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

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 The former ProgrammableWeb Executive Editor, Adam is an API expert now helping regular people connect them at Zapier. Previously he worked at API companies SendGrid and Orchestrate, and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101. Find him at AdamD.org.

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