3P Online Designer

3P photo book editorThe 3P Online Designer is an exact copy of the 3P Desktop Publisher, except that it runs inside an HTML5 capable browser and needs no installation on the client side. It uses the same templates, layouts and product definitions as the desktop version, is easy to install and requires no extra server database. You can connect it to your existing backend, or run it together with the 3P Shop & Backoffice. It comes with a Project Manager and an Image Upload utility, which allows the user to upload large amounts of images in the background while working on his project.

The 3P Online Designer is probably the fastest, feature richest and most stable application of it's kind on the photo book and web2print market. It combines the product design flexibility and editing speed of the 3P Desktop Publisher with the convenience of online editing through means of HTML5.


Photo book software solution for commercial printers Technical Background

An Online Editor application is usually a complex client/server 3-tier system, consisting of a client application in javascript, which is interpreted inside a browser window, a server application which hosts most of the business logic, and a database which stores all the page and project data. Between these components, data is swapped through heavy Ajax communication and converted from XML to JSON objects to SVG (vectorial graphics) and back to JSON and XML, only to be stored as binary data in a database and later converted to PDF.
This classical architecture relies on redundant business logic and data, which must be replicated constantly over the internet and interpreted in different browser types, relying on safe and stable communication. Through communication snags and handshake errors, inconsistent data states can arise from editing changes in the client (user interface) not being transferred to the server's business layer and database, and vice-versa. Furthermore, server business logic modifications and bug fixes must be replicated to a different programming language on the client side accordingly, Ajax communication must be enhanced, and all changes must be tested under numerous browser types and versions.
It's not surprising, that most developers are highly stressed with 3-tier projects, and resulting applications are frequently basic but costly versions of their desktop counterparts, which live in completey separate and thus redundant code bases.

Photo book software solution for commercial printers What makes the 3P Online Designer different

With the 3P Online Designer we have found a better way. Through clever combination of HTML5 and Windows server technology we've managed to keep most of the business logic on the server only, avoiding redundant data and heavy Ajax communication.

All code is identical to the desktop version, leading to 100 % feature parity on all platforms (Mac, Windows, Android & iOS tablets). Whenever we enhance the desktop edition, the changes are immediately available on all other platforms. Data ist stored on the server only, and database requirements are limited to a few hundred MBs for the whole user base. Every project is stored in a well designed, transactional file storage on the server, and can be moved easily to another server if space limitation or load balancing requires it. No user can lock down the database or cause data loss across projects, and since data is not replicated across the internet it cannot get corrupted, avoiding user frustration and high support demands. Product designs, templates and layouts can be fully reused, and installation of the OE is a matter of hours, not weeks.

Trough combination of the best web technologies available today, the 3P Online Designer has grown to become an equal counterpart of the 3P Desktop Publisher. Ease of maintenance, stability and flexibility are not available at this level in any other online editor on the market.

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