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FACT-Finder Integration: It’s Not Rocket Science

Are you thinking of switching your current search solution but the thought of integrating a new technology provider feels overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be – especially with our easy-to-implement and customer-centric solutions.

Regardless if it’s an in-house development or a ready-made standard solution – FACT-Finder can be integrated into any shop. We offer software development kits for all major e-commerce systems, which are continually developed and improved towards the goal of making integration fast and optimal. From consulting and implementation to after-sales support, our FACT-Finder team is at your side every step of our collaboration. In addition to integration via SDKs, there are two ways to integrate FACT-Finder into your online shop: Web Components and REST-API.

Web Components – ROI in record time

The easiest integration since FACT-Finder exists: Web Components are short, expressive HTML modules for displaying functions in the browser. Via JavaScript they can be integrated into your shop as easily as a YouTube video or a Google map and do not require a framework. For each FACT-Finder module, one HTML element is available that works in all common browsers. Once integrated, the Web Components can be easily controlled and styled.

REST-API – the web standard

The direct integration via this programming interface offers you the greatest possible flexibility. When a search query is made, your shop passes a URL parameter to FACT-Finder. The search server will then return an XML or JSON file containing all the information needed to build the search results page. In comparison to Web Components integration, the design of the results page is taken over solely by the shop.

What exactly are Web Components?

The term “Web Components” describes technologies such as Shadow DOM, custom elements and HTML export, through which new HTML can be taught to a browser. This way, complex contents can be implemented with just a few code lines and little programming knowledge. Web Components are native, meaning no framework is required – instead, the browser provides the interface. Web Components use the languages of HTML, CSS and Javascript. HTML provides the general structure, CSS is responsible for styling, and Javascripts provides functionality. Then from all three, new HTML elements are built. Via the use of these three essential languages and the orientation towards browser-provided interfaces, site operators can work without dependencies on specific domains and across different frameworks and programming languages. Web Components are made for integration. The core idea behind them is an effortless exchange of functionalities across the mentioned limitations. This means:

  • No name collision
  • No style bleed in or bleed out
  • No accidental modification of Javascript
  • Elements are modular
  • Reusability of elements

How does integration via REST-API work?

Serverscript is an application or code which is placed between the FACT-Finder search server and the destination pages. It governs the communication between the two. This part has to be generated before an API-Integration. The steps are as follows:

  1. Search query is sent to FACT-Finder: The search parameters entered in the search box by the user (query) must be sent to the FACT-Finder search server by means of an HTTP request (request).
  2. Search results are received (response): The FACT-Finder search server delivers the search results via an XML response.
  3. Search results are processed: the returned XML must be interpreted (parsed) by the shopping system.
  4. Search results page is generated (display): the structure of the HTML display of the search results page must be based on the search results information that is delivered.

The most important difference between this method and Web Components is that the design of the search results page is created by the shop. In this way the design is centrally managed and does not need to be monitored and corrected at multiple locations. FACT-Finder Version 7.3 and onward offers a REST-Interface for API-Integration. It is most similar to XML and JSON-API and is able to return both formats.

How long does integration take?

Below is a standard integration time frame based on product development with various FACT-Finder customers. The implementation of each module and its functions varies depending on the simplicity or complexity of the online shop.

Who has benefited from FACT-Finder integration?

Hear directly from ours customers about why they switched, their integration experience, and the impressive results.

Globus Baumarkt
“Despite the increased traffic to our online shop during Cyber Week, the FACT-Finder go-live went smoothly. It’s easy to see that FACT-Finder and the web as a whole are a well-rehearsed team. We ourselves are surprised at how quickly the switch to FACT-Finder has been reflected in our sales figures, because since our go-live, our search-generated conversion rates have risen by 20%.”

Ulla Popken
“It couldn’t have gone better. The go-live process was absolutely seamless, which was fantastic. The day after going live, I got to the office really early to enjoy the calm before the storm that I was anticipating. Even my colleague from the technical department arrived an hour earlier because he wanted to be prepared for the worst-case scenario – and nothing happened. FACT-Finder ran like clockwork right from the start.”

CHRIST Jeweller
“Our project was really quite demanding. We had very specific demands on the FACT-Finder system itself. Nevertheless, the entire project integration, from the signing of the contract until going live, took only about 3 months.”

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