6 reasons why Volusion integration is developers’ pain in the neck. Possible cures for all of them as well!

Over the last 14 years, Volusion has grown into a leading eCommerce store Software As A Service (SAAS) provide with over 40,000 online stores. One of the major reasons for Volusion’s growth is that their system makes 80% of the tasks involved in setting up an ecommerce store easy for anybody with limited knowledge on web design and development. However, beyond that 80%, the tasks to take the store to the next level becomes hard for even experienced developers. Here are some of those difficult tasks and the solutions we offer to overcome them.

1. Not all fields are exposed: Many data fields available to store admin are not accessible in the export section. ‘Customer Reward Points’ field in the customer section is an example of such fields. This field is available in the customer .detail page, special Privileges section. However, this field is not available in the Standard Export of Customer table.

Our solution: We have developed a custom API that that will accept the customer as an identifier of your choice (email, customer id) and return the corresponding information from fields like customer reward point from your store.

2. Complex or comprehensive data retrieval: Volusion makes 45 tables and a little less than 900 fields available to export the data out of. However, many times, it becomes necessary to combine the data from multiple tables using custom SQLs. For example, you need to do it in retrieving all customers with order total greater than $300 in the last quarter in specific product categories. In Volusion, there are two places where you could write custom SQLs: Saved Export and Report Section. But writing custom SQLs can be a difficult task depending on the complexity of the information user needs to retrieve.

Our solution: We have many decades of experience in writing custom SQLs in multiple databases including Microsoft SQL server which Volusion uses in the background. Writing custom SQL either in Saved Export section or Report Section is a breeze for us.

3. Real-time Data Retrieval: Even if you managed to create an SQL to pull the data out in Reporting section or Saved Export section, the only way you could access this data is logging in and running the report manually each time. There is no method available for your external applications to access the data from your custom SQL in your store back end.

Our Solution: Using our custom connectors, you could export the reports and saved exports as APIs and retrieve the data in any of the Volusion provided formats: CSV, XML, Pipe or TAB Delimited.

4. Custom Filters with Real-time Data Retrieval: Even though you can write a custom report or saved export, Volusion does not provide an option to add custom filter or update an existing filter real-time. For example, you could write a custom report to pull all the customers who have ordered specific items between specific date range. How do you access this report programmatically and run the report for different set of products or different date range?

Our solution: Our custom connectors has the ability to access the reports or saved exports in your data store. Apply the new filters, run the report/export and get the data via our APIs.

5. Limited APIs: Even though Volusion has many tables to keep the data Volusion only offers 4 APIs to integrate its own data: Customer, Order, Product and Shipping/Tracking Info. Even though these APIs may be just enough for smaller stores with integration needs, there may be situation where you need to access other data using APIs. One example of such data is Payment_Log.

Our Solution: We provide custom connectors exposed as API. These connectors connect to your store, get the data and return the data to you in XML, CSV, TAB or Pipe delimited formats.

6. Real-time API Integration: Even though Volusion APIs allow you to extract and update data such as customer, order, product, shipping/tracking, Volusion does not offer methods to do real time integration with other applications. For eg: you may have an external ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning ) or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system where you want to get the data from Volusion needs to be sent as soon as a customer is created or order is placed.

Our solution: Our custom event listeners will listen to specific events in your store such as order creation, payments, customer creation; customer logins etc… and subsequently call an API with related data.

You might be facing many issues with Volusion integration. But don’t worry. Let us know if you are stuck at in Volusion related tasks. Most likely we already have a solution for you. If not, we will be thrilled to meet your challenge and find a solution for your specific needs. Contact us now to discuss it in detail.

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