Retail Pro POS Software Ecommerce Integration
Retail Pro is a point of sale software used in many retail shops to manage inventory and process customer orders. Is was originally created in the mid 1980s and from my experience has not put emphasis on selling online or connecting to 3rd party services. Hopefully I can give others a high level overview of the steps I took to integrate Retail Pro with the online ecommerce platform Magento
Retail Pro doesn't not have a easily accessible database or a in-product method to export/import data. Their approach involves an add on module called the "ECI Merchandiser" that can be purchased separately through your Retail Pro sales rep.
The ECI Merchandiser is a separate desktop application where you drag and drop from your Retail Pro inventory list onto a new list, which becomes your designated online skus.
Through a scheduler or by manual invoke, the ECI Merchandiser will convert all the online skus, or just the changes to an xml format and ftp the files to a server of your choice.
This is where Magento takes over (or any other ecommerce platform for that matter). In Magento I needed to create a cron job to look for newly uploaded files from Retail Pro/ECI. When detected I parse the xml files and do whatever I need with the data inside (add new products, change pricing, create customers).
For data going the other way from Magento, the ECI Merchandiser can also be set to run a polling service to read a local directory also looking for new xml formatted files. These files would have to be defined in the ECI specified format, but it allows you import your online orders and new customers back into Retail Pro.
This is of course a very simplistic and high-level view of transferring data between Retail Pro and a third party ecommerce software platform. The devil is in the details and there are a LOT, but hopeful this can get you started.
This post was posted in Magento