Monday, 3 August 2009

Two days until TJAM

With just two days to go to TJAM, I have emailed all the attendees with the following message. Since that message is now in the public domain I recreate it here.

I am getting quite a few bounce-backs from mail servers saying that some email addresses are not valid or that the mailbox is full. TJAM'ers please check your mailboxes!

I really could have filled TJAM at least twice over, so apologies to those who could not get an invite. I even did the 'airline' thing and and went 10% over in case there are some no-shows. So if you haven't received written confirmation from me then please don't try and gate-crash, or try and tag along with someone who has received confirmation. Next time we'll book Wembley...!

Dear TJAM'er

So there's only two days to go to TJAM and I hope you're as excited as we are to welcoming you to the evening event!

We're just putting the finishing touches to our presentations and confirmed everything with our affiliates team to welcome you aboard.

I’ve got some important items of news for you about:
1) The affiliates scheme and how it will work;
2) The fact we’re going to be unable to lift our ‘price comparison’ bar at the moment;
3) The opening of the Tesco API Developers Forum

Affiliate scheme
We have now agreed the mechanics of operation of the affiliate scheme for Tesco API developers. To join the affiliates scheme you will need to join up at TJAM. You will need to bring proof of your ID (e.g. driving licence, passport, household bill) in order to sign up. You cannot sign up for anyone else, or sign up twice or more!

I’ll expand on the scheme greatly at TJAM, but you can see the full description in the Tesco API Developers Forum under 'The Affiliates System' entry. I will assume you have read this by the time you arrive at TJAM. Forum web address further down this message.

Price Comparison
We’ve decided to delay lifting the bar on the terms and conditions for using the Tesco API for price-comparison for a few more months.

The reason is that, until our new ‘Project Martini’ grocery application reaches full-speed, we will still have to show guide prices for all our products.

Part of ‘Martini’s’ new strength is that it will be able to get the realtime price from our mainframe for every product - that is, the price it is right this moment. However the system to do that is still not quite ready, so we will have to show the highest possible price for that product for a few more months (that is, the highest it has been and could be for the foreseeable future). That way we won’t anger customers by making them pay a possible higher price - it will either be the same, or lower.

We accept we’re not doing ourselves any favours by showing products that might be more expensive than they actually are, but until we have tested and tested the realtime link for every eventuality - then tested some more - we just prefer it this way. Getting it wrong has serious consequences that starts with angry customers and ends with legal issues. At least with guide prices customers get pleasant surprises when they receive a delivery.

As soon as ‘Martini’s’ realtime link is working to the satisfaction of the most paranoid of us, then we’ll lift the bar. Then I’ll even put together a workshop for price comparison sites so we can work with them to get them the most current data. Until then, grocery price comparison sites will be barred from using the Tesco API.

Tesco API Developers Forum
The Tesco API Developers forum is now up and running. Do take a moment to register and go and meet with fellow developers. There will be support for the API so this is definitely your one-stop shop for help. The web site address is:

See you at TJAM!

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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: