Recently a major retailer gave us an interesting challenge. The challenge was to fully integrate their in-house store application with JumpMind Commerce POS - most notably on the frontend. The result of this challenge was very positive, proving that the 2 web technologies could work together seamlessly. This is a big deal: the ability to truly fuse web and e-commerce content into POS. It opens a host of new opportunities for developing creative in-store apps and sharing e-commerce content with the stores that before would have taken a ton of work.

The Challenge

Of course JumpMind Commerce offers out-of-the-box integrations with NCR, Adyen, Scandit, and more. And backend integrations are a standard part of the implementation process to ensure that order management system (OMS), merchandising, and everything else is in sync with the POS. But what made this challenge unique was the retailer’s desire to meld the front end user experience of their in-store app with our front-end UX. In essence, the challenge of this proof-of-concept (POC) was to design a full stack integration, starting with the backend with foundation-like items and prices, but moving all the way to the front in user interface for a fully blended experience between the 2 applications. 

To merge two user interfaces like this is simply not practical for many POS systems due to the UI technology in play. For example, trying to piece together a Java Swing front end and web usually does not give you a seamless experience. The seams are evident when the Swing app starts loading a browser window that looks different and is styled differently because the styling options and technologies between Swing and web are pretty different. 

The Solution

JumpMind uses the popular Angular framework for the front end, which is a pure web/JavaScript UX. The challenge brought to us was to interopt our POS with a React application. Since React is also web-based, it was a great experience, and in our proof-of-concept, the boundaries between the two applications were indistinguishable.

 

From a technology perspective, we choose to make JumpMind the hosting application for this project. The main reason was the overall experience is required to run fully offline. So the cashier logs on using JumpMind, and then JumpMind in turn initializes the React app using a session token so the 2 systems can communicate back and forth.

The Result

The result of this work was decidedly successful. The promise of pulling web content into a POS system has been around for a long time, but I’ve never seen it work as well as in this trial. The difference is having the POS itself be built on a web-native UIX platform. The success of integrating these two apps got us thinking about ways to leverage web content and other apps into the POS. Imagine the opportunities when your store associates are armed with stunning web content, alongside data and insights of all your systems fused together. So much is possible today with a modern, well-architected point of sale system. 

Mark Michalek

I should have known I'd like working with data when I tried to use my i486 to catalog my hockey card collection. Fast forward and I've worked with data persistence, data replication, POS and Java in general for over 15 years. I've participated in the design and development of new products such as an enterprise-grade mobile POS, as well as led POS and SymmetricDS implementations. In my free time I like running, tinkering with Arduino robots with my kids, and antique cars.