Case Study / KNUTH International

KNUTH machine tools operate in more than 40 countries. Since 1923, Knuth has been manufacturing and distributing top Quality precision machine tools. From inception, the company made its mission to provide high quality at competitive prices.

A network of German and international offices and dealers ensures their presence in all emerging global markets. 370 dedicated employees with many decades of extensive experience ensure the continued growth of market shares.

Project Requirements

Knuth wanted a highly intuitive, interactive catalogue of all their products on a stand alone CD-ROM

Deliverables on CD-ROM included

A Sweden based company having chain of Hotels (Hotelretailers); approached TransPacific Software to develop a custom plugin for their ecommerce website.

Hotelretailers system allows guests at the hotels to order products direct from a hotel's website and choose to have their order fulfilled in one of the following ways:

  • All products and accessories on website consisting of approx. 2,000 Precision machines & accessories.
  • English & German Language dual interface
  • An interactive drag & drop feature for product comparison.
  • All content on self running CD-ROM with no installation.
  • Multi-platform operable CD-ROM working on MAC & PC.
  • Interactive Designing with Intuitive interface.
  • Knuth's website has immense information to scroll through and click on. They required a design, in which the user can browse all relevant product features from one interface window.

Challenges Faced :

Knuth had all the data on its legacy database of MYSQL in highly normalized database; The challenging task was to convert it into more simplified independent & self running database which didn't require any third party installations.

Project Overview:

Adobe Flex 3.0 was the natural choice for our development efforts, because it was the only platform that met all of the project requirements.

We needed to find a development platform that could help us come close to performing a data visualization miracle! Rich Internet client applications in Adobe Flex with component model offeredpowerful library reuse, and the result produced a very comfortable and appealing interface for the client to use

Our experience is all positive digital experiences start with user-centered design and the user experience should be a key consideration when designing software systems. Flex enabled us to create components for interactive designing using MXML, the Flex XML-based markup language.

Flex is designed to allow standards-based communications between the Flex applications and other systems, that made Flex applications work within existing environment in a relatively easy way.

Now that we have explained how we used the features of Flex, let us take a look at how we have combined the Flex MXML components, custom components, and Action Script 2.0 to build part of our application!

All products and accessories on website were incorporated (approx. 2,000 items).

English & German Language dual interface

For this, we created two different language xmls and we provided a dropdown box to user to change the language

An interactive drag & drop feature for product comparison.

Drag drop feature is implemented through writing mx script. This consist of four important functions, first is to create image proxy, second function to drag image proxy, third function is a drag - drop function which deals with placement of actual image proxy in drop box and creates a label that displays name in compare box. Last function is drag-exit handler which takes care of events after the drag exit.

All content on self running CD-ROM with no installation.

No installation is required because we selected XML as a backend. It's a plain text file having user defined tags and data. XML is platform independent, that's why no software installation required for running the XML.

Multiplatform operable CD working on MAC & windows.

Flex and XML are both well communicator with Mac OS and windows OS

Interactive Designing with Intuitive interface.

For interactive designing we bind cascade style sheet to flex component. Flex itself incorporates various types of components and different properties for style and formatting.

For this we provided a compare feature in which user can compare the maximum 3 items of same criteria. That enables to visualize details of selected items simultaneously.

You can find a on-line Partial demo of this project on

http://www.digitalpaperworks.com/Knuth/bin/KNUTH.html

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