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Success Story - Central Semiconductor Corp.

Project Details  

Central Semiconductor Corp.


Modernization


Manufacturing


Ajax, JavaScript, jQuery Mobile


WebSmart PHP

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PHP web applications leverage RPG and mobile devices to give manufacturer competitive edge

When Rob Binetti began working as a Web Software Developer for Central Semiconductor Corp., he recommended that Central use WebSmart PHP for their new web application development.

Already a seasoned PHP developer, Rob knew that WebSmart PHP would provide the tools he'd need to create desktop and mobile PHP web applications that leverage Central Semiconductor's legacy RPG programs. "I'm a PHP web developer, though I can read RPG. In my current environment, there are a ton of existing business logic calls that I use," explains Rob.

WebSmart PHP has the ability to accomplish sophisticated things. The tools are all there. You can give the end user a web application look and feel in a browser that doesn't have the limitations that green screens do.


Customer-focused online parametric search application

Since moving to Central, Rob has revamped the company's public website using WebSmart PHP. This included a WebSmart-developed parametric search application that allows engineers to efficiently search for Central's discrete semiconductor devices based on electrical characteristics and easily order product samples. Previously, engineers navigated multiple web pages that led to a PDF document where they would then search for the information.

Highlights of Central's parametric search:

  • Uses data from 14 different DB2 tables.
  • Drill down into a sortable JavaScript-based table.
  • Database-driven localization that displays text in your chosen language.
  • Dynamic menu tree that automatically refreshes when the database is updated.
  • Filter by range and multi-select parameters
  • Right-click to enable secondary sort.
  • Hover over a column to display product image
  • Ajax update without refreshing.

"The parametric search has become a central crux of providing information to our end users. Customer feedback has been nothing but positive," says Rob. "The search is fast and has the functionality that end users are looking for, especially in comparison to our competitors. It gives our customers more choices."

"We wanted to separate ourselves from other manufacturers," he remarks. "My goal is to give people a tool to find what they're looking for quickly. If customers can find the product they're looking for, hopefully they'll order a sample and be happy with the product."

Supplier Portal and Mobile CRM

The sophistication of Rob's PHP web applications continues to advance. He recently launched two new WebSmart-developed PHP web applications. The first web application is a supply chain portal that enables users to confirm ship dates for products that Central produces. The dates are updated in Central's IBM i once the materials department approves them. The materials department can also reject the proposed ship dates if they need to be expedited.

"I'm quite fond of the other application," says Rob. "It's a home-grown sales CRM tool, an opportunity tracking solution that is fully mobile and built on the jQuery Mobile framework." The application allows Central's sales team and external rep network to seamlessly work together on business opportunities, from inception to conversion, using their desktop PC, tablet or smartphone. The application fully integrates with Central Semiconductor's legacy database and RPG applications that reside in the green screen world, and makes extensive use of the Zend XML toolkit.

Web development jumpstart, or scaffold for sophisticated PHP development

"When I first started working with WebSmart PHP, I was a junior PHP developer," Rob recalls. "I'd recommend anyone to take advantage of BCD's training courses to jumpstart their PHP development," he says.

Today, WebSmart PHP is a scaffold that Rob uses to build web applications on. "This is especially helpful if you're starting a difficult project," he says. "WebSmart PHP enables me to take multiple databases and match them with joins. There aren't many tools out there that do that. It also gives you a semblance of MVC. All of my view aspects are in segments, so I can concentrate solely on HTML or business logic."

About Central Semiconductor Corp.

Since 1974, Central Semiconductor has been the go-to company for customers around the world who want innovative and reliable discrete semiconductors. Today, Central supplies leading edge discretes for the hottest high-tech products, from tablets and laptops to barcode scanners and cell phones. Cisco, HP, IBM, ITT, Motorola and Sony are among Central's top customers. At the same time, Central continues to manufacture older technology devices still needed by many manufacturers of products with long life cycles. Central Semiconductor Corp. is known in the industry for innovation, outstanding quality, and on-time delivery.

 

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