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  • Skills Needed:
    ajax, css, html, API integration
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The Challenge

As you can probably imagine, there’s a lot of information and record keeping involved in importing goods into the United States.  Matthew Fotouhi is the CEO of Acelynk and his background in computer science, and the import business has put him in a position to create the leading software for importers.  The power of Acelynk is that it anticipates the common use cases, automates repetitive data entry, notifies people in the workflow process.. the list goes on.  One of the value adds to Acelynk’s website is access to a public set of Importer tools.  These tools are free for the public to use, and are helpful for importers to quickly look up information and calculate shipping values.  The challenge posed to us was to create a seamless looking integration of these tools into their WordPress website. The presentation had to be as high quality as the software, and as responsive as the application itself. The data for the calculations needed to be pulled in from remote servers, hosted using Microsoft powered technology.  Finally, they wanted to create a seamless experience where interested importers could sign up for their newsletter (managed with Hubspot).

The Solution

The solutions involved to create these tools were an opportunity for us to employ a wide variety of skills. Essentially we were able to write software to talk to the Acelynk application servers in it’s own language, and translate it into data the Acelynk WordPress website could use to power the import tools (in geek speak, we wrote a restful API to convert SOAP base XML into post calculated JSON data served with AJAX).  Ahem.

Once we had the data from the Acelynk servers, we were able to focus on the front end presentation of the calculators.  Acelynk’s website is build using WordPress, and they already had a design in place.  We were able to pick up the look and feel of the current site, and keep the presentation of the calculators consistant with the branding.

The final steps involved making the workflow of using the calculators as smooth as possible. This may not mean a whole lot to folks who use a tool just one time, but anyone who sits at the computer and has to use these tools over and over benefits immensely.  There are no page reloads, and all the information is served to the screen on demand. The final product are a set of import tools that are fast, clean, and easy to use.

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