Thea's Galleria of Great Frontier Web Sites

GREAT Frontier Web Site for
January 5, 1998:

BizRate Guide

From database to web page with customized HTML rendering.

Company: Binary Compass
Henri Asseily,
Ateeq Ahmad
Gabby Aspiazu
Karl Asseily
Farhad Mohit
Wesley Felter

Henri Asseily describes the project:
The BizRate Guide is a free shopping resource for the consumer, helping him or her find the right on-line merchant to buy from. BizRate is the shopper's first destination, before doing the actual shopping.

On BizRate, the shopper can:

1- Find a large list of merchants, in 14 major categories, all rated and sorted BY ACTUAL CUSTOMERS in 10 dimensions of performance (including Price, On-Time Delivery, and Product Selection). Customers are surveyed at the point-of-purchase, which allows for very solid and complete ratings.

2- Filter out the merchants that don't fit his or her needs. For example, you can select only the merchants that accept American Express, ship internationally, and provide Gift Wrapping services.

3- quickly access the search engines of the merchant websites, therefore allowing for easy comparison shopping.

4- read the Return Procedures for every merchant without having to waste time looking through the merchant website.

Frontier is used for both data gathering and website management, all fully automated.

In developing the website, HTML code for all the merchant data is build weekly in Frontier through a customized HTML rendering script, and involves data from databases on different platforms (Mac and NT), using Stephen Tallent's excellent ODBC glue and app. The data rendered is a very large text file of SQL statements, and is then uploaded to the UNIX server running a SQL database.

The data gathering part is done purely on Macs running WebStar/SSL and Frontier. Data is constantly gathered through secure HTML forms and imported into off-line databases.

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