DLA swats at E-Mall's bugs

E-Mall items
can be bought using IMPAC credit cards or via the Military Standard Requisitioning and
Issue Procedure, a DLA official says.





The Defense Logistics Agency’s E-Mall is running into technical problems on the
user side, a DLA official said.


E-Mall, a Web site that gives military personnel worldwide access to more than 2.4
million parts and products in vendor and government supply databases, needs minor
engineering improvements, DLA analyst Luman Williams said.


The system’s software, eCommerce from Partnet Inc. of Salt Lake City, lets
government users search and combine information from vendor and government supplier
databases anywhere on the Internet into a single, unified catalog, a Partnet spokesman
said. DLA can search for prices for everything from computers, modems and keyboards to
hammers and gears, said Nels Draper, Partnet’s director of marketing.


The system takes a user’s request for price and technical information on modems,
for instance, and sends it to several commercial and government databases that are
accessible via the Web. The user’s request is processed at each catalog server;
eCommerce combines the information and prices for modems and displays the information on
the user’s browser.


The Air Force Command, Navy Command, Army Reserve, Air National Guard, National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, Agriculture Department and other government agencies use
E-Mall.


E-Mall items can be bought with IMPAC credit cards or Defense Department buyers can use
the Military Standard Requisitioning and Issue Procedure, a DLA official said.


Williams, who works on the DOD E-Mall Team at the Defense Logistics Information Service
(DLIS) in Battle Creek, Mich., said users whose Web browsers cannot interpret the
site’s Java script have difficulty running the application.


In some cases, payment information, such as accounting or order processing data, fails
to get through and results in a Java script error at the client site, Williams said.


He also said some users cannot view the entire E-Mall screen on their monitors.


“The design features of E-Mall included 800- by 600- [pixel] resolution, and users
with 640-by-480 resolution don’t get a full screen view,” he said.


“As a result we have people not seeing the buttons they need to see so they have
to scroll up or scroll left,” he said. DLIS is working out the kinks and helping
users.


“We’re getting lots of calls. Like any new system where it’s real
technical, you’ll have some bugs with it,” said Lee White, chief of the DLIS
Services Division.


Users can call the E-Mall help desk at 888-352-9333.  

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