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   OCT 1998

Case Studies

Client Compaq Computer Corporation
Now Hewlett-Packard

Industry Computer Retail & Customer Service

Languages ASP, JavaScript, VB, Perl, SQL, HTML

Platform Microsoft, Digital UNIX

Tools VisualStudio, HomeSite, XTerm, PhotoShop

Synopsis In 1998, Advarion Incorporated took on a massive-scale project with Compaq Computer Corporation, the second largest computer retailer in the world.

The goal: to database thousands of non-standard text files representing every single software and firmware update ever created by Compaq, called SoftPaqs. Then, create a web application for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to be launched on Compaq's ASP server farm.

Advarion Inc. successfully used simple Perl text processing on a UNIX server to intelligently create a relational database from the text files using a secondary database of terms and text patterns. Finally, a simple and advanced search were built to search the database on boolean terms, release dates, affected components, and affected Compaq models.

Result. A seemingly impossible project that some estimated would cost millions and take months or years to complete with a team of 20... was completed from inception to launch in four weeks, with a team of 3, for less than $10,000.

Eventually, the application was calculated to have saved Compaq over $3.4 million in customer support calls in the first year of use.

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