API Order Automation


Order Automation allows client systems to communicate directly, “computer to computer” with ANCHOR’s system, thus enabling them to run jobs more efficiently.

The system is simple to use. The complexity of scheduling and running jobs is handled by ANCHOR’s back office systems.

Data Flow

  1. Prior to initiating a job, the customer’s system uploads a file to a predetermined FTP site that has been established for use by only that client.
  2. The client’s system then generates an XML document which specifies all aspects of the jobs to be run. This includes file name, what service(s) are requested, the type of file (i.e. fixed length, xlsx, DBF or, delimited), the layout of the file which includes any required name and address elements, priority, and many other parameters. The required format of this XML document is available from one of our account managers
  3. At this time, the client’s system can post the XML file to the same predetermined area. The XML file will be parsed and the job submitted to the back office for processing. ANCHOR’s system can then optionally post an answer XML file back to the client’s web server or FTP server which will contain the client’s reference number, as well assign an ANCHOR job number.
  4. Upon successful submission of the job, ANCHOR will process the file. When the job is complete, ANCHOR will post the output file back to the directory where the input file was uploaded. Output files are archived into one .ZIP file using PKZIP. The output file name is always “nnnnnop.txt” where “nnnnn” is the ANCHOR job number (which was referenced in the “successful submit” XML answer file. The only exception to this is if the input file was a .DBF file, the output file name will be “nnnnnop.dbf”. There are a number of report files, which are in .html format. These are also included in the .ZIP file.

During the order automation client configuration, a notification email address may be established if the client so wishes. If this has been done, an email describing the completion status of the job (which could be normal completion or some other error) will be sent. In addition, it can post an XML document back to the caller’s web server or FTP server indicating the completion status of the job.

For XML document sample & XML submission message sample, please contact your sales executive or one of our account managers.