Developer hours to install and integrate our supplier Product Library API by SOAP Web Services
********ProStores Knowledge Required********
We’re looking for someone who can help us both install the feed into our ProStores and offer consultation on how to update our catalog.
For the API requirements. Based on our week experience, here’s a list of tasks and suggestions. To be used in the your ProStores API Integration Project brief – regardless of who’s building it.
Setup Automated XML Feeds:
Bi-weekly New Product update Job
Get new products every Monday and Friday (2am-5am runs) Populate Product tables automatically with new data.
API – must be able to normalize data to match :
· We have to match ProStores database schema.
· For the Description field: the feed must combine many tables and add HTML formatting (HTML formatting will be supplied)
· For the Category field: combine tables and add “:” colon between Category and Subcategory. (only 1 hierarchy relationship allowed at this time for SEO reasons) Ignore other categories levels.
1. We’ll have to match item details correctly based on ProStores schema correct?
2. Looks like the API provides a LOT of ‘custom information’ per product, which is a good thing. How does ProStores handles all this information. Will you advise the best ‘table location’ for all this data?
3. We’ll want to follow similar Categorization to the feed. Are we going to auto populate our categories as well using the same feed? They have multiple categories per product (looks like up to 4 Categories).
SEO ISSUE! This could be a potential SEO nightmare (I’ll discuss it with you on another thread. We have to figure a SEO friendly way to display short Detail pages URLs without category/subcategory. Or use canonical tags. The Engines must not index pages with multiple paths! That’s duplicate content and a “site killer”. I’m sure you guys are aware of this and have some guidance how to handle it, so I’m not worried.
4. We’ll need to populate the Manufactures tables. Please advise on this step.
5. First run might take a while to populate everything. How often should we run the feed update thereafter? Daily is minimum, but in your experience what are our constraints? Will it affect bandwidth? Load-times? etc. Are we going to set a schedule?
5. Quantity on Hand – Can we show and hide products based on inventory? How does ProStores deal with this?
Honey’s Product Library
The Library offers Product Name, Description, Categories, Inventory Levels and product image for Honey’s Place Catalog for e-commerce online stores.
Honey’s Product Library Client Software
The Client software allows online retailers to install software on their personal computer to filter products results and then down load CSV (comma quote delimited) data. As well the images for the products will be downloaded as a folder with large .JPG (JPEG) files. This data can be imported by shopping cart \ ecommerce software. Also it can be imported by a software developer if an import feature is not available in their software.
This eliminates the need to contact every manufacture for product data which requires addition messaging \ hand editing to be imported with any success. The software also allows you to check for updates to products for records that are discontinued or out of stock and new products. Retailer must be on the internet to pull down products it’s not going to work on an air plane or other disconnected spot.
How does it work?
The client software that runs on the retailer’s computer connects to our product library through Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) hosted in a data center in Los Angeles. Although the software is installed locally the action of downloading of records and images from a web server. The client software itself is written in VB.Net 3.5 and uses compression and other techniques to provide a smooth experience for customers.
Client Services API
The tech specs in this implementation of the Product Library’s Application Programmer Interface (API) are designed with WCF Web services. This is the newest of Microsoft’s Implementation of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) if you have heard the term Client Server SOA is the replacement pattern for designing applications. The Honey Services can also be accessed via SOAP (Simple Object Access protocol) and WSDL. For best results connecting to the service through the WCF protocol is ideal for Microsoft developers and we support compression and asynchronous (a⋅syn⋅chro⋅nous) calls for the Microsoft platform. Any language which supports SOAP or Web Services Description Language (WSDL) can use a Soap client of their choice to connect to the Product Library from any platform. We offer a sample of a PHP script for connecting to the library using a SOAP client.
For a developer Web services offer them the ability to write scripts of software that will update their online catalog with inventory information as well as easily import new products and disabled obsolete products. Managing a large catalog of products can be very challenging. The services can provide a lot of value for an e-retailer to download updates on a schedule and process new products for the web site or show and hide products based on inventory on their web site.
Note: Retailers should not write their applications to use the web services LIVE on their web sites. In other words if each page request on their web site shouldn’t be using the Honey’s Web Services. That would mean their web site becomes completely dependent on the services for every page request. This aspect of the library is not supported and not a good idea because if the web service isn’t designed for that purpose. Data should be downloaded periodically and stored on their own system which is designed to suite their audience.
We support the following Protocols for connecting to the Product Library.
WCF - Windows Communication Foundation WSDL - Web Services Description Language SOAP - Simple Object Access Protocol
How does it work?
The WCF web services are written in VB.Net on .Net 3.5 and expose functionality for the suite of services and applications in the Honey’s Product Library. The Web services expose SOAP and WSDL functionality to support a variety of client platforms like UNIX and Windows. You can think of the difference between SOAP, WCF and WSDL the protocols involved as different versions of the same thing. Like USPS and USP and FedEx. Each implementation offers unique advantages. WCF is a Microsoft protocol that works very well on Windows platforms because it takes advantage of the Windows system. WSDL and SOAP protocols work well on any platform such as UNIX but require more work for the developer especially if they have not worked with soap before. For Microsoft developers we offer a class library for accessing the library with extra functionality for adding compression and asynchronous features. Allowing for really decent performance when pulling a lot of data over the wire through the services.
php sample script available