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Website Backend - Web or Software Based?



4:37 am on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I'm just wondering what is the today's norm for large websites in managing customers, processing orders, shipments, etc; are these website using a "web" or "software" based backend?

I know all the open source shopping carts like Oscommerce, Magento, etc handle everything from the "web" backend, but do the big websites like zappos.com, backcountry.com, target.com, etc also just use a "web" backend for everything?

I just think that a "software" based backend seems a little more dated now. Since you would have to sync data from your website database to your local "software" database and then upload everything back up to the website again.

Or is this not the case, do these big websites still use a "software" based backend?

Thank you!


12:43 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think just for ease of maintenance you'll find most are web based, even if that is just a local intranet version. In my experience though local applications are sometimes needed. For example printing shipping labels required some integration with site and custom software.


11:19 pm on Apr 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

It really depends, I don't think the "big guys" follow a set standard and I'm sure they will all do it differently.
They could have multiple web and desktop applications that due certain tasks. I'm sure the big guys have a swat team of developers.

I just bought a frig at Home Depot last week and the salesperson in the appliance section was using a web based intranet application to create the order, schedule, the delivery.


2:02 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yes, that's true; these "big guys" can do whatever they want...haha.

I like the "web/intranet" backend for now, but I guess if I ever need to run smaller "software" applications to run locally I could always add this later.


7:02 pm on Apr 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The ideal backend would have both a web-based interface, and an app.

Web-based is great because it's OS-agnostic and portable.

Software-based is good if you want to print bar code tags, shipping labels, or plug-in a scanner or weigh scale.


1:25 am on Apr 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have a web based administration area. It is a good choice for my company since I have remote employees and they can access a customer's details, order history, etc..

My shipping application is a desktop application. Like jwolthuis suggested is a good choice for scanners and scale.
If you are working with USB devices then it makes sense to use a desktop application.


7:03 pm on Apr 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


How do you get shipping deails from your web based admin site into your software shipping application?

Do you have to download this information, and then upload back to your website with tracking information included?

Thank you!


9:14 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)


I use the Endicia Label Server API to calculate postage and to print shipping labels for USPS.

This will allow me to create a shipping label and also get a tracking number.

The tracking number is saved in the orders database table. I can then call a different web service and pass it the tracking number it will return the tracking details.


3:01 pm on Apr 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

+1 for endicia, use a similar setup

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