Content and Advertizing project for the Retail Industry

The end client is one of the largest manufacturers of electronic weighing machinery in the world. The department we worked with is producing electronic scales and equipment for the retail industry on 4 continents.

Business Need
The need to create a more effective and complete solution determined the company to develop a software – the Content and Advertising for Retail (CAR) – which, together with state-of-the-art hardware equipment would create a complete solution for retailers.
The software facilitates the creation and management of advertising content. This involves configuration, maintenance, storage and printing/displaying of different contents (with different formatting and calligraphic models) for terminals and also selling products to customers worldwide using an integrated online shop

The Solution
Our Romanian team and its German partner created a software architecture, split into 4 modules:
A content administration tool – data protection, content administration, advertising organizer
Content online shop – enables a large amount of items to be purchased and transferred directly into the local database.
Content event server – responsible for the complete processing of the
content (the events generated by the scale are processed by the event server and animation is created and returned to be played on different scale displays)
Impact player – A customized Flash player implemented as a separate module, developed to be used by the scales and/or external displays to display the advertising animations.
The Content Administration Tool is used for content administration and is provided with a very user friendly interface, with a unique flow of displayed information. The GUI is customizable for every user, thus
providing comprehensive feedback.
The content event server and online shop modules are embedded into one single application. This makes the switching from the event server (which uses a local database) to the online shop easy and fast. Content can be downloaded from the online shop directly into the local database for further usage.

It was challenging but fun to manage an international team and overcome communication issues while keeping a close collaboration with the client.

The technical challenges:

  • Combining very different technologies (Java – .NET – Action Script –
    C++) in a single system without sacrificing performance
  • Creating a system for creating/displaying advertisings on the scales
    and on the external displays with reduced CPU and memory usage
  • Optimizing processing large amounts of data without affecting the
    overall performance and responsiveness of the application
  • Encryption, encoding and compression of data to ensure secured and
    reduced network traffic
  • Compatibility with different database servers

Technology summary

Java, Spring, OpenAmeos (combines UML 2.0 Profile support and MDA® based Model Transformation), C# .NET 2.0, Infragistics, IKVM – for Java-.Net bridging, JAX-WS, SQL SERVER 2005, Firebird SERVER, XML and XSLT, FFMpeg, ActionScript, FOP, InstallShield, Ant, Subversion

Finished: May 2009
Duration:May 2009 – April 2007
Team Size:4 Java developers, 3 .Net developers, 1 Action script developer, 1 Database developer, 1 Install Shield developer, 2 Testers