On several of
the Simpson websites, visitors are offered the ability to request
printed catalogs, but many users were entering erroneous information
into the input form. A means of forcing users to verify their information
problem was also identified: Each of the Simpson websites offered
printed catalogs; each of the websites had its own catalog order
forms; and in each case the catalogs' information was hard-coded
into the form pages. The code maintenance required when catalogs
were added or updated was a recurring issue -- and it was multiplied
when a catalog was listed on more than one website.
To solve the
first problem, an ASP page was created to redisplay the information
input by the user in the order form. The user must then verify that
it is correct before sending it on to Simpson's literature fulfillment
The second issue
was slightly more complicated. It was decided to utilize a database
which would hold the current catalog numbers and descriptions, along
with a set of fields indicating to which website each item belonged.
The new order page was designed to connect with and retrieve the
catalog information from the database. The code then generates the
list of catalogs which are available from a specific website. Now,
when a catalog is added or updated, one simply adds or updates a
record in the database. No tedious changes to the page code are
As part of
the solution I consolidated the redundant order pages which were
performing exactly the same function on each website. A single order
page was created, which is programmed to assume the look and navigational
features of the website context from which the user arrives.
the simpsonanchors.com catalog order page
the strongtie.com catalog order page
websites have since been revised by my successor.