CartonCloud integrates with a number of other software applications.
This page explains various options if you're looking to create a new integration with CartonCloud
Inward-Only, One-Way Integration
This is the most common type of integration performed at CartonCloud. In this scenario, CartonCloud will receive files via Email, FTP or be Uploaded which are then "Parsed". The files can be in the clients format. Accepted filetypes are: XLS, XLSX, CSV, TXT and XML.
CartonCloud then creates "Sale Orders", "Consignments" or "Purchase Orders" from the data provided.
The system is considered "one-way" because no data is fed back from the CartonCloud system into the original system that sent the file. If there is an error with the data, the user is notified on-screen, or an email is sent advising them of what happened.
Typical Integration Cost: ($360 → $800)
Tips for keeping costs down:
- Send us more than one example of the files you'll be sending (ideally 5-10 so we can test against all of them)
- Refer to what fields we have available, here: Parser Fields and send us an explainer document detailing what all the fields are in your file, and where they should go within CartonCloud
In this type of integration, data is passed into CartonCloud for reading / importing, and response messages are provided back to the originating system in a format that system can accept. Typically these would be messages triggered by events such as:
"Order imported successfully"
"Unable to import order (and it then may provide a description of why)"
These messages could be sent via:
FTP (put a file into a hot-folder).
Webservice / API Call
Typical Integration Cost: ($3,000 → $15,000+, depending on complexity).
The reason for the high costs is that in our experience we typically spend a substantial amount of time working with the other software vendors IT team trying to pinpoint specific issues. This time-wasting can also be compounded by delays in responding to queries, or inability to get clear, confirmed information on exactly how a particular service works. Best tips to save money here are to:
- Provide CartonCloud developers with up-to-date, detailed specs on the API / Integration endpoints.
- Ensure that everything is working from your end, such as FTP servers being tested (including testing that the login provided to us has write privileges in the folder we're uploading to).
- Ensure that any servers we're connected to are specified by domain name (ie: ftp.yoursystem.com), rather than IP address (230.29.989.19). The reason for this is that if your server's IP address changes we need to be contacted to make a change at our end to modify the server's hostname - this will cost you money in re-work.
- Ensure that technical support staff from the other vendors application are available to run through direct testing. We prefer to work directly with technical people at the other end (rather than having our client act as a man-in-the-middle), however if we cannot get the support we need from the other side, the time and cost will blow out.
Two-way Integrations are notoriously difficult to estimate in terms of cost, we will typically provide a ball-park given similar integrations we've done in the past, however all integrations of this nature will be charged on an hourly basis as there are so many factors affecting the project that are outside of CartonCloud's direct control.
Outward-Only, One-Way Integration
Example of an outward-only integration would be sending a file to a remote server upon completion of an order.
These integrations are typically more costly than Inward-Only integrations as, like two-way integrations, we typically end up spending a large amount of time working with the other software vendors IT team trying to pinpoint specific issues.
Typical Integration Cost: ($1,500 → $15,000+, depending on complexity).
Outward-Only Integrations are notoriously difficult to estimate in terms of cost, we will typically provide a ball-park given similar integrations we've done in the past, however all integrations of this nature will be charged on an hourly basis as there are so many factors affecting the project that are outside of CartonCloud's direct control.
Planning / Designing an Integration
There are a large number of considerations to be taken into account when planning an integration or approaching us for a quote. It's much easier for us to provide an accurate quote for a particular integration if you can supply a very clear explanation of how you see the End-To-End solution working. This process map should take into account the following considerations:
|How will data get into CartonCloud?||Data going Into CartonCloud|
When importing data into CartonCloud, how will the data be transferred into the CartonCloud system?
|Do order updates / cancellations need to be automatically handled in CartonCloud?||Data going Into CartonCloud|
Say for example you have sent an order to CartonCloud, then the client wants to add another two products to that order, do you need the ability to be able to resubmit the same order to CartonCloud and have it update? Or can this be handled manually when it arises?
If this kind of functionality is required then it may result in additional development fees as we would need to understand the flow of the data, and how to handle this situation arising.
|What response is required on successful / unsuccessful import of data into CartonCloud?||Data going Into CartonCloud|
Upon CartonCloud receiving a file for import, how should the response to that import be provided?
|Does the integration require special logic, or user-interfaces that don't currently exist?||Handling the integration within CartonCloud|
If you need to have a special button, or fields in which people can record information related specifically to the integration, then the costs can escalate very quickly. If we need to adapt core CartonCloud functionality in order to cater to the integration, we need to consider how this will affect our application going forward, and ensure that we can maintain compatibility with this integration as our system evolves and changes.
Due to this ongoing "compatibility", there are often limitations here to what we're willing to implement into CartonCloud - however these options would be discussed as part of the planning / scoping exercise.
|How will data get out of CartonCloud?||Data going Out of CartonCloud|
If we're integrating back into your systems, how does the data need to be transferred, and in what format?
Examples are things such as:
|How will data synchronisation be maintained?||Both Directions|
An example here is that an order is imported into CartonCloud via an API request.
Internally within CartonCloud the order contents are then modified (products added, products removed, qty changed, address modified).
Do these changes need to be relayed back to your application? If so, how?
By default when an order is packed we send out an email advising on everything which was packed, so these kinds of changes can be handled manually by reading the email contents - however if this is to be a completely autonomous system whereby order changes in CartonCloud are reflected in your application, considerations will need to be made for how this can be handled.