NOTE: Under Construction - I'm in the middle of upgrading my site and lots of stuff is kinda broken. Please forgive the mess.

Found a lab

July 2006

I think I found the photolab that I'm going to use. I've been looking for a lab that offers an API to their services. (API, for those that are wondering, means Application Programming Interface, and is a fancy term that just means that you can write a program that talks to the software that has the the API.) A few places out there have some basic APIs, but most of them just let you upload prints and still require you to go to their web page manually to complete the orders. The one exception to this that I've found is White House Custom Colour . They don't have a full API, but they have a service where you upload images via FTP to different size folders. For each file you upload to a specific folder, you get one print of it in the respective size. Since I can write programs to automatically FTP this means that I can hack together my own poor man's API. What all this means, is that I should be able to setup my photo order web pages on my site and have them automatically fulfilled. It would be much easier to go with one of the many online photo labs out there and just use their built in shopping carts, but I have looked at a ton of them and don't like any. So, the web geek in me looks like it's gonna have a chance to run a little project. I think the first lab that's out there that creates a full blown API is going to get a huge bump in business. There is some open-source web gallery software called "Gallery" that has a few simple shopping cart features in it with shutterfly and one or two other labs. None of the available services is fully customizeable though which means that what you can do with it is limited. The first online lab that provides an open API will probably get immediate visibility into the 50,000 Gallery installs the next time they update.

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