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Software Spotlight: XML and Ecommerce Software Solutions

The team at XML Philly recently visited leading ecommerce software provider Lead Commerce who helps businesses run sophisticated ecommerce websites and gain access to the massive $1 trillion dollar ecommerce industry. We were curious what role XML played within their web-based application, so we sat down with the Lead Commerce team to learn more. Below are excerpts from conversations we had with the entire team.

How is XML being utilized by Lead Commerce?
I would say the biggest use of XML is within our API. We have a RESTful API that we have designed specifically for the Lead Commerce platform. This allows our customers to "connect" various legacy applications to the Lead Commerce system. So for example, if a merchant has a legacy system that they use for inventory management, they can connect this system via our API to the Lead Commerce inventory components. XML is obviously the transport vehicle for this data being extracted out of Lead Commerce and over to the legacy system. In this way, our ecommerce software can become an integral part of this heterogeneous environment.

Are your "merchants" skilled in XML?
I wouldn't say that they are entirely skilled with the protocol, however, most have at least heard of the technology and some have personal experiences using XML from a previous position or company. Our users usually access their data using CSV formats or pulling in larger data sets into a program like Microsoft Excel or Google Docs. If a customer has work that needs to be done with our API, they usually will use one of our partners to help with that integration rather than do it themselves. I guess at the end of the day, it's still a fairly technical task and requires some decent skills to perform the integration.

Are you using any other technologies similar to XML in your application?
Yes. We also provide a JSON version of our API which allows programmers and developers to access and extract the data sets they need in this way. If we are looking at this from a percentage perspective, it's probably about 50/50 at this point in terms of who uses the XML version and who uses the JSON formats. It really comes down to personal preference and what the project calls for.

Any other thoughts or ideas regarding XML?
We are looking at using XML to feed our HTML5 graphing engine. It's being tested now and if it ends up working optimally, then we will use this to populate our charts and graphs visually. I am sure this is not the only area either that we will use XML either. Our import and export utilities will also provide data in CSV and XML formats.

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In closing, the entire team at Lead Commerce provided a great overview of their product and you can tell right away that everyone involved has a personal stake in the product. We wish Lead Commerce the very best and look forward to hearing more about their XML adventures over the course of the next few years.

XML Technology in the Medical Device Industry

We are always interested in learning about how XML is being used across a wide array of industries. A new innovative XML use-case we discovered recently was the use of XML within vital sign monitors and EKG machines. We wanted to explore this technology and find out how this data was being used. We contacted a professional EKG company called EKG Machines For Sale. They are located online at ekgmachinesforsale.com. The representatives there mentioned that the use of XML with these EKG equipment manufacturers has been extremely beneficial and customers have adopted this technology to assist in other add-on products and technologies.

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Last updated: 06/23/06.