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Web-Based System for Retailers

Ruby on Rails
MySQL
MongoDB
Retail
eCommerce

Description

A Web-based system that enables retailers to gather statistics on consumer demand for their products and adjust their sales strategy according to these figures. TapMap is a start-up company that needed a solution to synchronize retailers’ Point of Sale systems with online accounts. The solution had to include a Web system providing information on stock and prices. The information was to be updated on a daily basis and accessible to customers through free iPhone and Android apps. The customers would scan barcodes with their smartphone cameras to compare prices while the Web system gathers statistics and generates reports for retailers. Apart from that, searches and scans were to be displayed on a visual map in real time.

The customer

TapMap is a start-up company that needed a solution to synchronize the retailer’s Point of Sale system with an online account. The stock and prices are updated daily in the Web system. Shoppers can access this data with the help of a free app that works on iPhone or Android. It enables them to compare prices by scanning barcodes with the built-in camera of a smartphone.

The need

As customers search and scan products, the Web system collects, processes, and generates reports for retailers. Searchesand scans are displayed on a visual map in real time.Browsing reports, retailers can track the shopping trends minute-by-minute for a single product or the entire stock. They canuse this information further for the products analytics. A retailer can, for example, compare the demand for Chardonnay in anumber of districts during a month and forecast the amount of wine needed to be in stock in the next month. One can evencalculate the expected sales and open a new POS in the area where the demand has proved to be sufficient.

The challenges

To collect, process, and display the statistics in real time, the system must feature the highest level of performance and scalability. The existing solution was slow and could not satisfy the growing needs of the customer.

The solution

Our team analyzed the architecture of the solution and found a way to improve it. The connections between the objects were optimized, which enhanced the structure of the database. This increased the performance greatly and allowed scaling the solution next to endlessly.

The outcome

The customer has been named one of three winners at the International EXPO 2011. The event was held in the heart of Silicon Valley at the Plug and Play Tech Centre and hosted the world’s leading technology experts. The iEXPO featured promising startups who presented their project pitches to the audience.

Technology stack

Server platform

CentOS

Programming languages

Ruby 1.8.7

Technologies

Ruby on Rails 2.3.8, Sphinx, MongoDB, MapReduce

Databases

MySQL 5.1 (primary), MongoDB 1.8 (for statistics)

Client Platform/Application Server

Web browser/Nginx + Passenger, Apache + Passenger

Development Environment

TextMate

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