Order and Shipping Processing for Cedar Graphics and Shutterfly

Cedar Graphics, Inc. provides commercial UV offset and digital printing, web to print cross media printing and more.  The opportunity arose for them to become a fulfillment partner for Shutterfly, a web-based personalized photo gift provider to the consumer market.  However, in order to become this partner, Cedar Graphics, was required to be able to automatically receive orders generated from Shutterfly’s website and immediately process the orders.  Processing included, acknowledging receipt of the order, downloading the images to be printed, bundling them together for the print job, sending them to the digital press for printing, binding, shipping and reporting back to Shutterfly that the order was fulfilled.

Problem – The need to receive and process thousands of orders per day.

New custom solution was required to receive XML based order request through HTTP protocol and to acknowledge the receipt also using XML over HTTP.  Status updates were to be sent to Shutterfly as the order was processed to indicate when an order was printed and shipped.  The solution needed to easily scale from processing thousands of orders to processing tens of thousands of orders.

It was also required that management of the solution and the ability to cancel or re-submit jobs, query the state of the solution could be done by the Cedar Graphics team and the solution had to be able to recover if the system crashed or was restarted. 

The Solution - Custom multi-process solution

equaTEK Interactive developed a custom multi-process solution using a web-handler, Microsoft Queueing, SQL Server database, and WCF for inter-process communication that could easily scale simply be adding additional machines with the processing application installed.  Each retriever would registered with the main controller and the controller would task each registered retriever with jobs to perform.

Results – Time and money saved - thousands of orders per day!

  • Orders printed as requested
  • Scalable 
  • Thousands of orders per day
  • Hundreds of thousands of images processes per day 
  • Solid- bug free software