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About Michael Fatica

Michael is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of MetaLocator.com. He has operated an independent IT consulting firm for over 20 years, working with over 500 companies in all areas of technology application. In that time he has created multiple technology startups, including MetaLocator.com. His proprietary Web site software products have been purchased by over 1600 companies in 82 countries around the world. Michael was awarded an engineering degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2001. Michael has volunteered extensively, serving as a board director for an after‐school technology program for underprivileged youth and a nonprofit focused on computer hardware recycling. His ability ranges over a wide array of technologies with a focus on Web‐based data‐intensive applications. Michael is a highly experienced software engineer, fluent in hundreds of programming languages, APIs and platforms.

Searching for ranges of values

When developing a search interface, sometimes allowing the user to select a range of values is appropriate.  This is often presented as a drop-down list as shown below: This allows the user to select from a dropdown list instead of entering a value directly.  The expectation when choosing 1-1000 is that the system should return results [...]

Searching for ranges of values 2017-07-14T22:21:42+00:00

Importing retailers into MetaLocator for product monitoring

Importing and adding retailers into MetaLocator is one of the first steps in monitoring price data for your Where to Buy solutions.  MetaLocator offers a bulk import for retailers and a method to add retailers one by one.  To add retailers manually, Login to the MetaLocator control panel Click Retailers on the main navigation on [...]

Importing retailers into MetaLocator for product monitoring 2017-07-11T20:29:43+00:00

TOU Exception Request

Some retailer Websites specifically prohibit scraping.  It is important to honor these requirements and to operate solutions with the boundaries of the seller policy.  Product manufacturers may leverage their good relationship with the retailer and obtain a policy exception.  The exception, called a Terms of Use (TOU) Exception should be obtained in writing and configured in [...]

TOU Exception Request 2017-07-14T22:21:42+00:00

Lead email bounce handling

When an end user emails a location via our built-in contact forms, MetaLocator generates a record in the Leads database, and also (optionally) delivers that lead via email to the location contact.  If that email address is invalid, the message will bounce, possibly leaving the requesting customer wondering why nobody contacted them. To address this [...]

Lead email bounce handling 2017-07-14T22:21:42+00:00

Faster image serving now available

We've recently expanded our image handling capability to store images on fast Amazon Cloudfront backed by Amazon S3 storage servers.  This should be mostly transparent to the majority of users.  One change to the Location Editor has been introduced.  Formerly, the image upload utility was in the editor toolbar shown here: The new image upload utility [...]

Faster image serving now available 2017-07-14T22:21:42+00:00

Removing all CSS from a store locator interface template

When creating a new store locator, sometimes you may want to remove all CSS that comes with the selected template.  To do this, follow these instructions: Create a new Interface using the Modern Design template Under Style & Color settings, remove all CSS code from the CSS setting Under Advanced Settings, set "Disable Locator.css" to [...]

Removing all CSS from a store locator interface template 2017-06-26T15:19:50+00:00

Creating an SMS Interface

This article covers the SMS Interface settings.  These settings should be implemented with the help of a MetaLocator support technician.  SMS Interfaces are available to subscribers to our SMS Locator service. SMS Number: Enter the phone number associated with this Interface.  This number must be configured by a MetaLocator technician in Twilio. Search Results Message: This [...]

Creating an SMS Interface 2017-07-14T22:21:42+00:00

10 Global Store Finder Software best practices

Consider the following recommendations when building a store locator or product finder for multiple international audiences.  These concepts were assembled over the course of building thousands of global locators for companies including HP, Toshiba and Canon. Translation: Build a locator that displays content in the user's chosen language.  Allow the user to switch language as [...]

10 Global Store Finder Software best practices 2017-07-14T22:21:43+00:00

Where to Buy Button Integration

Building a product finder with MetaLocator often involves the use of our "Where to Buy" buttons.  When clicked, these buttons display a MetaLocator interface in a modal dialog window, which commonly displays product pricing and availability information for online and offline channels.  This setup guide serves as a quick introduction to creating a button, adding it [...]

Where to Buy Button Integration 2017-07-14T22:21:43+00:00

Building a product finder with MetaLocator

Product finders are a type of locator that includes the tracking of a list of products for each location.  Users can search by a combination of location and product to produce results that show only locations near their search term that stock the requested product.  MetaLocator is especially well-suited to support this type of locator. [...]

Building a product finder with MetaLocator 2017-07-14T22:21:43+00:00