6 Steps in understanding the API
Our API uses the Amazon EC2 Server, which not only helps to give you an unlimited number of connections but also loads on the server. This means greater resources to provide you with accurate information to make those quick business decisions.
Where we differ from other cloud print servers is our unique combination to manage your printers. Some of the tools we provide for our users is the ability to monitor the printer status (whether it’s currently online or offline), and to also send an email notification whenever the status changes.
We also provide some tools to operate the printer remotely. This becomes very handy for having to make adjustments to the printer settings for your clients who are already in the live field.
Some other tools include user management, reports, watchdog and more.
We’ve worked relentlessly to deliver a system for maximum user flexibility, and at the same time keeping things easy to use – even for the less tech savvy. See below how we’ve broken down our powerful but simple to understand API in just 6 simple steps.
1. Send Order To API
The first step is to send your order to our API. How? It depends on whether you’re using one of our WordPress plugin extensions or you’re doing the API integration yourself. For the former method, you don’t need to do much as we’ve taken care of the code for you. All you need to do is just install the plugin, punch in your API and Printer ID details, and you’re ready to go! For a more in-depth tutorial (with screenshots), be sure to check out WooCommerce Extension or WP-Pizza Extension.
For the latter method, where you’re not using an open-source platform (such as WordPress), you’ll need to first format your order content so that it can be read as an HTTP POST. For more details on how to do this, along with a list of available order parameters that you can use (i.e. order ID, order type, currency etc), see our sample PHP file. Enter your email to get your copy. And yes…don’t worry…it’s free!
Once you’ve formatted your order correctly, you’ll need to send it to our API through our API URL – https://mypanel.printerco.net/submitorder.php
2. Probe Server Every 30 Sec
If your order was sent successfully, it’ll be sitting in the Transaction List with a pending status. Orders with a pending status are picked up by the printers and are printed. If you don’t see your order in the Transaction List, then chances are it’s in the WatchDog. All orders that fail to follow protocol are dumped here, with details on how you can possibly fix the issue. More information on our WatchDog can be found on our forum.
Once you’ve subscribed to our print server and connected your first printer, it’s programmed to probe our servers every 30 seconds to search for any new orders (or orders with a pending status).
Although in most cases you won’t need to, you have the option to reduce this frequency to a longer gap (i.e. 60 seconds). A feature if you’re on a tight budget with data costs. To change this setting, you’ll need to navigate through the printer menus – Tutorials for this and other settings can be found here.
3. New Order
When an order with a pending status is picked up, the printer will stop probing the server. The contents of the order are then pulled for a quick print job, that usually takes a couple of seconds. Orders with a pending status are highlighted in a mustard colour, accepted orders in green and rejected orders in red.
Once the order is printed, the printer will resume probing the servers after another 30-second break.
4. Print Order
We understand that businesses operate differently, so we’ve adapted our system give them more flexibility to our users when printing their orders. You can set up how you want your orders to print beforehand. Meaning, you can set the printer to initially ring to grab your attention. And then, after a short user interaction have the order printed. Or you set it to print the order immediately, and then ring while waiting for you to accept or reject the order. You can even set up the printer to view your order the screen before deciding to print it. So play around with the different combinations to so see what works for your business.
5. Update Order Status
If enabled, after the order is printed, you’ll be required to accept or reject the order. What follows after, is the option to enter an estimated time for completion, or a reason for the rejection. This information is then sent to our print servers and saved for further processing.
Coming soon are more advanced features that involve an SMS notification of the updated order status and live order tracking.
6. Customer Acknowledgement
After the order status is changed from the printer (i.e. when the order has been accepted or rejected), the information is passed into a page referred to as the Notify URL. You’ll need to create this page for your website and include the URL in your code when submitting the order to our API. From this page, you can extract the new order status and then take the next appropriate actions to notify the customer.
Here’s another reason that makes us one of the best cloud printing service providers.
To avoid any disappointments, we encourage you to use our demo account to do your integration. There, you’ll find a virtual printer. It won’t print anything out for you, but you can use it as a guide to test if your setup works correctly. Once you’re able to send orders to the virtual test printer and see them in the transaction list, you can then commit to subscribing and buying your own printer.