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Verkkokauppa selects Zend’s Solutions for mission-critical e-commerce application

Overview

Finnish IT reseller and electronics giant Verkkokauppa.com owns the two largest computer stores in Northern Europe. In 2000, the company launched Verkkokauppa.com - a fully operational e-commerce site. Today the site serves over 50,000 visitors daily.

The Challenge

When building Verkkokauppa.com the company wanted a solution that would allow their website to be easily updated with the latest material about their offerings. Verkkokauppa.com’s inventory changes constantly as new products or product improvements enter the market. Therefore, their application must reflect this dynamic state and accommodate the need to develop and update quickly. If the website was difficult to maintain or update, it would lag behind the store’s inventory and fail to present its customers with a true picture of the company’s catalogue.

In addition Verkkokauppa.com wanted a fully-scalable answer to handle their ever-increasing customer requirements. Verkkokauppa.com also needed to be assured that their application maintained maximum reliability as any downtime to their e-commerce application could lead to loss of revenue.

“One of the biggest difficulties we had previous to using Zend Platform was pinpointing where some crash had occurred. We only knew that something had crashed, but it took hours to locate. With Zend Platform's PHP Intelligence feature we are immediately notified about the problem, its severity and location. Now getting to the problem takes only minutes.”

Uwe Thomas CIO

The Solution: PHP, Zend Platform and Zend Studio

Verkkokauppa.com decided to structure their application with two main sections. The first – which today receives 50,000 visitors daily - allows customers to browse the store, place orders and check their order status and history. The second consists of back-office functionality where Verkkokauppa.com processes orders, runs reports and generates statistics. The two sections give an accurate picture of daily transactions allowing for effective site administration.

After researching numerous scripting languages, Verkkokauppa.com chose PHP to build their application. The company was particularly impressed with PHP’s functionality and the ease with which it allowed them to launch their site. They continue to rely on the robustness of PHP which assures their mission critical application runs at the highest optimization and scales for their high traffic levels.

During the development process, Verkkokauppa.com needed a proficient IDE for PHP and found that the Zend Studio best suited their needs. The code completion, code analyzer, CVS integration were especially useful during the various development stages and continue to benefit them today.

"Zend Studio has greatly improved our development process, and has been of great value to us since we started using it. When doing changes to the system, the code can be easily analyzed for any errors and warnings, which else would probably go unnoticed. The tight CVS integration notifies instantly of any clashes with other developers, before sending the code to the staging server. We have also installed Zend Platform on our development server, making it easy to review any problems occurring while testing”. said Henrik Weckstrom, Verkkokauppa.com’s CIO.

Verkkokauppa.com also deployed the Zend Platform to manage performance and monitor their application. According to CIO Henrik Weckstrom, “The most significant feature of Zend Platform is monitoring. One of the biggest difficulties we had previous to using Zend Platform was pinpointing where a crash had occurred. We only knew that something had crashed, but it took hours to locate. With Zend Platform's PHP Intelligence feature we are immediately notified about the problem, its severity and location. Now getting to the problem takes only minutes.”

As an added bonus Verkkokauppa.com found that Zend Platform Performance Management could maximize their ROI and minimize their operational expenditure. “Without Zend Platform we would need a tenfold number of servers, now we need only a couple.” said Weckstrom.

Solutions:

  • PHP
  • Zend Platform
  • Zend Studio

Benefits:

  • Application runs at highest optimization and scales for high traffic
  • Code completion, code analyzer, CVS integration
  • PHP Intelligence immediately alerts to errors, pinpointing their location and severity
  • Performance management saves money by minimizing infrastructure investment without compromising performance

“Compared to similar companies we have a very competitive system and PHP helps make business activities more efficient...”

Henrik Weckstrom CIO

Conclusion

No one can ignore the Internet’s massive sales potential. Verkkokauppa.com, the largest IT reseller and leading consumer electronics vendor in Finland has embraced this platform and developed a highly profitable and efficient e-commerce channel. In 2000 the company launched Verkkokauppa.com - a fully operational e-commerce site www.verkkokauppa.com to capitalize on the Internet’s wide ranging opportunities.

Verkkokauppa.com stocks more than 21,000 different products including computers, mobile phones, digital cameras, and accessories from thousands of manufacturers and now gets more than 50,000 visitors to its website daily.

By choosing to develop their application with PHP Verkkokauppa.com was able to launch their website with speed and ease while enjoying the robustness and scalability they demanded.

Zend Studio provides Verkkokauppa.com with the features they need to develop and update their application quickly. Zend Platform's monitoring offers peace of mind by immediately alerting to any problems in the application while the Performance Management save money by minimizing infrastructure expenses.

For more information on Verkkokauppa, please visit www.verkkokauppa.com.

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