silver.solutions Strikes Gold with silver.e-shop 3.0 on Symfony and eZ Publish 5
The foundation of partnerships like the one between silver.solutions and eZ Systems aren't built overnight. It's the result of 15 years of working together in close proximity.
When silver.solutions chose to work with eZ Publish when the CMS was introduced in 1999, shop solutions were only in their infancy, and shop software geared towards B2B customers were rarer still.
silver.solutions entered the e-commerce space with their own proprietary shop solutions that included an ERP component as well. But in 2003, a decision was made to focus on industry approved standards and open interfaces, which led to the launch of the first version of the silver.e-shop.
The company has always focused on B2B commerce, says silver.solutions Co-founder, Ania Hentz. "Integrated B2B commerce is a strength for us. We do online shops or portals that connect to ERP services very well."
The company's latest e-commerce solution, silver.e-shop 3.0, is now based on Symfony2, a modern PHP framework -- and the same framework which eZ Publish now runs on. "When eZ started thinking about moving to another framework, we began looking into it as well," says silver.solutions Co-founder and leading software architect, Frank Dege. silver.solutions eventually transitioned to Symfony2 in parallel with the move made by eZ Publish. "Now we can use our shop on the same framework and installation as eZ Publish."
German site wvgw is the first to implement silver.e-shop 3.0.
The e-commerce solution is fully integrated with the eZ Publish CMS, a quality that Hentz and Dege see as a key advantage. More than ever, customers are looking for bundled web content management and e-commerce solutions, according to Hentz. The new silver.e-shop includes fully responsive design and responsive one page checkout, flexible product data sources such as eZ content, eZ Find, ERP or PIM, and various payment modules. The order process is controlled directly by the customer's ERP system, eliminating major sources for errors from the start.
Checkout with the silver.e-shop 3.0.
"From a technical standpoint eZ Publish is flexible in the way content is handled," says Dege. "Symfony is an extremely flexible framework as well, so the move made a lot of sense" he adds. Despite having to reintroduce many features, the move to Symfony was beneficial for silver.solutions. With a modern PHP framework, silver.solution now has access to a much wider selection of skilled developers and an international development community.
The change wasn't without its challenges.
Hentz says: "When you develop a new product from scratch, you have to decide what are the best ways to do things from a software architecture perspective. Sometimes you reach points in the development of a new project and you look back and realize what you did back then wasn't the best way to do things, which means you have to do some refactoring."
silver.solutions has worked with companies to lead the implementation of more than 100 silver.e-shop projects on eZ Publish. Today, the company is working on its first projects involving the new silver.e-shop 3.0. Projects ran by silver.solutions are often highly complex with multiple brands, ERPs and inventory management systems.
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"Our customers are international enterprises and medium size businesses that are often the market leader in their field. An average project usually involves a company operating in more than 20 countries and requires translations into 30 languages or more," says Hentz.