Retailer goes Amazon Prime

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As part of a significant Digital Transformation set of initiatives, a major apparel retailer engaged TAISTech and Intrgrex to create an integration between an older Mainframe based fulfillment system and Amazon’s Seller Fulfilled Prime shipping system. The retailer’s mainframe system was determined to be unable to send and receive the web services that are required to ship through Amazon’s Seller Central within the parameters that would qualify for Seller Fulfilled Prime certification.
Jameson was engaged the lead the implementation team to develop the web services required to connect the mainframe’s legacy CICS services infrastructure with the XML based AWS Seller services. MuleSoft Anypoint CloudHub would do the calling of the AWS services getting shipping offers and prices, and creating Shipping labels for the Retailers fulfillment printers.

The project was spec’d to be fairly straight forward, two web service calls, some database look ups for information enrichment, and data transformation from a legacy to XML. However there were still some interesting challenges.

Challenges

First, the timelines were tight, we proposed to complete the project in 6 weeks to meet up with a request from The Retailer to go live by mid-August to fulfill business need for Amazon Prime shipping.

Second, the implementation team from TAISTech was newly trained in MuleSoft but lacked practical experience with integration projects and the various unique trapdoors and pitfalls that MuleSoft presents new engineers.

Third, the implementation target was a mainframe implemented 30 years ago. Any projects where mainframes are involved are typically challenging to implement because of the complexity of mainframe code bases and business logic. Any unknowns at the beginning of the project could easily turn to blockers or project delays if significant mainframe work was needed and unanticipated.

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