Endicia Label Server (ELS) is an XML Web Service that enables you to create shipping labels with live prepaid postage on the label. It’s challenging to create and print postage labels in an efficient and convenient way. Although, Endicia has a desktop tool “Endicia Professional” which integrates with warehouse to provide the users with batch printing facility, but it has a cost of $35 per month as well as it’s not scalable from online business point of view.
Client of vteam #507 required a solution of batch printing functionality to be available over the Internet. Also detail research in this regard yielded no or less productive results. For this, vteam #507’s engineer Imran Muhammad integrated ELS web service to provide an online solution of postage labels. The custom solution should include the following requirements:
- It should be efficient, reliable and error-free
- It should not hang up the application in the midst of high-volume transactions
- It should have a proper and accurate storage for all postage labels
As a solution, an online application for postage labels was developed by integrating ELS web service. This custom solution was using Cron Jobs (a time-based job scheduler) to execute a script for generating batch labels.
Crons will run the script in the background so that it won’t tie up application’s other activities and load is managed efficiently. Next user is provided with an interface to upload a batch file (csv, xlsx, xml). A Cron job is then setup to run automatically after every 3 minutes.
First of all, auto batch job manager checks the availability of new batch file and then generates postage labels one by one. It also keeps the records of all transactions in database. Upon completion of individual labels, a PDF album of all batch labels is created along with SCAN form reports containing statistics (success/failure) of the generated labels.
At the end, a zip file containing batch labels PDF album, SCAN Form reports and batch file (csv, xlsx, xml) is created and uploaded to Rackspace Cloud. After this, the download link is provided to the user.
The online application worked best for our client’s requirements and satisfaction. As a result, $35 per month subscription for a paid solution was avoided and a custom solution met all the required targets. The provided solution is also scalable from online business point of view.