Architecture

Optimization

Optimized Web Server performance is at the forefront of the Development Team’s minds. Both the quality of sPearCat programming and the additional features added daily make sPearCat a vibrant product. sPearCat is a program totally written in Java using WebObjects, making it scalable and allowing clustering. The end user however only requires knowledge in HTML (style sheets and Javascript) to build a template and a browser.

With sPearCat Publisher many different e-catalogs can be built with the data from a single database. Each catalog is unique, with its own name and a variety of customized options and preferences. Different catalogs might be built for different seasons, for specific sales, or for complimentary information made available to partners or sales representatives.

Both item and category objects are entities that contain all the item’s and category’s information. The images and media files are all stored within these items, or categories, as are multi-lingual attributes. Objects contain all organized data.

Dual Database

sPearCat uses two different instances of the business’s database for the two e-catalog development stages. One database instance is used to create and manage the catalog during staging, and the other to deploy the public catalog on an Internet server. When two instances are used in this way — one instance is used to hold the data while it is being prepared, and another to hold the data while it is being deployed for public viewing. The first, we refer to as the “staging” database instance, and the second as the “deployment” database.

Staged and deployed catalogs share the same data, templates, and option settings. sPearCat replicates information from the staging database to the deployment database, and are recommended to run on different computers. But at all times, the staging catalog is independent to the deployed catalog, whether on two different machines or not.

SQL Database

Any SQL professional database can be used with sPearCat. We recommend the use of FrontBase or OpenBase to medium sized businesses, because they are high performance databases, offered at a relatively low price. OpenBase gives merchants more features but is slightly more expensive. Both FrontBase and OpenBase are products of sPearCat’s quality, supported by a very good, fast and reliable Help department.

Fully Browser-based

sPearCat Publisher is accessed through a browser. The advantage of a fully browser-based system is that no additional software needs to be installed on any client machine and that any maintenance or editing can take place from any machine connected to the network. This allows the use of very low cost laptop and desktop computers because only a browser is required. Client requirements are a functional browser with IE5 and over, Netscape 6 or similar. Each license is attributer to one merchant. With the license staging and deployment licenses, any number of catalogs can be created, and any number of people can be assigned varying permissions and access rights.

sPearCat is scalable and deployment machines can be clustered without loss of speed or power.

1. sPearCat Staging

This is our browser-based tool for publishing and administering electronic catalogs. A simple and effective interface gives access to all of the catalog-building features of the system.

sPearCat templates are built using HTML with specialized HTML tags. They are easily customizable, and fully documented. They can include Java Script and Cascading Style Sheets.

2. sPearCat Deployment

sPearCat Deployment works with a Web server to create dynamic catalog pages. Administration tools installed on the hosting Internet server allow secure access to catalogs, while preventing unauthorized access.

For administering your business, sPearCat provides a back-office. This is used to create and manage accounts or clients, to fill orders, and to manage batch payments with settlement at the end of the day. It is based on a queue system, where each queue is determined by the Merchant to match the exact way in which sales are processed within the company’s organization. A plug-in to monitor usage statistics can also be provided.