Thursday, 16 July 2009

A Bit More Evil: Tesco API news goes down well with bloggers and twitterers

I'm delighted that taking the Tesco API to the 'next stage' and make it more public has gone down well with the media, bloggers and Twitterers alike, just as we announced the T-JAM event.

It was sheer coincidence in timing with our T-JAM announcement that ProgrammableWeb had spotted the community technical preview edition of the API, documented it on their site, and announced is part of their 'new APIs' news.

The next thing we know is that The Guardian had spotted it and their journalist Charles Arthur wrote a blog post called 'Tesco offers an API for its shopping. Now start thinking what to use it for'.

The news was swiftly picked up by The Mirror and Retail Week, then New Media Age (NMA) gave me a call to ask for more info for their article. Indeed Will Cooper, one of NMA's journalists, had witnessed the Tesco@Home application being demonstrated at Microsoft PDC2008 conference and has been following our journey to offer better ways of online grocery shopping.

Lots of blogs have picked up the news, and authors have felt positive about the outcome. Of course I am am bound to have as my favourite the posting titled "History in the making: Tesco offers an API for it’s online shopping". Goodness, I can now join fellow colleague and IT Director Jon Higgins who was once described as a "legend in his own lunchtime" in a Computer Weekly article tracing the origins of

There are numerous positive Twitter posts but in the name of balance a couple of wonderfully negative ones too. amongst my favourites:
Oh well you can't please everyone....

The T-JAM event delegate count has just gone over the 2/3rds-full mark, so if you haven't registered yet don't leave it too long. Places are limited because health & safety rules prevent us shoe-horning too many people into the auditorium.

Right, I'm off to be nasty, dirty and a bit more evil. Yes it's greasy fry-up day in the canteen....!


  1. There's a history to the evil tweet... It all comes down to the *potential for evil* that large companies have through collecting and aggregating large amounts of personal data.

    Now if you managed to persuade dunnhumby to allow me to access my own Clubcard profile through an API, and then maybe leverage their recommendation algorithms so I can better make use of the Tesco API informed by those recommendations, that would be something... ;-)

    A couple functions that would allow me to identify cheap offers in my local store would also be interesting:-)


    PS btw is there a lat/long file of Tesco store locations anywhere?

  2. Hi Nick

    Will the tesco API allow me to report things like illegal parking, predatory pricing, bullying of local authorities or below award conditions for workers?

  3. Will we see php access and sample code for accessing your code as thus far I cant work out if you will be supporting it and as Php is a major player I would hope so.


As this blog grows in readership - and because it carries the Tesco brand - I have had to become more careful about the sort of comments that are acceptable. The good news is that I'm a champion of free speech so please be as praising or as critical as you wish! The only comments I DON'T allow through are:

1. Comments which criticise an individual other than myself, or are critical of an organisation other than Tesco. This is simply because they cannot defend themselves so is unfair and possibly libellous. Comments about some aspect of Tesco being better/worse than another equivalent organisation are allowed as long as you start by saying "in my personal opinion.." or "I think that...". ... followed by a "...because.." and some reasoned argument.

2. Comments which are totally unrelated to the context of the original article. If I have written about a mobile app and you start complaining about the price of potatoes then your comment isn't going stay for long!

3. Advertising / web links / spam.

4. Insulting / obscene messages.

Ok, rules done - now it's your go: