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Successful use of crossbase API server for Typo3 website and mobile app at CREATON AG

Wertingen, 08/06/2016: CREATON AG, based in Wertingen near Augsburg, is one of Germany's largest manufacturers of clay roof tiles. The company is the market leader in the field of plain tiles and one of the leading manufacturers of pressed roofing tiles in Europe. More than 1000 people work for the company, in 16 factories at 10 locations. CREATON AG's majority shareholder is the Belgian Etex group.

The starting point

Previously, the CREATON website was maintained in an autonomous Typo3 system, separate from crossbase. This resulted in a lot of information having to be stored redundantly and processes such as translation and image conversion being represented twice. As part of the process of updating the CMS system to the latest version, the product section of the website was to be linked to the crossbase database and populated with the product information already managed there.

The purpose of linking this data was to reduce data maintenance effort and errors, as product information would then only be maintained in crossbase, and then transferred to Typo3 automatically, instead of in parallel in two systems.

Solution design

It was decided to implement an API interface with web services in JSON/REST (Representational State Transfer) format (see below), to create the link. This has the benefit of providing the maximum possible flexibility. There is no need to configure an XML interface. Instead, the data can be accessed and integrated in the target system flexibly, via a variety of different customer-specific web services.

Implementation and benefit

The interface with the API server (crossbase.api) has been implemented, with a service running on a server. This service can be called over defined ports, and the data can be returned when called via web services. Here, the data is prepared using DTOs ("data transfer objects") which are defined in discussion with the customer, and then transferred in the required form.

The API interface makes all data available for nightly synchronization in prepared objects. The target system can load and process these objects with ease. The Techdivisionagency, which implemented the website in Typo3, also created an import program for transferring the data.

However, the API interface will not only be used for the product part of the website at CREATON, but also as a means to supply data to the newly implemented "myCreaton" mobile app. Both systems use the same DTOs. This avoids additional maintenance and customization costs.

All the product data mapped in the product part of the website and the "myCreaton" app now only needs to be maintained in one place: the crossbase PIM system. Consequently, any adjustments and extensions to the data basis are quickly and automatically transferred along the various channels.

Benefits and advantages

  • Definition and shared usage of the DTOs on multiple target systems
  • Automatic provision of current product information
  • No duplication of maintenance, reducing the time and cost of maintenance, and avoiding errors

Product data and images on the CREATON website are fetched from the PIM system via the API server.

How it works

The applied application modules

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Information about the customer

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Sebastian Seiz
Project managers
+43 (0)5574 / 64880 – 33
s.seiz@crossbase.at

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