Case Study: Wholesaler

Company C operates an ERP system with an Informix database as its back end.  The vendor provides an ODBC connection to the database, which is used to provide periodic updates to SQL Server as well as live queries as required.

I helped build an intranet application that enables internal and external access to the company’s data.

Product Master


I added an interface for staff to supplement the product data from the ERP with additional images, documents, and HTML-formatted text.

The resulting data then forms the product catalogue on the public-facing web site.  Products can be configured to appear in the web catalogue, with or without pricing.  The product master also provides an instant stock level report, as well as the ability to quickly query a price for a specific customer.

Customer Portal

Customers who have been issued a log-in for their account can access customised pricing, calculated from data in the ERP, and can also access order information from the ERP, including dispatch records with instant links to the carriers’ tracking pages.  Customers can order directly from the catalogue, removing the need to fax or manually key orders.


I created a suite of reports to give fast and easy access to the company’s sales and other data from the ERP.

Actual chart, data removed, used with permission



This enabled quicker and more effective data analysis without reverting to manual collation and analysis of the relevant data.

Product Labelling

I implemented a system for users to quickly generate a set of shelf labels for retail locations.  The labels contained data from the ERP, and optionally included a QR code containing a URL to the relevant page on the Company’s web site, to enable quick access to product data and documentation.

Document Indexing

The Company contracts an external company to scan their paper documents, which are returned to them as TIFF files with a text-based index file.  I created a web-based search tool to query the document index, including a just-in-time preview facility (shows thumbnails as the record is scrolled into view) plus conversion of the full size images to PNG, to reduce network traffic for remote clients.