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Old 09-16-2003, 03:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default product configurator software, configuration system

I'm lookig for a product configurator software solution for my company. I want to allow my users to go through my online catalog and select various products and parts of products.

Once the user has selected the "pieces", I want a dynamic image of the complete product to appear. Something like a 3d image.

The most imporant requirement is all this configuration stuff is rule based. Meaning, I have requirements for telling what products can go with other products and how they fit together.

Anyone know of a software solution that can handle these product configuration requirements?

The next step would then allow for a complete ecommerce solution, where users could then buy the product they configured or put together online.

thanks for your help

PS. I'm a dreaming about his type of product software solution or if it does exist, it probably cost thousands and thousands of dollars.

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Old 09-20-2003, 01:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default online product configurator

Answer to your question... yes they do exists.

You could probably pay someone to make the process or program work. If you can write the rules down or write the business logic down on paper, you are actually writing requirements.

Any good programmer can make a software program based on good requirements.

So that takes care of the process for the product configuration part, the hard part is making a 3d image appear.
That is HARD!!!

I have not seen something like that before. Not sure how you would take products or part A and stick it to part B on the fly.

I mean, you got all kinds of issues to deal with. Taking a static image and attaching it to another static image in a way that looks good. Not to mention you want it in 3d. You are talking about CAD stuff.

anyway, good luck on your product configuration system.

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Old 09-22-2003, 12:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Graphics & configuration

If you do a search on Google or MSN, you will come up with a number of firms that specialize in configuration. Here is a handy link that list a number of the companies that focus on configuration:

The area is fairly specialized. Like Casino says you need to have your "rules" in place probably before you start building the system. You may already have these. Many companies will have charts of allowable options etc... listed in tables in their product catalogs, and these can often be used for the configuration.

To be accurate, there are two ways to go about configuration. There is a "rules" based approach. For example only "sports" model cars can be "red". But there is also a constraint based approach. For example only cars that have X amount of room left under the hood can take an engine of Y size. (Not the best examples.) There is a better white-paper on this at the iLog web site: The whole area of configurators is pretty complex. The one organization that seems to follow it is a branch of an Artificial Intelligence organization.

The one thing I might ammend to your comments, is that I think the most important thing wrt configuration is not so much the product visuals (although they are important). I think the most important thing to think about is the system for entering/maintaining constraints. Most companies can't afford an army of developers to keep this up as products/rules change. You may want to look at these management systems as well. Here's one example:



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