We’ve been working on a project for a couple of months now, it’s a pretty standard website with the only major piece of coding being the used car search.

The client was already a signed up member of CarZone and really had no need to ditch them because the system worked quite well for them. However, what they did want to do was integrate the search more into their website so that they make it easier to use and get more content on their website.

On approaching CarZone, they gave two ridiculous integration options that in my mind are beyond belief.

Option 1 was to template a hosted solution on CarZones server. This wasn’t a goer for us because the site also had a Content Management System. So if anything changed, like the navigation or special offer etc. we would have to provide them with a new template each time. Obviously this didn’t make sense at all for the client.

Option 2 was for the results to be provided in an iFrame. Of course in my opinion, the further away from iFrames the better. We all know about the compatibility issues surrounding them, never mind the the fact that they can be quite restrictive in terms of layout etc.

After much consultation with CarZone, I was left feeling quite disappointed and badly treated when I tried to find other integration options. They refused to take simple suggestions on board that could have made this an easy integration for both parties. Even waving money in their face didn’t make a difference!

I was told, even after insisting it wasn’t, that the iFrame was an adequate solution. I’m sorry, but from a professional developers point of view anything to do with iFrames is not a solution. Maybe it is for beginners – but certainly not for pro’s who can do other things in a similar timeframe, yet have a much better solution in the end.

What’s really sad is that in this day and age, with all the hype about Web 2.0, one of Ireland’s leading websites can’t make the simple transition to providing basic xml feeds for their clients.

Come on CarZone, be a bit more creative instead of just sitting back and taking your clients money! Start providing a value add!

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