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Limitless's first project was to build the first online store for a major British retailer, Sainsbury's, and to do it from scratch in a matter of days.
In early 1995, Tesco announced that they were about to launch the first online wine-ordering system in the UK via CompuServe. Sainsbury's asked Limitless to build them an online ordering system on the web in two weeks to beat Tesco to launch, a task which Limitless achieved.
Information was gathered from the existing Wine Direct mail-order magazine; completely new software was developed to generate the wine lists and wine detail pages dynamically. Limitless also developed a system to allow session information to be stored on the server through the use of unique identifiers in the URL. At the time, this was the only practical method to maintain a session, and continues to be a reliable way of tracking session information compared to cookies, which only became widespread a couple of years later.
Wine Direct's ease-of-use and reliability were key features that contributed to the service's success, and it was widely reported and imitated.
Although the Wine Direct site underwent several visual redesigns, the underlying system by Limitless continued for two years through various adaptations, testifying to its maintainability.
We wrote the software that managed the shopping cart in a combination of Unix scripting languages and C. We prepared the site graphics which involved scanning all the many wine labels. The text entry, HTML and other coding work were split amongst the four members of Limitless.
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