REVIEWER: Al Singer, owner of Grand Slam USA.

BACKGROUND: Grand Slam USA is a sports training and indoor sports facility. Grand Slam USA also offers sports equipment from baseballs to batting machines. To help expand our market, we decided to develop a professional Web site. While the Web site was created by a good design firm, it lacked the ability to easily update products and pricing.

PLATFORMS: RapidCat E-Business Publisher runs on Microsoft 2000. The product is managed as an application service by the developers of RapidCat E- Business Publisher, JADE Technologies.

PROBLEM SOLVED: RapidCat E-Business Publisher allowed Grand Slam USA to get the online store up quickly on our Web site. RapidCat E-Business Publisher provides an easy-to-use Web- based interface to manage all aspects of publishing and managing an online store including maintaining and updating our products and pricing. In addition, it gave our customers an easy-to-use, secure online shopping cart that freed our staff from having to take phone orders from customers of our previously static site.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: RapidCat E-Business Publisher provides a vast array of features needed to publish and manage an online store. The setup of the store was easy, and the ongoing maintenance is trouble-free. In the future, the advanced reporting functions will be utilized to analyze the sales trends and help determine where more products should be added. RapidCat allowed us to set up as many product groups and subgroups as we needed with the ability to set up multiple options per product, such as color and size. RapidCat E- Business Publisher is not just designed to be a catalog-publishing and shopping- cart application. It also has the ability to publish an entire Web site from a fully updatable home page to support pages such as "About Us" and "Contact Us." JADE Technologies also offers integration services to customize RapidCat E- Business Publisher to integrate seamlessly with your existing information systems.

STRENGTHS: We are pleased with the ease of use of RapidCat E-Business Publisher as well as with the short time it took to learn to use the tool. RapidCat E-Business Publisher was extremely easy to configure and customize to match our site layout. The reliability of this product is excellent. We have not had any problems with the product since it was installed. Since we have started using the product, JADE Technologies has provided a number of enhancements to improve the usability and flexibility of the product which definitely shows their commitment to the product and ongoing support.

WEAKNESSES: The only weakness was the lack of documentation which, because of the ease of use, had little or no impact on the usability of the product. The vendor has since provided online documentation that provides help on every screen and menu.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected RapidCat based on past experiences with JADE Technologies and RapidCat’s ability to quickly and effectively manage our online catalog. Additionally, the cost is not much more than I paid for simple Web hosting, and I do not have to worry about applying patches or upgrading to the latest version.

DELIVERABLES: RapidCat E-Business Publisher was used to publish and is currently used to manage our online store. The product provides an intuitive interface that allows visitors to browse and purchase products online. The administrative area continues to provide an effortless interface, allowing the staff the ability to maintain and update the online store with new products on an ongoing basis.

VENDOR SUPPORT: JADE Technologies offers free support of their RapidCat E-Business Publisher and worked closely with our staff during the initial setup. They continue to answer any questions we have regarding the product.

DOCUMENTATION: Following the addition of the online documentation which provides detailed step-by-step procedures, the product has been a joy to use and easy to understand.

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