Tag Archives: eCommerce

Brightpearl API: Add UPS Tracking Numbers

We have now been using our web store for about a month, and for the most part things have been going pretty smoothly. One issue has been sending orders to our warehouse, and we’ve got a pretty good Powershell script that creates a comma delimited text file (.csv) of order numbers and address information from queries to the Brightpearl API. This file is sent daily to the warehouse via FTP, and warehouse staff  import the orders into their UPS Worldship program.

Screenshot_042715_044611_PM

The second half of this saga is to obtain the UPS Tracking number for each shipment. Once the shipment has been processed in UPS Worldship, a tracking number is generated and stored in the UPS Worldship record for that shipment. Worldship has an export function which will add the tracking number to a .csv file of order numbers and tracking numbers that we can use to update the order record in Brightpearl. The structure of this file, (which is completely customizable) is:

Order Number – In our case it is the Brightpearl sales order number
Tracking Number – from UPS. These look like “1Z 041 388 03 8331 4101”
Expected Delivery Date.
The .csv file looks like this. (UPS loves long field names).

ShipToCustomerID,ShipmentInformationLeadTrackingNumber,ShipmentInformationDeliveryDateTransitTime
"100064","1Z0413880373533722","20150429"
"100020","1Z0413880373302132","20150504"
"100068","1Z0413880373810940","20150430"
"100074","1Z0413880374436157","20150430"

The next step is to walk through the .csv file, find an order number, and update the custom field PCF_TRACKING in Brightpearl to contain the tracking number. Here is the Powershell call to update a single record:

PS>$BPOrders=Invoke-RestMethod `
 -Uri http://ws-use.brightpearl.com/public-api/myBPAccount/order-service/order/100541/custom-field `
 -Body $body `
 -Headers $headers `
 -Method Patch

There are a couple points of interest here. For the most part it is “standard” Powershell syntax for the Invoke-RestMethod.
1. We invoke this by assigning the results of the API call to $BPOrders
2. The call has several lines; the line continuation character is a accent aigu or back-tick.
3. Note that this query uses a $headers variable which includes the two validation properties for the Brightpearl query: , the name of the application and the security token for the application. These are stored as a hashtable.

PS>$headers
brightpearl-app-ref myappreference
brightpearl-staff-token mystaff-tokenXYZ123

More on obtaining the authcode here.

4. The $body variable is also created as a hashtable, but then converted to JSON, and placed between square brackets. This variable contains three parameters, the operation that you are performing on the record, the field that you want to modify, and the value that you want to put in the field. The syntax below simply says, “Replace the contents of the /PCF_TRACKING field with the value of 12345”.

$body=[ordered]@{"op"="replace";"path"="/PCF_TRACKING";"value"="12345"}
$body=($body | ConvertTo-JSON)
$body=("["+$body+"]")

The result is:

PS>$body
[{
"op": "replace",
"path": "/PCF_TRACKING",
"value": "12345"
}]

5. The -Method parameter is a “Patch”. This allows you to replace the contents of a single field in a record rather than replace an entire record as happens when you use PUT.

6. Finally note in the Invoke-RestMethod call, the URI contains “custom-field”. This is a literal, it isn’t the name of your custom field. The name of the custom field is contained in the body.I In the example above, it is “/PCF_TRACKING”

The above API call will replace the contents of a single field in a single record. The next step is to be able to loop through the .csv file, and for each record, find the corresponding record within the Brightpearl database, and update its Tracking number field.

Oh, one more thing, the results of the operation are contained in $BPOrders. The API actually returns the contents of ALL custom fields. You can choose which ones you want to see using dot notation.


