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Northern Electric Retail, the 40-shop electrical retailer, took advantage
of Progress Software professional
services to launch e-shopping within a five month timescale. Their fully
functional ‘e-tail’ application
includes an online catalogue, shopping basket and integrated credit card
processing facility. The system also
integrates to the back-office order processing system for price and
availability information and order
fulfilment. The success and speed of the project was down to a tight
collaborative approach between Northern
Electric and Progress, who developed the application using an e-commerce
framework in WebSpeed running on a
Progress engine.

The e-shop solution was developed using a pre-built template in WebSpeed,
Progress’s integrated development
environment for building and deploying highly scalable, e-business
applications that process large volumes of
transactions. The template provided basic e-commerce functionality, which
was then customised to Northern
Electric’s individual requirements. This reduced the amount of front-end
coding, cut development costs and
time to market, and yet delivered a fully functional, individually
tailored e-business solution that
integrates with existing systems.

Progress recommended a specialist company, FrontEnd, to design the look
and feel and ‘ergonomics’ of the site
for maximum consumer-appeal.

Customers transact via WebSpeed running on an NT4 webserver linking into
the Progress back-office database
holding stock, pricing and delivery details. Robustness was a high
priority so that the web site can operate
independently of the back-office system should the link fail and/or when
the shops are closed.

Gary Boyd, Financial Controller for Northern Electric Retail explains:
"Unlike our shops, the web will be open
24/7 and there will be times when the back-office system will be updating
stock from the stores or the link
may fail. At such times it is essential the web site continues to
operate." Progress consultants designed the
system to operate independently and batch update from the back-office as
soon as the link is restored.

Marketing of the new site has been deliberately low-key and sales were
initially slow but are gathering pace.
Boyd is confident in the potential of the site: "Once we are happy we can
service the demand, we will start
running on-line loyalty schemes such as emailing customers electronic
coded vouchers which they can redeem
on-line or authenticate in-store. The site offers a wealth of such
marketing schemes at minimal cost and with
a fast pay-back. We envisage 20 per cent of our business will be conducted
on-line within five years."

About Progress Software

Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS) is a global supplier of
software products and services for
developing, deploying and managing business applications moving to the
internet. Products include messaging
servers, application servers, databases, application development and
management tools. More than 2000
application service providers (ASPs) and independent software vendors
(ISVs) supply over $5 billion worth of
Progress®-based applications and related services, each year. Customers in
over 10,000 organisations across
100 countries worldwide, including 60% of Fortune 100 companies rely on
Progress products. For more
information, visit

Progress and WebSpeed are registered trademarks of Progress Software
Corporation. All other trademarks
contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

For further information please contact Claire Weanie, Progress Software -
T: 44 (0)1753 216300 F: 44 (0)1753 216301.

Press enquiries to:

Salli Roskilly,

Saffron Communications.

T: 44 (0)1763 208708

F: 44 (0)1763 208813


This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Saffron Communications (Hertfordshire) in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit