Rural Sourcing uses several technologies to bring the best products to our clients. One of the most used technologies is the Accenture CAS System. Accenture CAS is the leading integrated sales platform for the consumer goods industry. It provides companies with the ability to streamline all of their day to day operations whether it be tracking inventory, managing customers, making payments, setting up promotions, or even keeping up with sales representative store visits. The CAS system uses four main tools, namely the CAS modeler, SQL Server Management Studio, Visual Studio 2010, and the CAS Application which uses Microsoft Silverlight.
The CAS Modeler is a graphical interface that simplifies the majority of the creation process, enabling developers to create UI Elements such as Tabs, Grids, and Groups without having to write any code. It is broken into several modules each having a specific area or usage.
The most prominent modules are Bpa, Clb, Prd, Prm, and Usr.
The Bpa module focuses on Customers and Contact Partners. This will include stores and the contacts connected to the store. The Clb module is used primarily for Collaboration and Visits. When a sales representative travels to a Customer, or Store, this module will be accessed. The Prd module is used for Product creation and inventory, and the Prm module is used for Promotions of the products in stores. Finally, the Usr module is used to keep up with all User accounts and logins.
Each module in the system will have its own set of CAS data types that are used to read and write from the database. The following image will give you a basic idea of how the system is set up for each module.
The basis for the CAS system is an Entity. These are essentially the definition of a table in the data base. From the Entity a Basic Data Object is created. This cdo is used to access one table in the database. Views can also be created, allowing the developer access to multiple tables in the database. Both Basic Data Objects and Views will be used in conjunction with a Data Container which links the data to Overviews and Details. The Overviews and Details are the final step and are displayed in the application tab page.
SQL Server Management Studio is used by the CAS System to store data, but it is also instrumental during development for accessing the database for testing purposes. It allows developers to see any new content they have added to the individual tables, or changes to values in the database. SQL can also be used in Stored Procedures and Server Processes. In these processes, a developer can access the database to select data from or update data from the database.
Visual Studio 2010 is also a vital tool used by the CAS System. All of the development in the modeler is Save and Deployed into code. There are two types of code created by CAS. The first is, “core“ code, which for all intents is uneditable. The second type is “customizable” code. This type of code can have “Insertion Ranges” added to it. These ranges are the segments of code that can be customized.
The CAS Application uses Microsoft Silverlight to display what has been developed using the modeler and Visual Studio 2010. Depending on what roles a user contains, they will be able to access different UI Elements of the Application. Through these Tab Pages, Grids, and Groups along with other User Interface tools, the user can view or update data as the tab pages direct.
As developers at Rural Sourcing we work with several clients using this technology to create the best solution to their needs. We will delve into some of the individual CAS components in future blog updates.