Lokad Sales Forecasting for ASP.Net eCommerce applications

We have just released Lokad Sales Forecasting for ASP.Net v1.0. This product is a small add-on to be integrated into your existing eCommerce platform. It allows you to synchronize the sales data of your eCommerce platform with your Lokad account and features integrated sales forecasts reports (daily, weekly or monthly forecasts). Lokad for ASP.Net is released under an open source BSD license. The version 1.0 already supports several eCommerce applications, namely

A sandbox to play with Lokad

The Lokad sandbox had been around for a while, but we have finally decided to make it widely accessible. Basically, the sandbox is just a replicate of our production website. The sandbox can be seen as “Free Edition” of Lokad targeting community developers. If you are interested by integrating the Lokad forecasting technology into your favorite application, the sandbox will be available for free no matter the subscription plan that you need.

Lokad Web Services and interoperability

Release of tutorials for Web Services in Java, C#.NET and PHP In a recent entry on this blog, we announced the release of a tutorial on Lokad Web Services in C#. Studies of programming language market shares suggest that the most popular web languages are Java, C#.NET and PHP; so we had decided to provide tutorials for this three languages. We have just released tutorials for Web Services in Java and PHP, as well as an update of the C#.

New community wiki for the open source initiatives

Lokad is currently developing several add-ons for 3rd party integrations (namely osCommerce, Commerce Starter Kit and PowerShell). We have finally decided to gather all those projects into a single Sourceforge.net project space. No release at this point, but all the source code is freely available under BSD license in the Subversion repository of this project. Based on the Seomoz’s Web 2.0 awards, we have decided to host our community wiki on WetPaint.

Lokad pricing revised

In order to be more competitive on the webshop market, Lokad has revised its prices. All base prices have been lowered. Existing customers will benefits from the new prices starting from today. The new prices are available from our Pricing page.

Sales forecasting for osCommerce - pre-release program

We have started to work a sales forecasting module that will integrate the Lokad forecasting technology within osCommerce, a major open source webshop application (with more than 10,000 shops worldwide). Sales forecasts are used to improve the inventory planning, the ultimate goal being to have “just enough” inventory to match the customer demand. If you’re interested in having sales forecasting integrated within your osCommerce application, register now. Customers that register to be notified of the Lokad osCommerce integration release will be awarded 6 months of free Lokad services.

Missing time-series vs. Empty time-series

Lokad is about time-series forecasting, but as simple as the time-series model may seem to be (after all a time-series is nothing more than a list of time-value pairs), there are several subtleties in the way to manage time-series. In this post, we will see how the Lokad time-series model distinguishes missing time-value pairs from empty time-value pairs. Since the topic is slightly complex, I would suggest, if you’re not familiar the Lokad technology, to have a look at our User Guide (in particular, the Forecasting tasks section).

Web Services Tutorial in C# (again)

We have just updated the Lokad website. The new version comes with an extensive tutorial to work with our Web Services in C#. Through this tutorial, you will learn how to perform programmatically the basic operations associated to your Lokad account (time-series and forecasts management). In case .Net/C# is not your preferred platform, don’t worry. We have already planned to translate this tutorial for Java and PHP. Btw, Happy New Year 2007

Web Services Tutorial in C#

The Lokad Web Services provide a programmatic access to all the Lokad features. Accessing the Lokad Web Services is easy and straighforward. We have just released a 100 lines .Net project that illustrates how to perform a full round-trip with our Web Services; first uploading some time-series data and finally retrieving forecasted time-series. The source-code is available on CodePlex under a BSD license http://www.codeplex.com/lokad/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=1342  An extensive tutorial explaining every line of this project is under way.

Open source initiatives for Lokad integration

Currently Lokad is essentially an hosted solution relying on closed source software; but this situation is likely to evolve since we have already started to work on various applications that will be released under BSD license (the BSD license is an open source license compatible with closed-source commercial applications). Integrating Lokad into existing applications Lokad provides time-series forecasts; in order to leverage most of the added-value of those forecasts, an integration of Lokad within the company systems (ERP, CRM, SCM among other) is usually required.

Upcoming Lokad User Guide

I have almost finished to write the Lokad User Guide. In case you might be interested, I have pasted below the table of content of this guide. Stay tuned for the release. Meantime you can contact us directly, we will do our best to answer your questions. Lokad, User guide Preface Who should read this guide? What is the content of this guide? Table of contents Time-series forecasting applied to business What is a time-series?

Upcoming documentation

Update: New documents mentioned below have been released 2006-12-09. We know that documentation is still a weak point of Lokad, but we are already working on it. We will soon release a series of short documents In a nutshell: Forecast, Why and How? Top 10 benefits of Lokad Lokad vs. the Competition Plus, we are also working on extensive (and printable) guides for Lokad. Stay tuned. Meantime the email support will do its best to answer all your questions.

Do not make a sum with your forecasts

Although we have tried to make Lokad as simple and intuitive as possible, statistical forecasting is a counter-intuitive science with many traps. In this post, I am going to describe one of the most frequent mistakes that I have encountered within many companies. In a nutshell, it is wrong to make a sum of forecasted values. Since the problem is quite hard to grasp, let’s start with an example. Let’s say that you have 3 shops; and that those 3 shops are selling coconuts.

Lokad gets live!

We have released the first version Lokad. This release features already a state-of-the-art AJAX-enabled web application. We have tried to provide a user experience as smooth as possible, including a lot of contextual help content. Yet, we are aware that our documentation section is quite weak at the time. If you feel that some aspects of the Lokad website and/or technology should be more documented, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be more than happy to provide answers (and possibly documentation ASAP).

Pre-release comments on COLOSSUS

My name is Joannes, I am usually blogging from my own blog, but since we have decided to setup a blog entirely dedicated to Lokad, I am going write directly on this blog. Lokad is a project that I have started one year ago. This project was initialy titled Supply Chain Optimization, Reducing inventory and Ruptures during a talk in March 2006 at the Entrepreneurship session of the Insead in Fontainbleau (south of Paris).