.ALK Technologies Inc. — a developer of global routing, mileage, mapping and route GPS navigation software — announced Tuesday, July 31, the introduction of PC*Miler Web Services. The hosted interfacing application is designed to provide PC*Miler map data and functionality quickly and efficiently to customers. It does this regardless of the IT infrastructure via a schema-driven XML/SOAP interface developed in Microsoft .NET, packaged as a Web service, according to ALK.
Driven by the core functionality of PC*Miler, PC*Miler Web Services represents an important way for businesses to communicate with each other, ALK says; it does not provide the user with a graphical user interface, and instead shares PC*Miler’s functionality via the Web, making it easier for users to connect to the necessary components of PC*Miler to enhance application or system interface.
For example, necessary data for an individual shipment can pass instantly from PC*Miler Web Services’ outsourced Level3 servers that host the service through an AS/400 corporate server to a Windows or even Linux-based workstation; according to the company; virtually any other platform or operating system is compatible, including UNIX, Java, Perl and others.
The data sent from PC*Miler to the end user is processed in the needed form – as mileage (for billing, driver pay, or fuel tax reporting), precise toll costs, route maps or as dock-to-dock street-level directions, ALK says; this process is transparent to the end user, who simply sees updated PC*Miler data available in a usable format.
“Our customers asked us to help solve their cross-platform problems,” says Kara Jo Witkowski, senior product manager of business solutions for Princeton, N.J.-based ALK Technologies. “PC*Miler Web Services is our response. This universally compatible interfacing application helps to facilitate the sharing of PC*Miler data from a secure enterprise-ready data center hosting the functionality of PC*Miler. It provides the tools to build whatever systems you want to easily populate an application with the necessary operational data and features needed. PC*Miler Web Services enables different applications from different sources to communicate, eliminating time-consuming and costly custom programming.”
Access is provided to PC*Miler Web Services through four feature option levels, giving users the flexibility to gain access to the features of choice – Lite, Standard, Premium and Enterprise. The Lite option offers core PC*Miler functionality. The other three full-featured levels provide additional capabilities; for example, street-level routing, truck-specific toll costs and mapping.
In addition to motor carriers, PC*Miler Web Services provides profit-driving benefits for shippers and third-party logistics companies, according to ALK; since all features can be accessed from anywhere via any platform and configuration, customers continually benefit from PC*Miler functionality even when upgrading or changing their IT infrastructure. Also, companies with specific versions of PC*Miler tied to customer contracts can continue to fulfill those contracts using updated data from PC*Miler Web Services.