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IT and Business Architecture/Using an off the shelf "shopping cart" as a product database


Hi Royden,
The company I work for uses an antiquated inventory management program called Anzio.  It is totally non-user-friendly. We are constantly sourcing new products overseas and adding new products to our line.  Each product has a tremendous amount of information associated with it -- FOB cost, duty rate, landed cost, packaging & packaging specs, product specs, product dimensions, bar code #, description, color, style, weight, etc.  Plus there could be many documents that go along with the product -- product drawing, MSDS, UL certificate, packaging art files, product images, etc.
Right now we use a share drive with folders and excel sheets to store and manage all of this information and needless to say, it's a mess.  It occurred to me that a basic off-the-shelf e-commerce shopping cart program could be a great way to organize this information and make it very user-friendly and easily searchable. We could use all the functionality of a basic shopping cart program EXCEPT the actual selling functions. Does such a program exist? Databases seem far too complicated to set up, while shopping carts are much simpler. I just haven't been able to find a program that's designed not for e-commerce but for serving as an internal database of products and product information -- essentially an internal, web-based product catalog with a web page for each product. What would be your recommendation?  Thanks, Hank


The problem with your solution is you get very little of what a real inventory system gives you. ABC and cycle times are almost never in a simple e-Com sales tool.  I would suggest you look at a visual open source inventory system.

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Royden Akerley


Any architectural question relating to the business change, requirements, and solution design activities as a part of the business/IT development process. I can discuss SOA, and traditional development, design patterns, architectural paradigms, and professional accreditation (or associations).


1974 began as a system operator in SHL Atlantic. 1978 worked as developer and data base anlyst. 1986 became a software designer. 1989 became an enterprise level Technical Director and Architect for Blue Chip company. Ardent adherent to the ISO and CMM standards for process standardization and improvement since 1988 Concentrated on the design or re-engineering of large complex applications since 1989 (majority of projects were over $10M USD and 2 were over $100M USD) High-performance strategist focusing on optimizing efficiency and creating competitive advantage Respected professional, repeatedly recruited to build start-up IT infrastructures that bolster profitable growth, manage quality development/delivery activities, turnaround poorly performing programs, and architect solutions to maximize ROI. Thought leader and industry recognized expert in Service Oriented Architect, lecturing and consulting to industry and government globally. Contributes regularly and participates as speaker in 2-3 conferences a year around the globe. Led the architecture and integration of hardware, firmware and software relating to large-scale intranets and data inter/exchange using everything from EDI through FTP to XML for financial institutions, telecommunications firms and governments Exceptional communicator, who combines solid business and technical acumen while building consensus and creates synergy among diverse groups. Experience with Banking, Logistics, Telecommunications, Government Currently one of 5 Enterprise Architects for the worlds largest logistics and express company.

International Association of System Architects | Canadian Information Processing Society | World Wide Institute of Software Architects | Open group - Architecture Forum | Data Processing Management Association | International Programmers Guild

B Comm - Major: Data Processing Management, Minor: Accounting | Certificate - Scientific Computer Programming | M Sc - Information Science | DCS - Thesis - "Business Alignment, Change and IT Requirements Management"

Awards and Honors
CIPPA Award (1992, 2005) SIAAA Award (2008)

Past/Present Clients
Aliant Communications | Atlantic Kidney Transplant Clinic | BC Workers Compensation Board | Brascan Power | CARIS | Corkette McConnell | DFA Philippines | DHL Express | DHL Global Forwarding | DHL SPL Asia | ESA | Globe Telecom | GTE | Hong Kong Government | LRA Philippines | LTO Philippines | Malaysia Government | Ministerio de la Salud Pública – Chile | NB Tel | NSO Philippines | PCI – Equitable Bank | PharmaCare | Phil Health | Rural Health Administration – Uganda | Smart Communications | World Health Organization

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