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Price import

Project duration: 1 month

Brief description

Analysis, documentation and execution of the process, which has grown up over time, for automatically importing price and product information about spare parts. The suppliers provide price and product information about their products in data structures and data formats that they choose for themselves. The results of the analysis form the basis for designing a standardized interface.


The automatic import of price and production information is mainly performed in batch processing that runs on the mainframe. On the PC side, there are some Perl modules that format some of the available data stocks before the data is transferred from the PC to the host. The available files are initially transferred to the PC, transformed into ASCII text files and then transferred by FTP to the mainframe. Further processing on the host takes place in a job stream that is scheduled on request. The programs are written in PL/1. A Web Publishing Framework is used for the documentation. This allows other formats (e.g. HTML, FTP) to be generated and published from XML documents.

Subject description

In addition to the interface for importing prices for the main supplier, since the 1980s, interfaces have been created for each of the approximately 50 other spare parts suppliers; these interfaces were used to automatically import price and product information to the spare parts database. The suppliers provide the data in different file and data formats and with non-standardized attributes. Analysis and documentation of this process that has grown up over time is expected to describe the actual process, risks and deficits, identify and structure rules, record all the imported data and its origin, as well as identify special features. The results form the starting point for standardizing and restructuring the process, including a definition of a standardized interface. Overall, the effort involved in importing prices should be reduced, together with any possible direct and indirect financial losses due to late transfer of purchase prices.


Project period25.06.2004 - 03.08.2004

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