We’re about to conclude a series of e-commerce sites for a Carp and Match fishing products supplier. One of the main technical challenges faced has been the integration of their Cybertill EPoS system and Magento.

The client’s main concern being that the stock levels that they were maintaining in their Cybertill platform had a 3 hour update delay on their website. If they sold something from their retail shop it wasn’t being reflected online.

To make this a more realtime proposition we had to disable the stock level from decreasing when a new order was placed. Instead querying Cybertill before placing the order.

Our solution turned out better than we hoped. Magento’s excellent theming system allowed us to create a blazing fast AJAX connection for checking the stock levels. If a grouped product has10 different varieties, the product page loads and instead of the regular “Qty” input box, the user gets a “loading spinner” in the 10 table cells.

Then 10 simultaneous AJAX requests fire off to Cybertill and check whether the product is available. If so, the Qty input box comes alive, otherwise, the default “Out of Stock” message fills in the table cell. As Cybertill requests fire off concurrently, it takes about 1 second (instead of 10-15 seconds) to bring all of the data back, which we were very pleased with, as is the client.

Taking into account that the only currently available Cybertill Magento (Ed: that we could find) integration plugin costs over £900, we think we have created a very elegant way of solving the problem. We are now looking into packaging this as a Magento extension from which other people can benefit as well.

Let us know if this extension would be useful to you.

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