Danat soft launches shopping portal

Logta.com to update shoppers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia on latest deals and offers

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By  Mark Sutton Published  April 10, 2008

Portal network Danat has announced the soft launch of its second portal for the Middle East region.

The new website, logta.com, will focus on shopping information and news of special offers and deals from retailers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, in English and Arabic languages.

The site joins Danat existing Arabic language financial news portal, Argaam.com.

Speaking at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2008 in Dubai this week, Anup Anthony, IT manager of Danat said the new launch was part of the company's aim to become the leading network of Arabic language portals.

Logta.com is built on several Microsoft applications, including Office SharePoint Server, Commerce Server, BizTalk and MS CRM. The architecture marks a departure from Argaam.com, which was built from the ground up using .Net and SQL 2000. The first site was developed as a bespoke application, and then the company re-examined the architecture after launch, and decided that in order to meet a target of launching two or three additional websites before the end of the year, they would require a more flexible approach.

The company worked closely with Microsoft Consulting Services for two years, the two worked to develop the new architecture. Logta.com is targeting 50,000 visits per day, and also aims to introduce a range of services to notify readers of special offers and to allow advertisers to track campaigns and other functions. The new architecture, which includes, Microsoft's middleware product, BizTalk, allows for a high degree of integration, according to Hisham Baker, general manager of Danat.

"We need integration end-to-end, in order to have all of the products in harmony - to build all [elements] individually would be very challenging. The support from Microsoft has been really good, and we have the tools and infrastructure to build new sites for Danat jobs, classifieds and so on," he said.

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