tjam and whats next

Its been a while since I attended the TJam event at Microsoft London which was for developers to get insite into what customers want to help them shop with tesco.com. There is already a community preview API avaliable; however tesco are about to release at any time now the new Tesco.com Grocery API Beta Edition which is built on their new ‘martini’ platform. The new api will be much faster and will allow access to much more information including product nutrition and even information about which isl and how far down that ile the item can be found in the customers local tesco store!

I am trying to do some ground work for ‘My Shopping Assistant’ which will be something connected with the Tesco API but I have not decided exactly what yet. I have a couple of ideas; however have not set anything in stone as yet. I have some feedback from friends and family about what they would be looking for, and we will make use of one of the ideas so the time and effort saved for our weekly shop would be a reason to invest some time into the application. The idea is that there may be many applications (apps) which get built eventually so the website name My Shopping Assistant will be a home for them all. Then you will be able to access the differnent tools and utilities from this main site. I will not go into too much detail at this stage about what the website will do as the ‘TJammers’ are still waiting for the release of the new Tesco API.

The above video is taken from Nick Lansley’s Technology for Tesco blog.

Tesco API – Tjam

Today I am heading down to London to take part in the Tesco Tjam event. There are two parts to the day. During the day customers and creative thinkers will meet to drive ideas and innovation around what they would like to see from Tesco’s as a service. This information will be gathered by Nick Lansley Head of R&D at Tesco.com throughout the day. The second part of the day is an event for developers, where around 120 developers will meet for a presentation of the days ideas. At the event Tesco will introduce the new ‘martini’ API which will provide access to many more features and functions than the currently available preview API.

Tesco’s are really trying to give the developer community the tools to create the future applications for Tesco. Facebook applications, iPhone applications or full systems which will sit in you’re kitchen… you name it, your going to see it once ‘martin’ is fully tested.

The initial stage is nearly over. People have been playing with the preview release of the API for a while now. I have just managed to get PHP to connect to the SOAP API and managed to create a little application which allows you to search the tesco products database and then add things to your basket. This all updates your actual Tesco basket live so once you log into Tesco.com you can just go straight to the checkout. I am really finding this very exciting and the possabilities are endless.

At first only the developers who attend the Tjam event will be able to register for an affiliate account. We will be able to earn money when sending new customers to Tesco.com and also on the cart total at checkout if items were added to the basket using an application key belonging to that affiliate (its quite confusing – more info available on the developers form).

Its going to be quite an exciting event. I have been contacted by Nick to see if I would show some of my php code however I am not sure if I could do that in front of 120 other developers from around the country! I have sent him FTP to my application so we will see what happens.

More information can be found on the Tjam home page. There is also a techfortesco blog or maybe you would like to follow them on twitter techfortesco on twitter.