Walgreen Co. is making tools available to outside software developers to integrate its photo services into their mobile applications.

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Walgreens creates portal for mobile app developers

July 10th, 2012

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. is making tools available to outside software developers to integrate its photo services into their mobile applications.

Walgreens said Tuesday that it has launched an online developer portal allows third-party software developers to integrate the Walgreens QuickPrints software development kit (SDK), enabling photo printing directly from iPhone and Android mobile devices.

The drug chain noted that the launch of the QuickPrints SDK is the first time that the company has provided an open interface for third-party application developers to integrate Walgreens in-store services.

With developers using the new portal, web services for QuickPrints can now be built into a range of mobile apps that deliver those services to a large market of mobile users. Web services refer to programming standards used to enable different types of software to communicate over the Internet.

"Our new QuickPrints SDK enables third-party software developers to tap Walgreens web services, building a broad selection of apps that deliver our convenient store capabilities to more customers," Abhi Dhar, e-commerce chief technical officer at Walgreens, said in a statement.

Currently available in Walgreens' iPhone and Android apps, QuickPrints allows mobile users to print photos from their phone to any of the chain's 7,907 stores nationwide in about an hour. Walgreens said that starting today, it has released the QuickPrints SDK for iPhone and Android devices so third-party developers can integrate the service within their mobile applications and share revenue from photo orders sent to be printed at Walgreens.

"With almost 30% of photos today taken on smartphones and the popularity of photo applications growing, the opportunity for consumers to benefit from the convenience of printing their memories to Walgreens through a variety of photo apps is tremendous," stated Jasbir Patel, senior director of Walgreens Photo.

According to Walgreens, the QuickPrints SDK has already been adopted by GroupShot, Kicksend, Pic Stitch, Pinweel and StillShot, with more partners expected to join the program in the coming weeks.

Walgreens said it's also partnering with Aviary, a digital photo editing platform used by over 1,200 application developers and 8 million consumers, to leverage its expanding group of photo app partners. Detailed information for the QuickPrints SDK program, as well as other future offerings, can be found on the Walgreens Developer Portal at developer.walgreens.com.

For the developer portal, Walgreens is working with Apigee, a technology firm that's providing the portal's underlying platform and application programming interface (API).

"Today's social media giants have demonstrated the power of APIs for creating a massive choice of apps around a business, and now APIs are becoming imperative for any business to thrive in the digital economy," commented Chet Kapoor, Apigee's chief executive officer. "Walgreens is proving to be a leading technology innovator, aggressively embracing the mobile market to enhance the pharmacy experience for customers."

To encourage mobile developers to include new features in their apps using the QuickPrints SDK, Walgreens plans to host its first Mobile Photo Hack Day event on Aug. 11 at its downtown Chicago e-commerce office. The event aims to give developers the opportunity to meet, collaborate and showcase their creative implementations of the QuickPrints SDK in their applications.

The company said developer demos will be reviewed by a panel of top industry professionals, with a total of $5,000 in cash prizes available to the top developer integrations.