ChannelCenter processes many thousands of instructions every day from many different function centers within the system. Resellers place orders which become visible and are automatically allocated on vendor and distributor dashboards. Quotes feed into orders, and orders feed into stock. Credit is allocated and payments are processed.
But how does all this messaging work? How is ChannelCenter able to process all these instructions and get a reseller’s system to ‘talk’ to a vendor’s system when they don’t speak the same (computer) language?
Firstly, there’s an input layer (eg. the reseller’s system) and an output layer (the vendor’s system). These don’t communicate with each other directly – instead there is an AWS technology which sits as an intermediary between the two, known as Simple Queueing Service (SQS). This SQS layer accepts instructions, or inputs (such as a product order for example), from the input layer and slots them into the queue along with all the other instructions from a multitude of other applications using this service. It then pushes the instruction into the output layer once the system has the availability to accept it.
Amazon’s Simple Queuing Service (SQS)
Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) is a fast, reliable, scalable, fully managed message queuing service. SQS transmits any volume of data, without losing messages or requiring other services to be always available, and runs within Amazon’s high-availability data centers, so queues will be available whenever applications need them.
ChannelCenter builds a ‘connector’ or ‘bridge’ which plugs both the input and output sides into the central SQS layer, enabling there to be an unbroken communication channel for the instruction to travel from the reseller’s system through to the vendor’s system. The vendor has now received the product order and can set about processing it, after which it will communicate with the reseller’s system via the same process.
The process is intelligent as well in that it auto-scales, meaning that it can automatically increase the resources and processing power of the various components under times of load or stress, freeing up capacity. Think of opening up additional lanes for traffic flow when there is a bottleneck – it’s a similar concept. And the message may change – product orders, financial transactions, credit allocation, stock reallocation – but the mechanism behind it all remains the same. Secure, fast and efficient.
All messages are stored redundantly across multiple servers and data centers to prevent messages from being lost or becoming unavailable, and scale dynamically with the application. There is no limit to the number of queues or messages one can use, and standard queues provide nearly unlimited throughput. In addition, authentication mechanisms are provided to ensure that messages stored in Amazon SQS queues are secured against unauthorized access.