What is a REST API?
When our teams at Absolunet connect inRiver’s PIM with different external systems, we build or recycle connectors.
These connectors will either draw information from a source system (an ERP, PLM or datastore) into iPMC or consolidate data from iPMC before sending it to the target system (website, marketplace or other).
With the REST API, the process is flipped. A source system can send information to inRiver through this API. Or a target system could fetch data directly from iPMC when needed.
Think about it like a cookie jar. Without the REST API, your source systems have to rely on someone else to put cookies (product information) in the jar. Your target systems, similarly, have to ask someone else to reach their hand in to grab the cookie. With the REST API, both of those systems can provide and procure cookies themselves. Sweet!
If you are familiar with inRiver, you might be asking yourself about the InboundDataExtension, which can already be leveraged for a similar purpose. However InboundDataExtension requires customization by your integration partner. The REST API, on the other hand, comes with an “out-of-the-box” iPMC environment and is ready to be used as soon as the data model is configured.
Some examples of useful HTML templates we could build and leverage with the REST API:
- Advanced reporting UI: see enrichment progress, sales and KPI statistics from your channels
- Extended query and search functionalities
- Quality of life tools like mass update CVL values, work area management, and mass download of resources
- A workflow management app to better understand the state of enrichment of your products
Proof of concept: scanning product information directly from inRiver
What else can we imagine to simplify the lives of our service teams, sales reps and customers?
Picture this: you’re a branch manager at a car parts distribution center. You have multiple branches across the country. Your sales people work with customers who need very specific information about each product (because if a part won’t work with their car, it is useless). But your sales reps can’t possibly know every single spec for a product, or memorize replacement or related products.
But now, using their mobile phones and the REST API, the sales reps could use a custom app to scan the product in question and get information for the scanned product directly from inRiver. They can then expertly advise the customer on the spot.
I built this proof of concept about a pack of gum to explain the idea:
As you can see, this app could be further enhanced to make it even more useful: from displaying more information, images and related products, to making quick edits to data or even taking a picture of the product to save it in the PIM.
Can you tell we are excited?
If you can’t already tell by reading this article and watching the proof of concept video, we at Absolunet are really excited to start working with the new REST API to build innovative and useful tools that will help our clients get even more value out of their PIM.
Talk to an Absolunet PIM expert about how we can bring your customer simplification project ideas to life!