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A Resource Guide to jump start your
IBM i - Magento Integration Project

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A Magento and IBM i integration is not as scary or difficult as many people think. Yes, there are a lot of moving parts, but when broken down into individual challenges, the project quickly becomes attainable.  

Key Benefits of an IBM i /AS 400 & Magento Integration Project

Synchronized Data

Streamline your business processes by keeping business logic within the existing IBM i /
AS 400 system and enable the data to flow in real time to management

Reduced Cost

Improve the functionality and user experience of your eCommerce site without needing to upgrade or migrate data off your existing IBM i / AS 400 system

Improved Functionality

Automate business processes and avoid human error, reducing the cost of the transaction and allowing your team to focus on other tasks

Flexible Framework 

Gain access to an eCommerce platform which is scalable, cost effective, and provides a flexible framework with reusable components
Find out how an IBM i / AS 400 Integration will grow your B2B business →

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some tips to think about before starting a Commerce implementation? 

  • Outline and prioritize your eCommerce needs
  • Create an end goal
  • Define what success looks like
  • Map out what data will be kept where
  • Alert your team members of the upcoming change and tap into their knowledge and expertise. 

Is my data locked within my existing IBM i System? 

Not at all, there are several approaches that can be used to expose data from the IBM i and connect it to an eCommerce system. Consider the data needs and business logic to determine the appropriate approach. You can have your data flow in real-time or interface it in a batch mode. You can use tools native to IBM i or leverage 3rd party tools. The approach depends on project needs and what tools and systems are already in use.

Why use Magento for an IBM i eCommerce project?

Magento is a great fit for midsize B2B companies who are on the IBM i / AS400. Because the platform is built on an open source technology, it allows for an open, feature-rich solution that can easily and inexpensively extend the site as your company grows. Some key features include: 

  • Simple and intuitive admin module that does not require an IT person to manage the site
  • Page Builder - a feature-rich CMS designed specifically for business users
  • Extensive APIs that allow for integration with IBM i and other ERPs
  • The Extension Marketplace - allowing admins to add extensions and create a more tailored site for you and your customers

What are some key B2B features of Magento? 

Magento, at its foundation, provides a world class eCommerce shopping experience. Included in the B2B module are several features that enable B2B companies to provide customers with a user experience they have come to expect. A few of these features are: 

  • Customer catalogs and pricing
  • Smart Order Management and Inventory
  • Self-Managed Company Accounts, including parent / child relationships 
  • Quoting and Status Tracking
  • Establishing and Managing Credit Terms

Will integrating Magento and IBM i cause data integrity issues within my ERP data? 

No, we always architect the integration around the premise that IBM i is the system of record for all data and Magento is a consumer of that data. This ensures that the data is kept pristine within the ERP and that Magento is simply a consumer of that data. When inserting data  into the IBM i /AS 400, we will leverage any existing processes or APIs for order creation. This keeps everything streamlined with current processes. As needed, we create a new API process for inserting data / orders into the IBM i database.

What are some tools that I should consider for my integration?  

There are several great options available to help streamline this process. We’ve worked with various tools including:

  • IBM WebSphere MQ paired with XML documents and trusty RPG code
  • Mule ESB as a middleware platform, which can transform and translate data and pass it between systems
  • Web Services which was created and published from the IBM i platform (using C#, PHP, Node.js, etc)
  • Data Queue, while a bit old school, is a solid mechanism for passing data between systems
  • FTP, still used by many companies, allows for easy batch processing of data

What will happen to my current IBM i data? 

Your IBM i data will remain the system of record for all data. Our approach is based on this premise, as well as Magento then being considered the consumer of that data. By following this logic, it will ensure that your data is kept pristine within the ERP.

Should my Magento and IBM i integration be real-time or batch? 

The real answer is it depends on the integration point. Real-time integration is always the preferred approach and for certain integration points it is basically a requirement - Inventory Availability and B2B Pricing. For other integration points, like Catalog Data and B2B Customer Data a batch integration approach can be used.

If I have JD Edwards, can I still use Magento? 

Yes, we have extensive experience with both JD Edwards World, JD Edwards E1 and IBM i. If you are running JD Edwards on your IBM i we can help you integrate with Magento.

Is a Magento and IBM i integration really worth it?  

Absolutely. As commerce continues to shift in to the digital sphere, a competent and effective online presence and user experience will increase customer satisfaction and retention likely leading to an increase of sales and revenue. 

Ready to learn more?

Download your Guide to B2B eCommerce Success

IBM i & Magento Integration Best Practices

Outline your eCommerce Needs

Ask yourself what you need your site to do and what is its main goal? Maybe you're looking to increase online sales revenue, decrease sales costs, improve customer buying experience, maybe all three. By figuring out your ultimate goal and bottom line need you will help direct your path of next steps.

Get the sales team involved

Once you know the end goal, start with the people closest to the ground and get your Sales team involved. Sales knows the pain points from a customer perspective, listen to their advice and incorporate it in to designs. Be sure to also educate your Sales team about the new site so they can use and market the site to their customers. 

Declare a Project Champion

Assign a project manager who can effectively speak with all company departments and who can keep things running smoothly. Be sure to choose someone who can motivate, manage, and mentor as the project will have a lot of moving pieces and will require the collaboration of numerous departments. 

Maintain the Business Logic

Sometimes the eCommerce system and the ERP can store the same data, in order to avoid duplication and redundancies, choose either the
IBM i/AS400 or Magento to house specific data. Consider the business logic required to process an eCom order and decide which system would do a better job handling that process. Whatever your answer is, that's the system that should "own" the data. 

Optimize Your Integration

When integrating Magento and your IBM i / AS400 system be sure to choose an integration tool that works best for you and your existing framework. Try and use tools that are already being used within your organization in order to stay consistent. By leveraging an existing integration process you'll also be able to keep costs down and create simplified, easy to follow processes. 

Keep It Simple

Integrations have a lot of arm and will affect almost every department. Keep things simple, straightforward, and organized in order to avoid getting overwhelmed or getting sidetracked. By planning, organizing and documenting your integration you set yourself up for a much smoother implementation from the beginning programming all the way through the after-live support. 

Join other customers who have seen amazing results

75% increase in transactions

70% increase in
revenue

65% increase in unique purchases

40% increase in conversions

"We now have more control over the website and its content, specifically promotions, than we have ever had before. For our customers there are big improvements, and it's easier for them to find products on our website. Because we are mobile-friendly now it gives customers more options for when they can access that content." - Shawn J., Web Master 

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