constraints and limitations
As the project progressed, a major issue turned up regarding setting up shipping rates as the real-time quotes generator software that the company wanted to use was not yet compatible with the hosting that the site was being developed on.
A development sandbox documentation for the rest API along with development environment credentials was provided and it seemed that for the time being, the rest API was only available for integration for sites based in the U.S and therefore couldn't provide real-time shipping for stores selling items within Canada.
After brainstorming multiple solutions and even trying to integrate other API's that had similar purposes, the same issue continued to arise, location still remained an issue. At last, I went back to the client to discuss the issue at and proposed that we integrate the following method in order to solve the problem:
Leverage Google Sheets to gather the height, width, length and weight of each of the 482 products that were to be added on the site.
Then, go into the real-time quote software and manually add and assign a category for each Canadian province into the Shiptime Box Library (found at shipping > boxes). For this step, decimals had to be removed and rounded up because the system only allows whole numbers and requires upgrading the input to the next size up.
Note that each category has also been split into sub-categories 9(1), 9(2), 9(3), ect...This was strategically done because the next step involved gathering a centrally located postal code for each province, then manually gathering individual quotes based on box sizes and weight. In this case, the postal codes are being used in order to generate the cheapest rate for each option.
Finally, the average for each category had to be calculated in order to input onto the website. Although it is not real-time shipping quotes, each product now offers the best rates possible based on the constraints.