing thorough wireframes and use case documents to define the screens, required interactivity, data being pulled from the system versus stored server side, and what data is to be displayed, collected or stored. Planning is key. Together we defined the system and agreed on what was being developed, how the sprints would be planned, and scheduled out the development timelines.

During our initial discussions and the planning phase, it was determined that the site would be written in PHP within the Windows environment to smoothly interface with their ERP system and current network environment. The final product would not only provide a streamlined user interface and responsive design for mobile compatibility, but a custom admin area was to be developed for simplified site management and maintenance.

60% of consumers do product or service research “several times a month” via a mobile device. – Local Corporation April 2012

Over the next several months our team successfully managed development sprints of database schemas, SQL calls, functional arrays, page coding and frontend interface design. A project of this scope and magnitude has many tasks and tackling them sprint by sprint, allowed both teams to be accountable for their task and requirements to complete the sprint and manage the overall project completion.

The final product launched in late 2013 and has facilitated a growing online ordering system. The site’s responsive design accommodates a growing mobile marketplace by providing a touchscreen user experience on small screens. Our teams continue dialog and implementation of functional areas and admin screens for Dixon Ticonderoga to successfully manage their online business.

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Traditionally, we strive to provide our clients with the best fit for their needs and budget. Are you evaluating third-party software for a new project, but nothing matches your workflow requirements? Many times when off-the-shelf software doesn’t hit the mark, custom development is the perfect solution.

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