In building the engine, Achieve created several modules, taking care not to hard-code logic related to the types of items the engine compares. Instead, configurations for what types of items to compare, which data point attributes to use, how many attributes to display in the initial comparison, and many other options, including configurable email notifications and messaging on the site, all happen via web-based administration. This makes the engine more flexible, and it enables non-technical administrators to quickly deploy a comparison site.
When companies sign up to showcase their products on certain Penton web sites, they pay for a “service level agreement.” A lower-cost service level agreement displays smaller-sized images of the company’s products and shorter product descriptions on the web site, and does not allow for certain features, such as “Request More Information” emails from interested site visitors.
Custom Drupal modules handle the remaining display options, enabling Penton to offer companies a variety of service levels.
On the end-user side, typical features, such as saving frequent and favorite comparisons, are available to registered users on the comparison sites.