Jerry Doyle and his “Utopia Computers” online store selling custom PCs.
Jerry contacted us in March 2017, asking us to fix his eBay configurator. It was a tool, designed to quickly set up listings with any combination of PC parts, without having to type it all out, and let clients create their own configurations. Sounds great, but in reality, it was a decade old piece of legacy code that was half-broken at that point because of the changes in eBay’s API and advances in web technology.
To fix and upgrade the present configurator and make it easy for Jerry to manage his online store once again.
Fixing an old code is always a bit like trying to fix an antique clock. If you can’t find the documentation, the only thing you can rely on is your skill in how those systems are put together.
It was a fight not only against the legacy code, but also against the ever-changing eBay policy, that happen to change right in the middle of the process, and slowed us down a little. But of course, our experts prevailed. Additionally, successfully dissecting and reviving the old tool gave us plenty of ideas on how to build a much better one, easier to upgrade and use.
The new configurator was supposed to be simple and effective, and have many advantages over the old oneall the changes to clients’ store got uploaded in just one click it could be easily integrated into any website had the ability to create listings for any range of products editing the product list was made incredibly straightforward as well it was to be developed with consideration of the eBay’s API and allowed to upload listings that fully complied with the eBay’s requirements
After some of the improvements to the old tool required overhauling more code, and a lot more time and money than before, Jerry agreed to try out this path, and develop this brand-new tool.
First version came out rather well, save for some minor bugs but it might have take a little too long for Jerry to cool on the idea of change and improvement and it started to stall in favor of making more improvements on the old tool.
Ultimately, Jerry decided to carry on with the old configurator. Perhaps, he got too attached to it after all those years, like to an old friend. Or, maybe it just didn’t make business sense to him anymore.
In either case, his business continues to prosper, and in the end, that’s all we really care about.
Utopia Computers continues to sell their products on eBay easily thanks to the updated and improved old tool.
Alexander Vobyachenko – developer
Maria Tkachenko – project management
Yury Davydov – legal support
You can meet us at our site.
PHP5 / MySQL
eBay Trading API