I came across an interesting web site http://www.hubspot.com/ that will evaluate your web site. You just need to supply your email address and your web address. They will run a free evaluation of your web site and provide some really cool results. Here are our results. http://websitegrader/com/site/www.showmetheparts.com. We found a couple very simple things that we could do to improve our site right away. One thing missing was a blog. Now we already have a Facebook page and Tweet all the time, what could we possibility blog about. I thought maybe people would be interested in the some of the inner workings of how ShowMeTheParts is being developed and extended. So this blog was born. We have done a lot of really cool things with our technology over the last 3 years and not a lot of great communication on what we have done. So this blog will serve as a log of ShowMeTheParts.
Let’s provide a little history first. ShowMeTheParts was created out of frustration we would hear from our catalog customers about how long it would take for their catalog content to make it into the hands (or eyes) of their customers. Vertical Development’s main business has always been providing software solution to aftermarket suppliers that help them maintain their catalogs and produce the printed books and electronic files. www.VerticalDev.com So their pain was our pain. Since we know a little about automotive catalog database, we thought we could build something that could be of value to their customers and so ShowMeTheParts was created.
Our technology actually consists of 3 pieces of software besides the database.
ShowMeBuilder is our content management tool that our product managers use every day to load data we receive from our data providers. One of our goals was to turn data around in 24 hours, so we needed a tool that could easily replace a data set with a new version. Depending on the source file, it takes 3 steps to replace data set. Read the file, Remove old file and load new one. It’s really that simple. We also needed to follow industry standards, so we adopted the VCDB as our application catalog. One of the biggest road blocks other aftermarket catalogs encounter is the conversion from the industry standard tables into their own propriety vehicle table. This process takes time and could cause mistakes if not handled properly. So the ShowMeBuilder takes data from our data providers and quickly loads it with little conversion, that how we achieve that 24 hour turn around.
Ok that is enough for now. I need to get back to programming. Next time I'll take about ShowMeTheParts.com