ItemPath API for PPG -- Explained

What is an API?

An API in very simple terms is a way for one software program to exchange information with another source.

Send a Request. Get a Response.

We use APIs for everyday things like:

  • Checking the weather forecast.
  • Buying something from Amazon (where the supplier uses Amazon's API to list their
  • stuff).
  • Using our smartphone to set the temperature at home using our connected thermostat.
  • Checking airfares on a travel site.
  • Using an app to reserve a table at a restaurant or a seat at a movie theater..
  • Paying for things online.
  • Checking the sports scores

An API lets a developer make a specific “call” or “request” in order to send or receive information. It can also be used to make a defined action such as updating or deleting data.

There are four basic request methods that can be made with API:

  1. GET – Gather information (e.g. Pull all Materials in PPG -- with a filter applied)
  2. PUT – Update pieces of data (e.g. Update a Material in PPG)
  3. POST – Create a new record (e.g. Add an Order Line to PPG)
  4. DELETE –Delete a record (e.g. Remove an Order Line from PPG)

Why use an API -- instead of file transfers or intermediate SQL tables?

  • Using APIs makes life easier for developers. Most modern software programs offer an API to enable developers to more easily and securely send and receive information than a file transfer or table approach.
  • When a modern ERP system offers an API, it is a more efficient, reliable, and easier way to exchange data than managing files and table records.
  • An API can give a quick response with an acknowledgement, errors, etc. much more easily than with file transfers or intermediate tables.

Does KardexRemstar offer an API for Power Pick?

  • KardexRemstar does not have a REST API available for Power Pick. They do offer a Web Services solution on a case-by-case basis which requires custom programming, support from KardexRemstar, and offers limited one-way (ERP to PPG) communication.
  • ItemPath Inc. has developed a fully functional REST API that handles two-way communication between ERP and PPG.

How is an API different from Web Services?

Web Services is a form of API using SOAP and XML files. It's a more specific type of API that is becoming less common, in favour of REST APIs which are generally the preferred choice among modern software companies and developers.

What is ItemPath?

ItemPath is a modern web tool that was developed to meet the requests of Power Pick Global (PPG) users to do more than is available in Power Pick. It offers several features that enhance the PPG program.

What is the price of ItemPath?

See https://itempath.com/pricing for up to date pricing of the base program and add-ons.

What is included with ItemPath?

The base program includes these features

  • A fully featured REST API for PPG.
  • Web-based Custom Reporting Tool on PPG data.
  • Automated report outputs to email, files (called Workflows)
  • Visual Dashboards (User-created, based on Report Conclusions on PPG data)
  • Other features (displays, lights, label printing, etc.)
Helpful note: ItemPath enables the customer in most cases to add capabilities without getting locked into a custom version of Power Pick.

ItemPath add-ons: See https://itempath.com/pricing

Why is the pricing subscription-based?

  • It offers a lower up-front price.
  • Predictable, operational costs.
  • Enables uses to benefit from ongoing upgrades and features as they are developed.
  • Ensures long-term support and Customer Service.
  • Helps manage and monitor the customer's system, reducing IT infrastructure and involvement.
  • Subscription renewals can be done automatically, reducing admin work.
  • It's the way most software pricing has gone in the world today:
Gartner (May, 2018) predicts that “by 2020, all new entrants and 80% of historical vendors will offer subscription-based business models.” source

Why is the Hosted pricing less than On-Premise?

We can set up, install, manage, and monitor the hosted system more easily than when the program is on-premise.

Can the customer buy ItemPath outright as a capital expense instead?

While there's not a purchase price, we can discuss up-front pricing that will cover a set time (e.g. 5 or 10 years).

What is required on the customer's side?

  • Hosted: A connection string to the PPG database, and an open (secure) port)
  • On-Premise: A server (preferably Linux) to host the application. We recommend a secure connection for us to monitor the system.

What PPG components are required for the ItemPath API?

  • ItemPath requires 1 PPG "Web Services" module which enables 1 login for the API to access the program.
  • In some more involved cases, additional Web Services licenses may be required.
  • Other PPG modules selected should reflect what the customer needs PPG to do (e.g. Order Processing)