SQL Server 2012 & The Retail Industry

HSN maintains a business-to-business application that is used daily by hundreds of product suppliers. Driving higher availability levels for its database platform and ensuring that back-end maintenance activities are seamless to the business are keys to providing a better shopping experience and promoting the company’s success. In early 2011, HSN began looking for a new high-availability solution and chose Microsoft as the technology provider for its new solution. HSN was interested in Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise data management software and specifically wanted to take advantage of SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOn, a high-availability and disaster-recovery solution. AlwaysOn includes availability groups, which support failover capabilities for multiple databases that fail over together. AlwaysOn also offers readable database-mirror functionality, with replica databases providing read-only access to help offload a primary server’s workload. Here is the detailed case study

Svyaznoy, one of Russia’s largest retailers of mobile phones, digital technology, and related services and accessories, operates a chain of about 2,300 stores. They were using Jeeves enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to bring sales data from their retail outlets into their central database, but this solution was too slow. In 2010, Svyaznoy engaged with the Microsoft Enterprise Strategy Program, which is part of Microsoft Services. After consulting on business objectives with a Microsoft Enterprise Architect, Svyaznoy upgraded to Microsoft SQL Server 2012. The new solution, which also includes 1C:Enterprise ERP software, uses the SQL Server Service Broker feature to verify and synchronize sales data stored in documents across multiple directories. During the workday, the solution immediately transmits detailed data on each sales transaction to the central database. Because SQL Server Service Broker supports asynchronous messaging, the system no longer loses data during a communication interruption but instead stores it offline and retransmits it to the central database after technicians have corrected the problem. Detailed case study

Stein Mart is a nationwide department store with 265 locations across the United States. The company worked with multiple BI applications, including a reporting tool from MicroStrategy and a data warehouse from IBM. At the end of each week, the IT team began preparing reports that were supposed to be ready for executives on Monday morning, so they could plan the week ahead. However, extract, transform, and load (ETL) processes and data aggregation were time-consuming tasks, and the team struggled to meet its service level agreements. Stein Mart turned to systems integrator Pragmatic Works for help converting existing ETL jobs written in COBOL code to SQL Server 2012 Integration Services data packages. Stein Mart will soon be using SQL Server 2012 Integration Services to quickly connect the data warehouse to multiple data sources, including financial, point-of-sale, and inventory systems. Case Study


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