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Advantage Software: Improving the Flow of Streams of Orders

Advantage’s OrderStream Framework Breaks the Log Jam of Order Upload

While Advantage is a customer-centric system, order transactions are a central component of the customer profile. Getting orders processed quickly and efficiently is paramount, and the flexibility to accept order transactions from a variety of sources is a critical component of the system. Our clients take orders from sources such as eCommerce sites, trade shows, phone calls, postcards, mobile applications, agents, lockboxes, SMS, and other third-parties. To accommodate these sources, Advantage offers three basic types of input---through the application’s user interface, through the use of the Software Development Kit (SDK), and through file uploads. Over its history, Advantage has consistently been the market leader in upload file functionality and our upload framework keeps us in there.

In the 25+ years that Advantage has provided file upload features, separate programs have been developed over time for subscriptions, agent orders, payments, product orders, etc. The separate programs were designed to accept fixed-width files with error/success reporting as outputs. A while ago, we set out to develop an upload framework to handle all order-related upload activity. The primary goals were: create a unified upload definition, provide the ability to inspect and modify the incoming data, and provide the ability to correct the transactions within the Advantage application. We accomplished these goals by delivering OrderStream---a full-featured upload framework. 

Key Features of OrderStream 

  • XML Input – All transactions use the same XML definition, which provides an intuitive interface to specify the transaction details. In general, XML is more readable than a traditional fixed-width file or CSV file and is easier to work with as the definition expands to support additional features. 
  • Rules Engine – A set of rules can be specified to find problematic data conditions and take appropriate action. Configurable actions include deleting the transaction, updating the transaction’s data (e.g., promotion code), and setting the transaction to an error status for manual review. These rules can be applied automatically to incoming files or can be applied manually through the user interface. 
  • Corrective User-Interface – OrderStream employs a dedicated view where users can view the transactions and correct any errors. Users have access to search criteria to narrow results, can view all errors with relevant error messages, “open” a transaction to correct the data, and reprocess the transaction.

Additional OrderStream features include file encryption, dashboard reporting, multiple file source support with different rule sets, hand-key transaction linking, and transaction history capture. This powerful framework continues to evolve as we make enhancements to handle additional upload functionality.

Clients are actively transitioning from the traditional upload programs to the OrderStream framework and feedback has been hugely positive. The key benefits we have seen are: improved accuracy of uploaded transactions, more efficient processing of upload files, and expanded use of upload functionality within the business.

If you would like more OrderStream information or a demonstration, contact your account manager today.

Filed under: product news, Homepage-News, Software

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