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Featured APIs, Webhooks and Connections: How Connecting Benefits Customers

Discussion in 'Community News' started by Ethan Morgan, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. Ethan Morgan

    Community Team Volo Staff Volo Marketing

    Nov 28, 2016
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    If you’ve been following our release notes and product updates for the last few months, you’ll have noticed a lot of mention of APIs. But what have we been working on in the Connectivity team, and how does it benefit you, our customers? I caught up with Scott Walker, Product Owner for the Connectivity team, to find out.

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    So Scott, to start with: why are we so interested in APIs?


    APIs allow us to expose our core platform to new tools and services. Nobody else offers what we do when it comes to centralising ecommerce business management – but lots of people offer warehouse management tools, for example.

    These specialised point provider tools have a range of options, so where customers need something more specialist, the APIs enable other providers to be pulled in to work with Volo and give our customers more choice and more power to grow.

    And what does the transition to the Amazon Web Services API Gateway mean for our API?

    Amazon’s API Gateway uses the power of Amazon’s cloud. Using the Gateway gives us much more stability and security. It allows us to manage traffic during spikes, for example, which increases our reliability, and gives us a powerful monitoring capability so that we know when performance dips in terms of latency or errors.

    That means overall that we can be more proactive to support the API, and also more proactive in our development as iteration, testing and release are all streamlined. Testing in particular has become largely automated, which is a huge boost. Performance improvements are already evident, we’ve seen considerable drops in response time.

    We’ve released a totally fresh API rewrite. Can you tell us what that has meant?

    The new API brings consistent terminology for field names, requests, responses and endpoint names.

    It’s also more scalable – validation is much easier, and the new documentation helps for integrations. We’re building the full set of Create, Read, Update and Delete APIs, based on Volo entities. This means anything you can do in the UI will be available to do programmatically via the APIs.

    A couple of examples of what this can look like: An external system needs to know warehouse locations data; or an accounting platform manages credit for trade customers; or a CRM is using customer data from Origin for marketing. All of these use cases benefit from the new APIs. Our coverage of the platform is up by 72% since March thanks to them.

    What about Webhooks? What purpose do they serve?

    Webhooks are brand new to Volo, and they allow developers to pick which events to receive e.g. shipping notifications only for a specific sellerID. This allows for a much more efficient data transfer.

    The framework we’ve put in place means creating new events is quicker. We’ve already done orders shipped, channel stock level, refunds, with more in the pipeline. Suggestions are welcome!


    Thanks to Scott for taking the time.

    In the wider marketplace world, eBay in particular are refocusing around new APIs, with the goal of improving connectivity and enabling eBay listings to surface in totally new environments, whether that be apps or social sites or content feeds. Volo uses APIs to ‘talk’ to marketplaces and integration partners – the future of interconnected commerce is being shaped today, and we’re making sure we’re not just ready for it, but we’re actively pushing towards it.

     
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