PS>$BPOrders.response.PCF_TRACKING
12345

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eCommerce with Shopify and Brightpearl

We run a web store as part of our operation, with any profits from the store flowing into our programs We recently launched with a new web store, and it has been up and running for two weeks. The transition from our old store to our new one has been pretty smooth. We didn’t write much in the way of actual programming code..we just lease a bunch of it from cloud-based vendors including Shopify, Brightpearl. and various add-on vendors. Well, that’s not entirely true; our web wizard has spent days and weeks working on the html templates for the shop. and I’ve been working on the back-end APIs to integrate the Brightpearl Inventory/CMS with our warehouse system, UPS Worldship.


The front end of our web store is hosted with Shopify. Sales that are made through the web store are passed through to Brightpearl. Along the way we charge credit cards through Authorize.net, and have implemented  a number of custom plugins or “apps” to modify both the Shopify store, and the Brightpearl application, notably from ShipRobot and Bold Apps.

The store took some time to get up and running. We had originally contracted with an outside consulting firm. After it became clear that they weren’t smarter than we are, we brought the implementation in-house, and worked directly with our cloud vendors at Shopify and Brightpearl.

One of the trade-offs of cloud-based computing is that an application of any complexity can easily rely on code from multiple providers, so that some of the time saved in not coding, is spent on “vendor management”. We have good relationships with our vendors, all of whom have provided timely tech and implementation support.

We replaced a system that used a web site hosted by a local programmer which fed the MOM Mail Order Manager program. Although we launched with a full suite of capability that matched our original specification, it is very feasible to launch a less elaborate site with Shopify, and add functionality as your needs grow.

BrightPearl API Part V – PowerShell

PowerShell, is a Microsoft download, currently at version 4.0.  It is a batch command language and enhanced command shell which is the current successor to the CMD.exe found in Windows. It seems to be a bit of a mash-up between the old DOS command line, the Unix-style shells like BASH, and includes connections to .NET objects. Unfortunately, it also abstracts a number of parameters to objects, such that you can’t just put stuff on a command line; you have to assign it to an object parameter when passing parameters, or when getting things out from a returned object. 
 
To continue with our Brightpearl example:
Recall that when working with the Brighpearl API, you have to first obtain a temporary authorization code, which is good for roughly 30 minutes. You do this by making an HTTP POST which includes your credentials in the body of the post.
 
Obtain a Brightpearl Authorization Code:
 
This is a two step process:
 
1. First stuff the authorization credentials into a variable. Note that the credentials are formatted in nested JSON notation.
$bpauth = “{apiAccountCredtentials:{emailAddress:”myemail@mycompany.com”, password:”Mypassword”}}”
2. Execute the command line call using the stored log-in credentials in the Body parameter
http://ws-use.brightpearl.com/mybpaccountname/authorise -Body $bpauth -ContentType application/json -Method Post
The Brightpearl server returns an authorization code which is displayed as an object with a series of parameters. The authorization code is contained in the a JSON string in the “Content” parameter.  This is the authorization code that must accompany any subsequent call to the Brightpearl API.
StatusCode        : 200
StatusDescription : OK
Content           : {“response”:”53145c429-x1xx-y2sf-z34a-8abc9cde96f9gh”}
RawContent        : HTTP/1.1 200 OK
                    Pragma: no-cache
                    ruid: a745efb3-2414-428f-8427-5001e3c810b8
                    Connection: keep-alive
                    Content-Length: 51
                    Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate
                    Content-Type: application/json;char…
Forms             : {}
Headers           : {[Pragma, no-cache], [ruid, a745efb3-2414-428f-8427-5001e3c810b8], [Connection, keep-alive], [Content-Length, 51]…}
Images            : {}
InputFields       : {}
Links             : {}
ParsedHtml        : mshtml.HTMLDocumentClass
RawContentLength  : 51
To isolate the code itself, you have to assign the output of the above command to a variable, and then access it using dot notation.
So, restate the above command to assign the output to a variable:
$bpcode = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri http://ws-use.brightpearl/microdesign/authorize -Body $bpauth -ContentType application/json – Method Post
If you then execute $bpcode.Content, then you’ll get the authorization code, (again in JSON format).
PS C:UsersLarryPowerShell>$bpcode.Content
This returns:
  {“response”:”53145c429-x1xx-y2sf-z34a-8abc9cde96f9gh”}
To see this in a more readable format:
PS C:UsersLarryPowerShell>$bpcode.Content | ConvertFrom-Json
response
——–
53145c429-x1xx-y2sf-z34a-8abc9cde96f9gh
To assign the authorization code to a variable itself, we either have to strip it from the JSON code, or from the returned converted version.  It probably is easier to convert via the JSON code because we can do a text search everything after the colon, and then strip off the double quotes and the last curly bracket.
$bpstring=$bpcode.content
The following command strips off everything up to the start of the actual code.
 
