A Retail Extranet

This is a case project designed to construct a retail extranet for a major online store's vendor.

Project Description

The online store currently sells a number of products on their web site from various vendors and relies on the vendor to ship the product directly to the customer. Because of this arrangement, the online store needs an effective way to transmit sales order information from its web site to its accounting system and to its vendors. They decides to use XML to transfer the order information to their vendors. Once an ordered is received, the vendor needs to convert it to its own accounting system. When the order is filled, the vendor needs to send an confirmation to Walmart.

A Summary of the XML Transactions

  • An order is placed on the online store’s site for a particular vendor’s product.
  • The order is converted into XML on the company’s side using an converter component.
  • The order is then transferred to the vendor’s FTP server by the online store.
  • At this point, the custom XML program written for the vendor is used to parse the order file, extract the data from the XML document, and store it in a database employed by the vendor’s backend business system.
  • Then, an order confirmation file is automatically sent back to the online store by the custom XML program.  This order confirmation conforms to the XML specification provided by the online store.
  • Once the order is filled and shipped, the vendor must once again use the custom XML program to send the order status to the online store.  The purpose of the order status file is to inform the online store that the order has been shipped, and by which method.
  • Upon receipt of the order status file, the online store automatically sends back a confirmation in XML format acknowledging receipt of the order status file.
  • There are also other functions in the customer XML program that are used by the vendor.  These include allowing the vendor to add and remove products from Wal-Mart’s web site by transmitting a compliant XML document to the online store.  Whenever one of these types of files is sent, the online store automatically acknowledges receipt of the XML document with a XML confirmation file.