USPS or UPS shipping labels/integration

in Bugs & Feature Requests edited October 2009
We need a way to integrate our cart output with USPS or UPS for generation of the shipping labels. We're doing far too much volume to require manual creation of these labels. We're doing between 200-600 orders daily.

Any ideas? If not, we may need to abandon FoxyCart. Unsure if the datafeed contains all of the order info separated so that we can store it in another separate database on our end and build something custom on our own...but that all depends on us segmenting the data to do a MySQL insert into our own database for handling later.

Any options and suggestions are welcome. Thank you.
Comments
  • Being able to export to an Excel doc or something in batches so that they may be uploaded to something like Endicia might be enough.
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Hey ashworth. You mentioned the datafeed which would be exactly how we'd recommend doing any other third-party integrations. Have you worked with CouchDB at all? There have been a few people playing with as a great way to deal with the data from the datafeed because of it's document-based approach. If you dump the data in a database, you should be able to pull it back out again to build an excel file or whatever else you like.

    There are some example scripts to get you started:
    http://wiki.foxycart.com/integration?datasrt=&dataflt=tags:datafeed
    http://wiki.foxycart.com/integration:mysql

    I hope that helps. If you need a developer to help with the integration part, we can recommend some for you.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    You may also want to look into Rocketship.it. Might be a much easier way to go about doing UPS labels. (USPS support is coming soon, according to their site.) I've just spoken with the developer over there today and he definitely knows what he's doing.
  • Apparently I forgot to subscribe to this feed for email updates :)

    I'm reviewing all of this. Thanks fellas!
  • I'm looking at this, but what I don't understand is how we get the PHP script triggered in order to pull from the XML feed (or API) in the first place.

    http://wiki.foxycart.com/integration:mysql

    Am I missing something important? Do I get to put the path to my PHP file to be executed into FoxyCart somehow so that it gets triggered at the end of each order? This could be a godsend. If I can get the data into a MySQL data, I can do just about anything in the world my client wants.
  • Hmm, I think I've got it. Found it in the config area. Never worked with your feed before. First time's a charm (?).

    As I'm testing with your feed, is there any way to test with how data is passed to my file in real time without actually having to place an order? I might actually consider building a full suite of services (leased/hosted or sold/privately hosted [or both]) to FoxyCart customers looking for a fully intuitive set of tools for handling their orders after they've been transacted.

    Quantum Gateway totally sucks for exportability to MS Excel (I asked them this week...it basically is non-existent) and this solution could offer that and more (reporting, exports to custom spreadsheets they setup, printable labels, etc).

    I'm totally on board with this so let me know what you think and feel free to get in touch with me about any gaps customers need closed that this solution might be able to offer. We're all going to be very financially well off :)
  • Also, I implemented that MySQL option. But I haven't seen any orders come in since then. This won't break the ordering process in any way for customers, correct? Even if improperly configured? This is essential that this customer doesn't lose orders.

    Any live testing I can run without placing orders is appreciated. I'm not entirely sure how your piece of the system works just yet, so I'm a little in the dark.

    I can do magic with PHP...just need to understand the in's and out's of the FoxyCart data feed a little better to know we're not screwing this up :)
  • Also, I got one order stored successfully just now.

    Any comments on why shipping data wasn't passed? There are a LOT of empty fields.
  • I'm noticing that some of the orders coming through have shipping info and some don't. If billing addr. is the same as the shipping, do you just leave shipping empty?
  • One trick that may or may not be relevant for you is that PayPal can be the payment gateway. If you use that, all of the orders are automatically available in PayPal multiorder shipping, and you can directly print USPS labels in bulk.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    We'll be focusing on shipping improvements once 060 is "gold", but in the meantime... yeah, there's PayPal (though that won't work for everybody), and http://www.RocketShip.it/ seems very interesting. (There are many more but to be entirely honest very few of the 3rd party order management solutions have responded to our "hellos", so I can't recommend any. Not sour grapes or anything, just don't know who's actually serving their customers well from my own experience.)

    @asworth102680: As far as the feed goes, and some of your ideas, as of v051 the datafeed happens in between the checkout and receipt. We thought about making it asynchronous, but we actually haven't seen any issues with putting it right in between. Even if it fails the transaction will still go through.

    Something that might be interesting would be to explore a mod that is entirely unsupported by FoxyCart, even though Fred and I were the ones behind it: http://github.com/themancan/foxycouch

    We've been playing with NoSQL dbs (CouchDB specifically) for some internal stuff here (Fred knocked out a super awesome SSL/IP provisioning/deployment/config system for all the custom subdomain stuff), and the way that Couch works is quite interesting. That FoxyCouch thing, again, is entirely unsupported, but if you want to store the transaction data in a way that's really flexible (without creating a dozen tables in MySQL) you should check it out.

    Going back to your question about empty fields, yes, currently the shipping v billing fields are a little awkward, since there's no explicit indication of what should be used. If shipping is coming in empty, however, and it's non-empty on the email receipt, let us know asap because that'd be a bug.

    As far as testing... you could either set up a test store to mess with (free, of course), or flip your gateway to test mode in the middle of the night (if you don't get many orders). And we also recommend using the test scripts (first grab the real datafeed and write it to a file, then use the test post script to emulate what FoxyCart does when we send the datafeed to you live).

    Lots of fun though. Let us know how it goes.
  • Is there an email address I can reach out to you at privately? I have some trademark/private stuff to talk to you about.

    Thanks ;-)
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    @ashworth102680: you've probably already seen this, but you should definitely check out these scripts as well: http://wiki.foxycart.com/integration?datasrt=&dataflt=tags:testing
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