Carquest is an aftermarket auto parts company with more than 40 distribution centers and 3400 stores across North America. It is the premier supplier of replacement auto parts and related accessories for all types of vehicles.
The service customers of Carquest are currently using separate applications to look up parts, estimate labor, lookup fluid specs, read articles and more. Carquest wanted to provide a one stop shop for all of those services. A key challenge was to maintain the more standardized and extensible store network data and to maintain catalog item/part filter data for each of the individual stores to filter the search results from catalog.
Perficient was engaged on Weblink, a web application that enables the user to lookup parts for a vehicle and find its price and availability within the store networks available to its corporate service clients. The Weblink application depends on several web services developed to perform the following services: lookup user profile for features available to user, lookup/configure a vehicle based on 40+ minor specifications, lookup parts, lookup price and availability, and place an order.
Internally, these web services depend on data within the Catalog Filter and Seller Network applications to decide on the parts served by a particular store and to determine the network stores for availability. Web services masks the different catalogs (Activant/NextGen) used to find parts as well as the stores attached to the service client.
The solution was developed on WebSphere Application Server for the Weblink front end and to manage the Catalog Filter and Seller Network. The web services were developed on WebSphere Process Server to better choreograph the various catalog service calls, store lookups and maintenance service lookups. The application was deployed on a cluster – one each for WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Process Server and Service Integration Bus.
Business Value Delivered
Weblink provides a one-stop-shop application that provides service clients an interface for looking up parts, price, availability and ordering
The strategic SOA-based development allows for easy integration and plug and play of services by shop management systems based on specific types of service required
Easy integration with the existing backend catalog and store system with improvements in performance and reliability
The services/applications are deployed in a cluster, which allows for scaling and for uninterrupted availability