Your Neighborhood Drug Store Has an API, Why Don't You?

Adam DuVander
Jul. 10 2012, 12:09PM EDT

Still don't believe every company will have APIs? Drug store Walgreens is a 100 year-old company that is a common street-corner sight in US cities. Now the company has launched its first Walgreens API for its popular photo department.

Walgreens is now one of 27 printing APIs, an area that has seen a lot of growth. Almost half of the printing APIs were added in 2012.

The API is focusing first on mobile developers, with SDKs for Android and iPhone. Developers can build apps to send photos to Walgreens for printing. Users pay for the prints and developers can earn money through an affiliate program.

Walgreens is reaching out to developers by attending Photo Hack Day in San Francisco this weekend.

While the company does not yet allow prescription refills via its API, it's not crazy to expect it. Photos are low-hanging fruit because the apps are visually compelling for end users. That's why we list over 750 photo mashups and over 200 photo APIs. With Walgreens having made such a bold initial move into the API world, the company may see a reason to extend into other parts of its store.

If Walgreens doesn't launch a pharmacy API, perhaps it's something we can expect from the Tesco API. The UK supermarket mega-chain previously launched the world's first grocery API.

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.



[...] APIs added to our API directory including a file upload to cloud services, digital wallet services, photo uploading and printing application, serviced office accomodations and photo product catalog services. In addition we also looked at [...]

[...] tangible brick and mortar benefits as well. Walgreens, for example, recently announced that it has developed an API and software development kit that allows developers of mobile applications to include the ability to print out photos within [...]