$bpstring = $bpstring. Trimstart( “{`”response`”`:” )
It gives us:   
“53145c429-x1xx-y2sf-z34a-8abc9cde96f9gh”}
The following command strips off the final quote and curly bracket.
$bpstring = $bpstring. Trimend( “`”`}”)
This gives us our final result; what we’re really looking for:
53145c429-x1xx-y2sf-z34a-8abc9cde96f9gh

Final Script:

The final script is pretty close to the interactive commands entered at the PowerShell command line. The main exception is the addition of the back tick escape character within the script. If you use the PowerShell Interactive Shell as an editor,  it will color code things nicely and flag scripting errors. 
# BrightPearl API: Get an authorization code for subsequent API queries
# Note escape character is the “`” (back tick), instead of the usual backslash.
# Double quotes need to be escaped when nested inside.
# LK 10/9/2014
 
 
# Assign credentials to an authorization object.
$bpauth = “{apiAccountCredentials:{emailAddress:`”myeMailAddress@mycompany.com`”,password:`”myPassword`”}}”
 
# Execute the HTTP POST to retrieve the authorization code. The result is assigned to the string $bpstring
# Note use of the back tick as a line continuation character
$bpstring = Invoke-WebRequest `
-Body $bpauth `
-ContentType application/json `
-Method Post
 
$bpAuthCode =$bpstring . Content
$bpAuthCode =$bpAuthCode . Trimstart( “{`”response`”`:” )
$bpAuthCode =$bpAuthCode . TrimEnd( “`”`}” #Note escape codes for the search expression
 
# Print the Authorization Code
$bpAuthCode 

Web Services, REST, Shopify and Brightpearl Part I

Part I.

Background:

I am currently working on a project which involves a Shopify online web store, and the Brightpearl Inventory and CRM system. Both of these cloud-based systems have an Application Programmer’s Interface, (API) which provide a programmatic way to query and manipulate the data that has been entered via the normal web interface. They use these APIs to talk to each other and make them available to programmers who want to create custom functionality or plugins for the systems. Communication with these APIs can be done using a REST compatible client written in PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, or a host of 3rd-generation languages like C# and Visual Basic.
REST stands for Representational State Transfer. This is the most recent flavor of network programming, similar to SOAP, XML, and XML-RPC, and even good old remote procedure calls.

Use-Case:

I’m looking into a way to extract data from the Brightpearl inventory system; I want to query for each day’s purchases and extract the order number, customer name and shipping information. I want to take this information and format it as an .DBF file for use by the UPS WorldShip program. Note that in this example, I’m interested in being a client of an existing web service, and, for the moment I really just need to query the service for existing data, I don’t need to add or delete records on the server.
To start this odyssey, I’m using my Windows workstation. I’m thinking eventually if I need to have a web server for testing (to run PHP or RAILS for example), that I’ll spin that up as a virtual machine using VirtualBox on Windows with Ubuntu Server as my guest OS with a mySQL backend.
The Brighpearl documentation suggests several tools that can be used to send requests to the API. Perverse as it sounds. I found it was helpful to install no less than three add-ons for FoxFire and Chrome to send the API requests, which enabled learning the mechanics of the process a little easier.
For Chrome:
For FireFox:
Each of these three add-ons allow you to send requests to a web server. Each is slightly different. The Chrome add-on includes a parser for JSON data, which is really helpful when you are working with JSON…which is the case with Brightpearl.
Brightpearl also suggests a book from O’Reilly called RESTful Web Services by Leonard Richardson and Sam Ruby. The book was published in 2007, so although it has some useful information, it is somewhat dated. There is nothing about oAuth in it for example.
 
