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Business Travel Accessories - DOC

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					                                      eBags
The Web’s Leading Site For Luggage, Handbags, Business Cases and Travel -
             Related Accessories is “100-Percent ColdFusion”


       With thousands of SKUs from hundreds of brands – including Samsonite,
The North Face, JanSport, and Liz Claiborne – eBags is the online boutique for
luggage, wallets, knapsacks, duffels and sports bags, business cases, handbags, and
other travel-related gear. Founded in mid-1998 by luggage-industry executives and
launched in early 1999, eBags serves more than 1 million page vie ws a day and tens
of thousands of unique visitors, making it a consistent top-100 Web site.
      Partnerships with leading portals such as MSN, America Online, Yahoo!,
Lycos, and iWon, as well as a unique luggage site co -branded with United Airlines,
have fueled eBags‟ meteoric growth. Growing at 9 percent a week since the site’s
launch, eBags is the world‟s largest supplier of luggage and travel-related
accessories, using a near-zero inventory business model that leverages drop-
shipment fulfillment from manufacturers.
       “There‟s no question about it, we‟re a high growth company operating a very
dynamic site,” said Val Agostino, Web applications manager for eBags. “Not only
are we always changing our product mix, we‟re also changing the site weekly to
reflect our constantly evolving business requirements. For example, we‟ve created
four parallel sites for our business: eBags Gallery, eBags Outlet, eBags, and an
eBags Corporate site for bulk orders and logo-branded merchandise.”
        For a dot-com company that‟s changing its core business site every few days,
it‟s essential to have a Web platform that can stay in step, Agostino noted. Also,
reaching the market quickly was a non-negotiable requirement that made the
selection of its development platform a strategic choice.
       “When we first founded the company, we looked at several alternatives,
including Active Server Pages, Java, and Perl,” he said. “Ultimately, we needed a
solution with a faster development time than those choices.”
       Seeking the speed and flexibility that enabled it to pursue its business
mission, eBags selected Allaire for its e-business platform. With products that are
consistently rated, by customers and analysts alike, among the most productive,
versatile, and accessible in the industry, Allaire enables both established and up-
and-coming companies to create innovative Internet business solutions. Allaire's
family of application servers, visual tools, and application framework form a


WORDSCAPE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.               1                 DECEMBER 12, 2000
DRAFT #1 FOR REVIEW
ALLAIRE
EBAGS CASE S TUDY



complete software infrastructure that enables companies of all sizes to build online
businesses.
       eBags' implementation features ColdFusion, Allaire's application server that
enables Web developers to build and deploy scalable Web applications that
integrate browser, server, and database. ColdFusion‟s open integration with
databases, e-mail, directories, XML, and enterprise systems facilitates the quick
and easy creation of sophisticated applications. Also, ColdFusion provides security
at every level, from Web development through deployment.


Intuitive Platform Drives Rapid Development

       According to Agostino, Allaire has been instrumental to the success of eBags.
“We‟ve accomplished a phenomenal amount of work with ColdFusion,” he said.
“Initially, we had an outside contractor building the site while we staffed up
internally. Our three in-house developers took over and completed the last half of it
in less than two months.”
       “ColdFusion has the raw power and inherent features we need to create and
maintain our site. The rapid development time and fast learning curve mean we
can bring on a new developer and have them writing productive code in two or three
weeks. Since we launched the site in March 1999, we‟ve entirely rebuilt the site
four times to respond to our evolving needs.”
      Agostino also attributes some of that rapid development to the community-
supported “FuseBox” architecture for standardized coding (www.fusebox.org).
“ColdFusion lends itself to code reuse,” he noted. “We believe that FuseBox speeds
our development another 25 percent on top of the gains we‟ve achieved with
ColdFusion.”
      Agostino reports that performance has been outstanding. “We put a lot of
information into our database and use a lot of caching and stored procedures. We‟re
extremely happy with how the site performs. Our load testing shows we can
support as many as 600-1000 concurrent users per server.”


A Rich Site – Written 100-Percent in ColdFusion

      Using only ColdFusion, Agostino and the team have created a rich Web site
that embodies virtually every best practice for e-commerce. “We‟re trying to make
the shopping experience as simple as possible for our buyers,” Agostino affirmed.
“That extends to shipping as well. Just in time for the 2000 Christmas season, we
implemented a „when will it arrive‟ feature that lets the customer get a feel for
when a product should arrive. Our business model is a drop -ship model – we

WORDSCAPE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.               2                DECEMBER 12, 2000
DRAFT #1 FOR REVIEW
ALLAIRE
EBAGS CASE S TUDY



warehouse only 10-15 percent of our products – and we have manufacturers all over
the country. We‟ve integrated with UPS‟s tracking system so the customer needs to
simply enter a ZIP code and we can give them an estimated date of arrival and set
their expectations properly.”
        Another popular feature is the Ratings and Testimonials section that enables
buyers to provide a “review” of their purchased product 30 days after they receive
the item. “It‟s one of our high-traffic areas,” said Agostino. “We also ask them to
rate it six months later, so our site visitors really get an informed opinion when
making their own purchase decisions.”
       On the back end, eBags integrates a wide range of third-party systems,
including J.D. Edwards financial software, site analytics, online chat, and search
engines. All images are “Akamaized” for performance and Cisco LocalDirector and
Allaire‟s ClusterCATS provides load balancing across eBags‟ production server
farm.
        “We‟ve really completed a large integration effort here,” said Agostino. “Our
storefront site is 100 percent ColdFusion, but we‟ve spent much more time and
effort coding our integration to these back-office systems for order fulfillment and
other behind-the-scenes processes.”
        Looking to the future, Agostino foresees continued growth for the eBags site.
“We‟re releasing up to 30 new features and enhancements to the site every week,”
he said. “There‟s no real finish line – we‟re just continually evolving. We plan to tie
in more personalization and we expect to add more traveler resources – packing
tips, travel suggestions, and more. With ColdFusion, we can keep pace with the
business.”




Site Summary:

         Allaire products: 15 ColdFusion Enterprise 4.5.1, 10 Co ldFusion Studio 4.5.1
         Hardware: 15 Dell Xeon dual-Pentiu m III servers with 1 GB RAM
         Operating system(s) for Allaire i mplementation : M icrosoft Windows NT 4.0 sp4
         Database: Oracle 8i
         Size of DB : Several GB
         Devel opment team: 7 developers
         Site traffic: 20-60,000 unique visitors and 1 million page views each day
         Allaire service: Platinu m Support and Performance Tuning and Assessment consulting

         Benefits of Allaire :


WORDSCAPE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.                          3                     DECEMBER 12, 2000
DRAFT #1 FOR REVIEW
ALLAIRE
EBAGS CASE S TUDY



             Speed of Development – “We’ve acco mplished a phenomenal amount of work in a short
              period of time.”
             Performance – Load tested to support up to 1,000 concurrent users per server.
             Ease of Development – “We can have a new developer writ ing productive code in 2-3
              weeks.”




WORDSCAPE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.                    4                     DECEMBER 12, 2000
DRAFT #1 FOR REVIEW

				
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