Information For Web Developers

As a software or web site developer tasked with integrating CalcXML's calculator engines with your desktop or web applications, you need to have at your fingertips all the right documentation to get your job done quickly and accurately. Well, you've come to the right place!

Below you'll find links to all the documents, API documentation, and samples that are needed to make the integration a simple one. As always, we are interested in your feedback, so if you encounter problems or have suggestions on how we could improve the integration experience, please let us know.

Getting Started

This web page provides a high-level overview of the integration options we provide. For links to our detailed development documentation, please contact us.

You can integrate with CalcXML's calculators in one of three ways:

  • Hyperlinks which you place on your web site.
  • XML passed using HTTP POST (similar to REST web services) where you create and host the calculator input and result pages.
  • Standard SOAP or REST web service calls where you create and host the calculator input and result pages.

Integrating Via Hyperlinks

CalcXML calculators are available as hyperlinks which you place on your web site. When clicked, the hyperlinks can open a new browser window or can open inside a frame in your web site. The input and result pages are hosted on our servers, resulting in a quick and simple implementation.

You can control the look-and-feel of the calculator input and result pages. We can provide to you our base stylesheet and you can modify it as much as you like. Once you are happy with it, we'll load it up on our servers and use it for all of your hyperlinked calculators. You can also have your company logo appear on the calculator pages.

Integrating Via Web Services

The real strength of CalcXML's calculators is the fact that they are available as SOAP and REST web services, giving you complete control over every aspect of the user interface. You create and host the calculator input and result pages. If desired, you can store user entered data, gather traffic statistics, gather lead generation data, or whatever else you like. You are in control.

You will need an IT staff in order to integrate using our web services, but rest assured, the integration is still quite simple for those familiar with web services.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design is a set of design principles for web sites that allows for a web page to adapt to the size of the screen on which it is displayed. Financial calculators are becoming more and more popular on phones, ipads and tablets and now all of our off-the-shelf calculators perform beautifully on all of these various devices and browsers.

This new user interface is available when integrating with our calculators via hyperlinks. Simply append a new URL parameter, r=1, to any of our calculator links, along with a new css stylesheet, and you are ready to go.

Dynamic HTML

We realize that many web applications today call for dynamic html, pulling in content from a variety of sources. One of those sources may be a calculator input form. For this reason, we have included in our schemas all the necessary information for you to dynamically create calculator input and output forms using an xsl stylesheet. In fact, all of our sample implementations have been created using xml files and an xsl stylesheet!

Internationalization/Localization

CalcXML calculators can be used in any country and language. By passing in a country code and language, you tell the CalcXML calculator engine how to format the monetary amounts which will be returned. The Flash and image charts that are created are also formatted appropriately, including chart title and axis labels. Available with all integration options.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

CalcXML calculators have been designed to include many features required for web sites to be ADA/WCAG compliant. While there are no "official" requirements for ADA compliant web sites, we have taken measures to ensure that the calculator pages can be processed well by screen reader technologies in order to make them usable by those with disabilities.

Example Hyperlink Implementations

Below you will find a few examples of how you can integrate with CalcXML calculators via hyperlinks.

Calculator In An IFrame

CalcXML calculators can be loaded into an iframe directy embedded in your web site. One major benefit to this approach is that the user never really knows that the calculator page is being hosted by CalcXML. It looks like it is part of your web site.

Calculator In A New Window

CalcXML calculators can be loaded into a new browser window, or a popup window. A link to the calculator would be placed on your web site and when a visitor clicks on it, a new browser window will appear with your branded calculator displayed.

Click the link below to see an example.

Becoming A Millionaire

Calculator In A Shadowbox / Lightbox

CalcXML calculators can be loaded into a shadowbox, sometimes referred to as a "lightbox". There are a few different ways to accomplish this, but the major lightbox options typically use javascript and css to display various types of media in an overlay. One such option is Shadowbox. One benefit to using Shadowbox to display your branded calculators is that your users are not forced to navigate away from your web site.

Click the link below to see an example. NOTE: May not display properly in mobile devices.

Becoming A Millionaire

Facebook Integration

CalcXML calculators can be added to your Facebook page. Integrating with Facebook requires the use of our Facebook app. This page can load a single calculator, or it can have multiple calculators. As a page admin, you can set a custom name and image for this page tab.

Click the link below to see an example.

Becoming A Millionaire

Embedded Calculator

CalcXML calculators can be loaded into an html <div> element directy embedded in your web site. An AJAX call loads the calculator into the <div>.

Example Feature Implementations

Below you will find a few examples of how you can integrate with CalcXML calculators and leverage the Lead Generation and Call-To-Action features.

Lead Generation

Many times after someone runs a financial calculator, they realize they are in need of a financial product or service. Use our lead generation functionality to gather contact information from your web site visitors while they are "in-market" for your products and services.

Click the links below to see an examples.

Life Insurance Calculator with lead generation
Mortgage Calculator with lead generation

Call-To-Action / Recommendations

Calls-to-action or recommendations, can be defined and displayed on the results page on a per-calculator basis. Along with this functionality comes the ability to specify the criteria for each recommendation. The criteria are based on the user's input values. One handy feature is that you can include a hyperlink to a web page or form on your web site as part of the call-to-action and pass the calculator input fields to your form to prepopulate various form fields.

Click the links below to see an examples.

Savings Calculator with recommendation based on age (greater than or less than 40)
Retirement Calculator with hyperlink to another part of your web site

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