To get started with the Brightpearl API, you have to make sure that your user account is authorized to work with the API. This is done by accessing the “Staff” under Setup, and making sure that there is a green checkmark next to the user’s name in the API access column. 
Get an Authorization Token
Brightpearl requires that you obtain an authorization token prior to accessing any other requests.  The request for the authorization token takes the form of  a POST request  which includes your user name and password in the request payload. The URI of the payload includes two variables,  your brightpearl server location, the name of your BrightPearl account and a Content-Type of text/xml
Content-Type: text/xml
where
use=”US East”
“microdesign”, is the name of your Brightpearl account id
The user name and password are passed as JSON name pairs to the apiAccountCredentials variable:
{

    apiAccountCredentials:{
        emailAddress:”myname@mydomain.com”,
        password:”mypassword”
    }

}
Note that the double quotes enclosing the eMail address and password are also present.
So, if you look at the raw request that is sent, the full request looks like this:
POST https://ws-use.brightpearl.com/microdesign/authorise
Content-Type: text/xml
{
apiAccountCredentials:{
emailAddress:”myname@mydomain.com”,
        password:”mypassword”    }
}
If the request is successful, you’ll receive a hexedicimal number back which is your authorization token.
{“response”:” xxxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxx”}
Once you have the authorization token, it is used in subsequent requests as a substitute for your user name and password. The token expires after about 30 minutes of inactivity…so you’ll have to issue another authorization request and obtain a new token after that time. 
Once you have gotten the authorization token, you can start making requests. The basic request is a “resource search” which is a query of the Brightpearl data. Resource searches are issued with GET requests, and must include the API version number. The authorization code is sent as a header along with the request. 
 
As a reminder, the authorization request is a POST, and the resource query is a GET.
(More on resource searches in Brightpearl).
GET https://ws-use.brightpearl.com/2.0.0/microdesign/warehouse-service/goods-note/goods-out-search
brightpearl-auth: xxxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxx
This request returns a list of the current goods-out notes (Brightpearl’s nomenclature for a packing slip or pick-list).
Example with results: 
The folllowing GET request shows the current orders.
brightpearl-auth: xxxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxx
This returns a list of current orders, in JSON format. The format shows the structure of the data first, and then the actual records.  Note that there are only three orders!
{“response”:{“metaData”:{“resultsAvailable”:3,”resultsReturned”:3,”firstResult”:1,”lastResult”:3,”columns”:[{“name”:”orderId”,”sortable”:true,”filterable”:true,”reportDataType”:”IDSET”,”required”:false},{“name”:”orderTypeId”,”sortable”:true,”filterable”:true,”reportDataType”:”INTEGER”,”referenceData”:[“orderTypeNames”],”required”:false},{“name”:”contactId”,”sortable”:true,”filterable”:true,”reportDataType”:”INTEGER”,”required”:false},{“name”:”orderStatusId”,”sortable”:true,”filterable”:true,”reportDataType”:”INTEGER”,”referenceData”:[“orderStatusNames”],”required”:false},{“name”:”orderStockStatusId”,”sortable”:true,”filterable”:true,”reportDataType”:”INTEGER”,”referenceData”:[“orderStockStatusNames”],”required”:false},{“name”:”createdOn”,”sortable”:true,”filterable”:true,”reportDataType”:”PERIOD”,”required”:false},{“name”:”createdById”,”sortable”:true,”filterable”:true,”reportDataType”:”INTEGER”,”required”:false},{“name”:”customerRef”,”sortable”:true,”filterable”:true,”reportDataType”:”STRING”,”required”:false},{“name”:”orderPaymentStatusId”,”sortable”:true,”filterable”:true,”reportDataType”:”INTEGER”,”referenceData”:[“orderPaymentStatusNames”],”required”:false}],”sorting”:[{“filterable”:{“name”:”orderId”,”sortable”:true,”filterable”:true,”reportDataType”:”IDSET”,”required”:false},”direction”:”ASC”}]},”results”:[[1,1,207,4,3,”2014-09-18T14:15:50.000-04:00″,4,”#1014″,2],[2,1,207,1,3,”2014-09-29T13:20:52.000-04:00″,4,”#1015″,2],[3,1,207,1,3,”2014-09-29T13:25:39.000-04:00″,4,”#1016″,2]]},”reference”:{“orderTypeNames”:{“1″:”SALES_ORDER”},”orderPaymentStatusNames”:{“2″:”PARTIALLY_PAID”},”orderStatusNames”:{“1″:”Draft / Quote”,”4″:”Invoiced”},”orderStockStatusNames”:{“3″:”All fulfilled”}}}
If you use the “Advanced REST Client Application For Chrome, it will decode the above so that it is readable:
{
response:

