Wednesday, 21 July 2010

100% Martini / Affiliates Scheme Starts / API Unscheduled Outage

This morning I sent this message out to our 800+ registered Tesco Grocery API developers.

Dear API Developer

We did it (finally!) - 100% of customers are now on our new 'Project Martini' grocery development platform. That means that 100% of customers can use your applications that use the Tesco Grocery API at It also means that we are can switch on the affiliates "percentage contribution to checked-out order" pot for T-JAM attendees on 1st August 2010 - we're just making sure all the logging is working correctly first.

We've been working madly to make sure the API is stabilised on Martini and we've been tuning up the performance of the service, particularly dealing with customers with very large baskets that was slowing down such API commands such as Login.

The RESTful API endpoint is already up to v1.0.0.15 and there will be updated documentation for that latest version being published this coming weekend. The latest API updates include a 'FAST" mode which speeds up API responses for getting Basket information if you don't need all the basket information that normal response returns.

Hands-up: we're sorry - our developer portal database ran out of log space during maintenance late yesterday and stopped the API from authorising access. Regrettably the API health page did not detect this (as it bypasses authorisation) and it was only uncovered by emails from some pretty annoyed developers when I woke up this morning.

I've fixed the problem by:
1) Emptying the log and
2) Removing size restriction on it. The disk on which the database log is saved has acres of space and the restriction was placed on it over 18 months ago when it existed on an earlier smaller server.

I will change the API Health page today so that it tests using a developer key that requires authorisation for each test. That way we'll also monitor if the forum database is in error. I will also put on our change list a code change to give developers the benefit of the doubt and always authorise access to the API if that database goes on error again. The Health page sends out alerts every time a test yields a 'red' or 'black' result (serious error or timeout). This all means that it shouldn't happen again without us knowing pretty quickly.

From Monday 26 August we will be 'living' in the Innovation Support Forum answering questions and listening to any concerns. I really want to energise the forum again - you've been more than patient while we've got Martini to 100% and tuned up the API, so it's about time we spent some time with you.

After all - on 5th August it will have been a year since T-JAM. Wow!

Best regards
Nick Lansley

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nick,

    My name is Uri, i live in israel and i have a small question regarding the api and affiliate revenue.

    I represent a small venture which develops technology
    for websites in the food niche. We are only in the beginning and working on a single main project. We registered to the Tesco.Com affiliates program through TradeDoubler which shares revenue only incase a customer has been registered through our affiliate link. (unlike developers who attended T-JAM)..

    Our idea is really ground breaking and both - Tesco and ourselves could benefit greatly from it. It uses the Tesco API Extensively and give the users and site-owners great value. I want to tell you more about it but i don't want to give it all away here on the open. If you are interested please contact me at
    abramson.uri -at- gmail -dot- com

    Thank you!


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.

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4. Insulting / obscene messages.

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