Sean Kennedy
Sean Kennedy
February 5, 2015

PointSource Currency: A Best Practices Platform

We’ve put a lot into, Currency. Not just the hard work of building a product, but all our experience and expertise from creating successful mobile solutions for our clients. Let’s take a quick look at what Currency is and then see how it facilitates five best practices for mobile commerce. By applying these five best practices and using Currency, you can go to market quickly with a modern mobile commerce experience that’s adaptable to future trends and technology.

With Currency you get many great features:

A starter store with pre-built UI elements

Customizable and extensible middleware that connects to the enterprise commerce systems you already use

Reliability and scalability to support more traffic with better performance

Currency Architectural Overview

Currency is more than the sum of its parts. It is an extensible platform, built on standards-based technologies, that empowers your team to use the skills they already have to build an engaging mobile experience for your customers, now and into the future.

With Currency, our goal is to package our experience and expertise as a set of best practices that have been implemented in code, and give you a head start and ongoing advantage in engaging your customers on any device. Think of Currency as not only software to provide a modern mobile commerce interface, but also as a best-practices platform for building engaging mobile commerce experiences.

Five best practices for mobile commerce facilitated by Currency:

1. Integrate using RESTful APIs

Loose coupling isn’t just an abstract principle of architecture that we put into practice when convenience and time allows. It is an imperative of Internet architecture and a necessity for sustained success on mobile.

The Currency Server connects to your eCommerce platform and exposes your store through an extensible and customization REST API. That API is used by the Currency Toolkit in it’s pre-built assets for AngularJS developers, as demonstrated by The Point Store starter/sample store, to quickly deliver mobile-ready, adaptive, and responsive commerce websites.

Of course, if AngularJS isn’t your thing, you can use the REST API from whatever front end technology you like. We’ve already seen a real-life storefront written in Backbone.js adapted to use the Currency REST API.

2. Manage API access through a common platform

A successful mobile store doesn’t just use your commerce data, it also integrates with many third-party services for things like payment, location data, analytics, reviews, and more. Fortunately, most of these services already provide REST APIs.

Unfortunately, some expose more complexity than you need, and should any of them change, it may require dozens of changes across your store to consume it. Worse could be the time you choose to swap one of them out for a competitive offering.

Currency already integrates with popular third-party services such as PayPal, UPS, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Bazaarvoice, to help you manage access to them and simplify your store implementation. With Currency’s extensible and customizable REST API, and the bundled Cucumber-based test framework, customizing and managing integrations is easier than ever.

3. Adapt to your customers and engage them in new ways

Mobile continues to change consumer expectations, preferences, and behavior, and offers one of the best ways to engage your customers in new ways.

Currency facilitates the best practices for Responsive Web Design, and helps you meet your customer’s expectations on whatever device they prefer in the moment. Through IBM MobileFirst Studio (formerly Worklight), your Currency-based store is ready to be packaged as an installable app for Android and iOS to make it easy for your customers to find you whenever they choose. By having the same foundation powering mobile apps and adapting to the web experience of any device, you have the opportunity to provide a consistent and enjoyable experience that takes advantage of the strengths of each form factor as never before. All without your development and maintenance costs spiraling out of control as you try to support a myriad of device form factors and OS versions.

With Currency streamlining your delivery process to meet customer expectations, you’re better able to invest in new strategies to exceed them. For example, taking your app-based engagement to the next level by using IBM Mobile Customer Engagement (formerly Xtify) to help your customers get the most out of your relationship, or leveraging IBM WebSphere Commerce Composer user pages and widgets to maximize your responsiveness to business needs too.

4. Use standard assets to deliver faster

Currency is built on web standards (HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript), follows web best practices (REST and Responsive Web Design), and leverages leading open source packages (most prominently: AngularJS, CouchDB, Node.js, PhantomJS, and Redis) to give your team a platform that “just works”, that is easily configurable and extendable, and that helps you remain open to embrace future opportunities.

Currency weaves these open technologies together and creates a customizable and extensible platform that speeds and simplifies the delivery of engaging mobile commerce experiences. Currency Server, Currency Toolkit, and The Point Store sample and starter store, accelerate your initial implementation, and have also been designed for customization and extension such that they become your standard assets that enable ongoing delivery at market speed.


5. Be prepared for the future

No one can predict the future, but it’s safe to assume that mobile devices will have more and different capabilities packaged in new and different forms. All the more reason to make sure you’re prepared to respond to its changes and challenges. Keeping an open mind and following the previous four best practices will put you in a good position to seize whatever opportunities come your way. Even so, having a trusted and expert partner to face the future with you is often what can transform a challenge from something that needs to be mitigated, into an opportunity that can be exploited.

When we chose the name “Currency” we weren’t only thinking of the medium of exchange, but were also capturing our intention to use it as a platform to keep our clients current with the latest trends and technology. With Currency and PointSource you have a partner that not only advises with words, but also with deployable assets tailored to mobile commerce.

Mobile commerce done right, and right now
By combining standards-based technologies with well-known enterprise commerce systems and mobile commerce best practices, Currency leverages your team’s existing expertise to adapt to your existing environment, and engage your customers with a seamless shopping experience across devices.

Use Currency to get a modern mobile commerce experience quickly to market now, and to ensure that it is adaptable to future trends and technology.


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