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Thread: Pos Malaysia Shipping World Map / API

  1. #1
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    Pos Malaysia Shipping World Map / API


    I want Pos Malaysia to offer a proper API, so I'm writing one and I'm going to try to get in touch with someone there who will accept my offer to set it up for free. I've done a couple of quick demos of stuff anybody could do if Pos provided decent access to good quality data, I'd be interested to get some feedback from webmasters. There's an interactive (change the weight and method, see global costs) world map of shipping charges:

    My Spider - Pos Malaysia World Map

    and a shipping calculator widget that seems ok in 4 different (no old ones!) browsers here. It should be possible to just copy and paste the div/script fragment and have it on any site.

    My Spider - Pos Malaysia shipping rates 4

    spider.my is on a tiny VPS in the USA, pos.spider.my should be available in Malaysia for the next month or so, and could be quicker.

    What's obviously missing is a description of the API. You can find descriptions of the AJAX requests I'm using on some of the pages at spider.my and in my blog. If you think the API should be more comprehensive (for example, you have to load all rates to discover what countries Pos ships to - should there be a facility to request destination countries?), let me know what you'd like to see in the API.
    Last edited by Seanie; 04-03-2010 at 12:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    Is this an actual working example? I dont quite understand how it works.

    Yeah, i do agree POS malaysia need to have an API. I worked w/ something that requires the POS malaysia shipping before and end up having to do it the manual way.

    End result was a huge piece of data in an excel file.

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    pmsia

    double post
    Last edited by phantomic; 14-03-2010 at 10:45 AM. Reason: double post

  4. #4
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    Aiyah! Can you round up all the web devs who are specifying the same Cache-Control headers as on this site and The Nut Graph, detain them under ISA and beat them with wet copies of RFC2616? What is it with you people? The Back button should go back, not delete the contents of your input elements!

    Would anybody be interested in buying an API key for a Malaysian shipping quotation API? I'm thinking I could provide some shipping quotation modules for the popular e-commerce projects (it would be much, much easier if there was an API available) and offer one-shot online shipping quotations rate-limited to 3 or 4 per day. After that the API method would respond with HTTP 401, 402 or 403 if requested without an API key. An API key would be RM10 (say) per 1,000 one-shot queries. I could probably offer fairly detailed stats to API users too, about a fairly critical part of your business: how many requests for what weight to where in the world for how much on what day. E-commerce sites I have stats for seem to convert checkout visits to orders at the 20-25% rate, so that price works out at about 4-5sen per order.

    One-shot / online queries using the API method would be much faster than querying Pos' web calculator, but still require a round-trip to a remote server. Pos' webpage is quite fat, so checkout delay is ping (your server to Pos' webserver) time + bloated page build time + transfer time + parse time, whereas the checkout delay using the API would be very close to ping (your server to API server) time. Online shipping quotes have the problem that if the quote server is down, your checkout can't proceed. I'm fairly sure if I provided an API its uptime would be far better than Pos' website (which is down for days sometimes), but 'online' would be the poor-man's choice. Full-data-sets would be the rich-man's choice. Also full-data-sets would use a local calculation on the client server which would make checkout much faster (no web request) and also independent of the API server being available - but no per-checkout requests to the API would mean no stats!

    I'm doing some more work with the API because I'm going to use it in some other projects. If there's insufficient interest in use by 3rd parties, it'll go offline in the next few weeks. I could make a couple of API-based shipping modules available on request for osCommerce / whatever in the near term so people could get a feel for using them, but until I get some feedback (and possibly a cash commitment or three!) the modules will be 'experimental' - they might just stop working without notice.

    Let me know what modules you want, I'll provide them FOC for online quotes, but not for full-rates-stored-on-client quotes. I'll implement the rate-limit after I get some feedback about the modules. I'm not sure what I could do about the full-rates version, because the cleaned-up data in standard format is my 'golden chicken'. This is the big reason why Pos is the only one who should offer the API: making it easy for 3rd parties to develop solutions based on their shipping data can only reliably increase their profits. For anyone else (me, for example) there's an obvious risk of someone else stealing the chicken!

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