Today, a lot of companies choose the best IT tools to meet their needs, in order to be the most competitive possible. They use then ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning) solutions or specialized software. With this approach, their information systems become more and more complex. To choose the best solution to satisfy each of their needs multiples the number of technologies and standards used within the company.
We will look at different issues linked to this approach through the implementation of the SMART Office software within the French retailer group MONOPRIX. This specific solution allows the editing of merchandising files which provide to stores of the Group recommendations regarding the products’ presentation on the shelves.
First of all, we will introduce the project, the essential merchandising functional rules, the reason why the project has been launched, its limits, as well as its main phases. We’ll have a zoom at how the specific software has been chosen.
A presentation of methodologies, technologies and concepts that we’ve used will be followed by the presentation of the method used for putting into place the merchandising application. The approach that we’ve used to complete with success the project will be specified.
Having chosen the software which seems to meet the best our needs, we need to integrate this solution into the existing information system of the company. It is then necessary to collect the information needed for the good running of the software in order to provide elements which are needed for editing the recommendation files regarding the products’ presentation on the shelves. After a presentation of the existing information system, we will look at the methods for integrating different applications, in particular, with the ETL (Extract Transform and Load) and the EAI (Enterprise Application Integration). The strong point of this kind of tools is to manage the coexistence of heterogeneous systems.
But these software alone are not enough for providing a complete solution to satisfy the business needs. HMI (Human Machine Interface) is also needed to manage the information’s integration, to send via Intranet the recommendation files and to follow up their editing. To reach this objective, it is necessary to organize its applications [JOU05a] and to choose development tools. We had a strong intention to use tools allowing to obtain more readable codes, in order to simplify the maintenance tasks by avoiding the complex development.
Then it’s necessary to choose the architecture to put in place, in which we will deploy the developed applications. The architecture features depend on various aspects: the number of users who will use the future application, the developments’ complexity, the expected response time, the required security level and the requested fail over level. It’s important to find out what kind of architecture to be set up. We’ll then present the Open Source solution based on Apache and Tomcat.
Finally, after having deployed the application in the defined architecture, how do we know that they will offer the expected quality of service? The stress tests will allow us to answer this question. We will present the stress tests features, their main goals, the different commercial or free solutions available in the market, the method used for the stress tests and their limits