{
metaData:

{
resultsAvailable3
resultsReturned3
firstResult1
lastResult3
columns:

[

9]

0:  

{
name: “orderId
sortabletrue
filterabletrue
reportDataType: “IDSET
requiredfalse
}
1:  

{
name: “orderTypeId
sortabletrue
filterabletrue
reportDataType: “INTEGER
referenceData:

[

1]

0:  orderTypeNames
requiredfalse
}
2:  

{
name: “contactId
sortabletrue
filterabletrue
reportDataType: “INTEGER
requiredfalse
}
3:  

{
name: “orderStatusId
sortabletrue
filterabletrue
reportDataType: “INTEGER
referenceData:

[

1]

0:  orderStatusNames
requiredfalse
}
4:  

{
name: “orderStockStatusId
sortabletrue
filterabletrue
reportDataType: “INTEGER
referenceData:

[

1]

0:  orderStockStatusNames
requiredfalse
}
5:  

{
name: “createdOn
sortabletrue
filterabletrue
reportDataType: “PERIOD
requiredfalse
}
6:  

{
name: “createdById
sortabletrue
filterabletrue
reportDataType: “INTEGER
requiredfalse
}
7:  

{
name: “customerRef
sortabletrue
filterabletrue
reportDataType: “STRING
requiredfalse
}
8:  

{
name: “orderPaymentStatusId
sortabletrue
filterabletrue
reportDataType: “INTEGER
referenceData:

[

1]

0:  orderPaymentStatusNames
requiredfalse
}
sorting:

[

1]

0:  

{
filterable:

{
name: “orderId
sortabletrue
filterabletrue
reportDataType: “IDSET
requiredfalse
}
direction: “ASC
}
}
results:

[

3]

0:  

[

9]

0:  1
1:  1
2:  207
3:  4
4:  3
5:  2014-09-18T14:15:50.000-04:00
6:  4
7:  #1014
8:  2
1:  

[

9]

0:  2
1:  1
2:  207
3:  1
4:  3
5:  2014-09-29T13:20:52.000-04:00
6:  4
7:  #1015
8:  2
2:  

[

9]

0:  3
1:  1
2:  207
3:  1
4:  3
5:  2014-09-29T13:25:39.000-04:00
6:  4
7:  #1016
8:  2
}
reference:

{
orderTypeNames:

{
1: “SALES_ORDER
}
orderPaymentStatusNames:

{
2: “PARTIALLY_PAID
}
orderStatusNames:

{
1: “Draft / Quote
4: “Invoiced
}
orderStockStatusNames:

{
3: “All fulfilled
}
}
}