The Client is a consulting company for the offshore development of Logistics and Supply Chain Management related Business Solutions. To build a generic Shipment Data Aggregator application that can be used to power hosted shipment tracking services as well as sold products to end clients having high-volume shipment transactions in their business.
The application involves collecting information about websites from which shipment tracking information is to be aggregated in CSV or XML format using FTP, screen scraping through the sites to collect shipment status and related data, aggregating the content in a database so that shipment status can be seen through a web-based front end, and providing the aggregated data back to clients in CSV or XML format using FTP for further internal use and processing.
Key features desired in the application were:
- A Simple reporting front end with easy to locate key information like shipment status and location
- A High performance backend data aggregator utility as data needed to be collected from hundreds of websites in each batch
- A Simple mechanism for creating data aggregation batches
The figure below depicts system workflow of the Shipment Data Aggregator and specifies technologies used for implementing individual components. The sequence of flow starts from activities marked with “1” and proceeds sequentially. Once the application was completed, it required maintenance work for updating navigation and data capture patterns whenever transporters’ websites undergo changes. e-Zest has been maintaining these updates since completion of Shipment Data Aggregator development.
e-Zest created a generic application easily extensible for selling as a product. Small lightweight components provided significant business value to client. It was further supported by extremely efficient post-development maintenance to maintain data quality.