The web service, an increasingly used data source

Sep 01, 2020

The webservice operates similarly to the client-server: an application (client) requests information or a service from another application (server) which takes action or seeks information and responds to it in return.

The essential difference is that in the case of the webservice, data exchange between the two applications is implemented using internet techniques. The information exchanged is formatted in XML or JSON and the exchanges take place using the HTTP or HTTPS protocol.

A web service allows, for example, an online shop to request stock information from the management system of the company that manages the warehouse. It also allows that same shop to send shopping baskets to turn them into orders in the management system.

But the webservice can also be used as a source of product information.
For example, the Prestashop webservice is an important data source for Catbuilder. With this data source, Catbuilder is able to reconstruct in its database all the elements necessary to generate a paper or PDF catalog. The Prestashop shop administrator just needs to communicate an access key to his web service and in a few minutes, it is possible to transfer the contents of the shop to Catbuilder.
We are currently working on an automatic catalog generation project via Prestashop for a major retailer in France (see part 2). For reasons of exclusivity, we cannot show the final result yet but we can already say that it is great!

The Showcase, the e-catalog / e-shop application optimized for Catbuilder also has its own web service. This means that all the information that is posted on the web in the showcase is available for other applications.
Some of our customers are already using it to set up an e-procurement system (electronic procurement = digitalization of purchases) for their customers who work with management applications such as Handsoft, Cafca or Plenion.
Others use it to feed data to mobile apps or websites in real time.

In a next post, we will detail an example of using webservice.

See you soon !