Bookstore improves information platform

Published on Mon, 30/07/2012, 11:35:11

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Software technologies company InterSystems has assisted Koorong Books migrate its computer system to run on a Pick-based system to improve its performance and integration.

The Aussie religious bookseller will now run on the Intersystems CACHE object database. This now means that Koorong Books can migrate its enterprise application and take advantage of CACHÉ's complete range of object and SQL development technologies.

With over 20 physical stores and an online presence offering books, eBooks, audio, music, DVDs and gifts, Koorong Books needed a modern and efficient information platform with the flexibility and agility to compete with global online booksellers.

In addition to seeking increased performance and better support for Internet technologies, the bookseller also wanted to preserve the business logic built up over 30 years in its enterprise system, which was based on Pick technology.

"As systems developed with Pick technology get older, they get harder to maintain and interface with new technologies to stay competitive," said Paul Bootes, managing director for Koorong Books. "When someone says 'can you fix this?', our developers like to have a solution in 10 minutes. That is the culture that we have always had, and CACHÉ just makes it so much easier."

After a six-month migration, Koorong Books' new CACHÉ-based enterprise system - also aided by new hardware – saw online performance improve. For example, product lookups which previously required more than 30 seconds on a busy day are now completed in less than a quarter of a second regardless of load.

The CACHE system also offers the company the benefits of flexibility and agility.
 
"One small example is that the previous system could only output daily reports in XML format instead of Excel," said David Perry, manager of IT & digital content for Koorong Books. "That was extremely frustrating because you couldn't open them on mobile devices. As soon as we migrated to CACHÉ, we fixed it."

The CACHÉ's built-in functionality also enabled the company to develop its own web service that was able to integrate seamlessly with its bank’s merchant facilities.

The other benefit Koorong saw from was from InterSystems iKnow technology, which makes it possible to analyse unstructured data such as free text.

"The major attraction of iKnow is that it is tied directly into the database, so we don't have to maintain a separate data warehouse,” Perry said.

Koorong Books is using iKnow technology to analyse the unstructured text blurbs for over 200,000 books and DVDs. After identifying common words and concepts, the bookseller can then correlate them against sales figures. It also expects to use iKnow to improve its book recommendation system and to identify and remove duplicate book listings to improve its Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and reduce paid listing costs.


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