With NetLink you get MUCH more than a few "canned" e-commerce pages. NetLink contains many standard web pages to handle order entry, customer inquiries, service calls, price reporting, history analysis, etc. But unlike other web products you may use NetLink to customize these standard pages and add an unlimited number of your own requests without complicated programming. Any data that you can access with ReportMate™ or update with ImportMate II™ can become data you process over the Internet with NetLink.
NetLink works "out-of-the-box" and utilizes the data you already have in your business system so you can be up on the Internet very quickly. You don’t have to build a separate database for use on the web. You can conceivably go "live" with your e-business site within a few hours of installing NetLink.
The more business-to-business processing you want to handle, the more valuable NetLink’s technology is. You can take the business transactions you normally communicate via phone or paper and do them via the web. If there is not a standard NetLink request to handle a particular need you can quickly create your own without complex programming. While many on-line retailers continue to lose money, business-to-business applications are saving money while increasing service levels.
To customize the data handled by NetLink you use ReportMate™ and ImportMate II™, products that SouthWare users already know how to use. If you can create a report with ReportMate, you can make the report available to web users via NetLink without understanding HTML or other web issues. Most of the complexities of web communication are automatically handled for you.
Your business data exchange is richer and safer with NetLink than with standard database web pages. ReportMate contains many pre-defined relationships and computations that allow you to easily provide data that you couldn’t readily obtain from the raw data. ImportMate II lets you assign, supplement, and (most importantly) validate incoming data so you don’t lose control of the integrity of your files.
NetLink is portable across many different web server environments so you can pick the configuration that’s best for you. Many other web e-commerce solutions are written to work only with one web server (such as Windows NT) and don’t give you the option to use faster systems such as Linux/Unix. NetLink can run with any web server that supports standard CGI and can handle many different configuration options. See Appendix A in the NetLink documentation for an overview of different configuration samples.
Your custom NetLink site is compatible with future enhancements and with future changes in the SouthWare Excellence Series. As future NetLink enhancements are made you can take advantage of them. As new data becomes available in new or enhanced SouthWare modules you can add it to your business web site via NetLink.