If you aren’t a software nerd like us, the term API (which stands for Application Programming Interface) might seem confusing. But APIs are something that you probably use often, if not daily!
Have you ever integrated two separate applications so that information could flow freely between them? If so, you’ve experienced APIs! When you use APIs, you typically have to give permission for one application to be able to read and communicate with another.
Here are some everyday examples of APIs in action:
- Connecting social media accounts (ex: Twitter and Linkedin, or Facebook and Instagram)
- Third-party sign ons
- Exercise apps that communicate with health apps
- Streaming services that allow you to watch from different devices
What Is a Web to Print API?
It’s been said that no person is an island. Similarly, no software can be an island either. Instead of having siloed software programs, it’s important that the data and information your programs use can flow easily and automatically between each other. Web to print APIs are tools that allow this to happen. They’re essentially APIs, like the ones you use every day but, in this case, they are specific to web to print.
At PageDNA, our web to print software integrates with many other systems, allowing you to transfer information between applications without painful, error-prone data entry or a disconnected user experience.
Benefits of Web to Print APIs
One of the biggest ways that APIs can help your print shop is by future-proofing your operations. You never know what tomorrow will bring, and the systems and applications you use today may not be what you use tomorrow. APIs allow you to use today’s systems without the fear that you’ll be painted in a corner tomorrow. This gives your print shop the possibility to expand and grow without looking back!
Web to print APIs also allow for more customization and flexibility as your print shop evolves and grows.
Web to Print APIs in Action
Wondering what using a web to print software with APIs looks like? Here are some snapshots of web to print APIs in action!
Everyday Web to Print APIs
Some web to print integrations in PageDNA work right out of the box, meaning we’ve done all the work for you ahead of time. All you need to do is enter your credentials!
Getting Live Shipping Rates from Carriers
One great example of how PageDNA uses APIs is by allowing your customers to see real-time shipping rates from carriers such as FedEx and UPS. PageDNA uses APIs from these carriers to integrate their rates into our software so your customer can see them while submitting their order.
Wondering what it looks like for your customers? Here’s how your business might function with and without APIs:
- With API: Customers view live, real-time shipping costs from carriers before checking out and submitting their order.
- Without API: Customers don’t know their costs in real-time. Print shop staff must hand calculate shipping costs and communicate back and forth with customers.
Charging Credit Cards
PageDNA integrates into multiple credit card gateways, making it easy to automatically move money from your customer’s credit card to your bank account. It also removes steps for you and your staff!
- With API: Quick, automatic, real-time payment processing. If a card is declined, the customer cannot check out.
- Without API: Manually processing credit cards and payments. Extra time, steps, and work for both customers and print shop staff.
MIS and Other Business Systems Integrations
Beyond these everyday APIs, we also have tools to tie into other business systems, like a Print Management Information System (Print MIS).
Pushing Web to Print Order and Job Information into Your MIS
For print shops with MIS software, PageDNA can automatically tie into those systems and provide live updates on print orders, artwork files, and order specifications. We also offer unique queuing tools and notifications that alert you if your MIS system goes down and hold on sending job requests until the issue is resolved. Once your system gets back online, PageDNA delivers the orders again, automatically.
Receiving Job Status from MIS
Besides using API integrations to push information to your Print MIS, web to print APIs also allow us to receive information from your MIS. For example, if a job is marked as complete in the MIS, PageDNA will receive that message and immediately notify the customer.
By sending this proactive email, you immediately address a customer that’s wondering the status of their order. The minute the order is complete, your customer will know – without any additional work on your end!
Receiving Inventory Status from MIS
By using web to print APIs, the realities of the shop floor are reflected on your online storefront. PageDNA can communicate with your print MIS to show the amount of on-hand finished products available to order.
Once an order is placed, PageDNA will show that drop in inventory and also update the inventory in your MIS. Similarly, if an order is placed by hand within the MIS, inventory will drop in both your MIS and online storefront.
- With API: Data flows automatically, in both directions, between your print MIS and PageDNA (order data, job status, inventory, etc).
- Without API: Staff have to enter job details manually. These painful, error-prone tasks add costs, delay order processing, and require extra time for switching between applications.
The PageDNA Approach
As you can see, APIs are critical to improving your print shop’s processes and your customers’ experiences. Having APIs means your platforms play well with others, allowing them to easily and automatically share information. Without them, you risk systems that are closed off, outdated, and lead to slower processes.
PageDNA uses several unique APIs that allow the flow of data and information between your different software programs and systems. If you’re wondering whether we integrate with your print MIS (or other business software), check out our list of partners.
Have another partner that’s not on the list? Let’s talk! Reach out to sales@PageDNA.com to learn more and schedule a demo today.