Windows Azure Case Study: iQmetrix's XQ Interactive Retail solution

Link to original article.

Published by: Microsoft Windows Azure Team

Date: Sept. 5, 2013

Software Developer Provides Retailers with In-Store, On-Demand Product Information Hosted in the Cloud

Windows Azure CSV: iQmetrix

Web Site: www.iqmetrix.com

Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Org Size: 230 employees

Industry: Wireless retail

Windows Azure CSV Profile: Founded in 1999, iQmetrix focuses on creating great experiences for retailers, their employees, and the end consumer. Its products bridge the gap between physical and virtual retail channels. The company also gives retailers the tools they need for streamlining point-of-sale transactions and managing operations.

“Windows Azure has proven to be a rewarding development environment because of continuous integration. Code is pushed on a regular basis to Window Azure. This means it’s very quick for us to try something new and make sure it works.”
- John Woakes, Lead Developer, iQmetrix

Situation:
iQmetrix wanted to provide up-to-date manufacturers’ product information on demand at mobile device retail outlets. The company wanted to speed time-to-market and avoid the cost of purchasing and maintaining an on-premises infrastructure powerful and scalable enough to handle high levels of traffic for hundreds of stores. It decided to build a customized cloud service that would enhance the
in-store experience and increase shoppers’ confidence.

Solution:
iQmetrix turned to Windows Azure to develop XQ Interactive Retail, a solution that features detailed product information available on in-store touchscreen devices. Data is consumed and curated through an API running on Windows Azure web role instances. Windows Azure Service Bus distributes data to worker role processes that persist the data in a Mongo database. There are four web instances for the API and the website, three worker instances for the Mongo database, and one worker role instance for background processing.

iQmetrix uses Blob storage for images and movies and to persist the Mongo database virtual hard drive. It stores performance and log data in Windows Azure Table storage.

Benefits:

  • iQmetrix can quickly scale its solution to address its customer base and seasonal needs.
  • The company reduced its IT costs up to 30 percent by developing with Windows Azure.
  • It can go to market much faster with enhanced functionality thanks to Windows Azure.