PromoStandards Services Overview
Published on August 8, 2017
Currently, PromoStandards provides guidelines for six service types: Inventory, Media Content, Order Shipment Notification, Order Status, Product Data, and most recently, Product Pricing and Configuration. Two additional service types, Invoice and Purchase Order, are in beta.
Let's take a quick look at the various service types and what they provide.
The Inventory service is designed to provide current inventory levels ("quantity on hand") for a specific product. When calling the service, if applicable, filters can be specified to limit the results based on attributes such as color or size.
The Media Content service is provides access to images, videos, audio files, and other types of documents that are associated with a specified product. In addition, the service supports a "getMediaDateModified" function, which can be used to get a list of all products and/or part IDs whose related media files have changed since a given date. This is the service to use to get photos that you are quoting or adding to your commerce system.
Order Shipment Notificationhttp://promostandards.org/service/view/6/
To provide access to shipment details, the standard includes the Order Shipment Notification service. Requests can specify a purchase order number, sales order number, or shipment date. The results include all shipments that have been made that meet the filters that were specified, including packages, their tracking numbers, and optionally detailed information regarding the package dimensions and weight. In addition, the results can optionally include information regarding the specific items in each shipment.
The Order Status service does exactly what you'd expect: It provides current statuses for orders. Four types of queries are supported. You can specify a purchase order number, a sales order number, a "last updated" timestamp, or choose to get the statuses for all open purchase orders. Results include an order status ID (Received, Confirmed, Partial Shipment, etc) and optionally expected ship and delivery dates.
The Product Data service provides extremely detailed information on a specific product. Results include the product's name, a description of the product, export status, product parts, whether or not the product is on closeout, and more. In addition, optional attributes include product marketing points, keywords, product categories, related products, and many more. This is a great service to use to add and maintain product information in an commerce or product configuration system.
Product Pricing and Configurationhttp://promostandards.org/service/view/8/
The ultimate goal of PromoStandards is to be able to send fully configured purchase orders to suppliers. In order to do that, we need a way to accurately specify the products being ordered, including any options or variations that are required.
That's where the Product Configuration, Decoration, and Pricing service comes in to play. Send a request that specifies the product that you need to configure, as well as the currency type, FOB point, etc, and the service will return detailed information that you can use to essentially "walk through" the configuration process. I'll cover this important, complicated, and versatile service in a future blog post.
The Invoice service, which is still in beta, will give distributors a convenient way to electronically access invoice information. What makes this service so valuable is that the information returned is structured, so it can be easily imported into a distributor's accounting system, evaluated, and scheduled for payment.
I see the Purchase Order service as the "Crown Jewel" of the services. While still in beta, the service seems to me to be very close for release, and a few suppliers are testing it.
Using the Purchase Order service, a distributor can send a structured purchase order, complete with configured lineitems, to a supplier. As I mentioned earlier, the ability to submit structured purchase orders to suppliers - orders that require little to no manual processing - is the ultimate goal of PromoStandards. With this service, the goal of removing friction from the buying process truly seems possible.