My copy of Loosely Coupled has started its trek across the country. Thus begins the tradition of stalking (er, tracking) of my shipment as it meanders about.
Every time I track a shipment from the UPS or FedEx website, I wish that there were an official SOAP or XML-RPC interface to the data. An open-to-the-public interface directly to the data. I found two SOAP interfaces from xmethods: FedEx Tracker [WSDL] and UPS Online Tracking Web Service [WSDL]. These are both third party implementations that no doubt take in your information, call out to the UPS/FedEx www tracking page, parse what comes back, and send it back to you.
I’d really like to point a client directly to some WSDL at either fedex.com or ups.com. Until that happens, tracking packages via web services is just there for the “cool” factor.