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Difference Engine


Modern Retail has been integrating point of sale (POS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems with websites since 2005.  One of the many things we've learned over the years is that the POS or ERP system can send us far more information than what is actually needed on your website.  Sometimes this is due to the nature of the integration and sometimes the POS or ERP system will simply make a mistake and send us everything.  With every integration we do, we have a built-in "difference engine" which ensures we don't overburden your website with unneeded updates or changes.

Difference Engine

Connecting your POS or ERP system with your website is actually a lot harder than you might think, and the following article explains what it takes to synchronize the data between these systems:

Once these systems are connected, you need to be ready for the unexpected.  The POS or ERP vendor may perform an update, and instead of getting only the 50 products that have changed since the last synchronization, we have ended up getting an update of all 500,000 products in the catalog.  Years ago, we used to pass all 500,000 updates to your website, where it would chug and chug and chug until every product was updated.  Given that only 50 of the 500,000 products actually changed, this was a tremendous waste of resources.

Today, every integration we do includes our difference engine. This engine keeps track of last changes and inspects what's requesting to be changed, and it only passes on those changes that are actually different.  Therefore, using the example above, only 50 products are sent to the Bigcommerce, Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce instead of the entire 500,000 products.

This has a tremendous impact on all 4 of these platforms because you won't be wasting valuable processing power or API calls, which could send you over your limit and cause delays in updating other valuable information on your website.

We believe this is a brilliant feature of our integration services, and it's included with every project we do.