originally published on fbacatalog.com/blog
Without much of a fanfare Amazon has rolled out new Product Advertising API version 5. I've been really excited to hear about all the changes to API that Amazon neglected for quite some time.
I usually monitor multitude of amazon support forms to have updates about things like these. But this time it's different - I found zero announcements at all in Google. But stumbled upon this news in an open source library I'm following.
Before going into details on what was actually changed, I'd like to stress out a fact that on 31 October current API will be shut down and everyone who didn't migrate -- disconnected.
- Deprecates everything related to Cart functionality
- Requests to API now need to be signed differently
- Now API has become more secure with support of HTTPS POST/RPC(JSON)
- Response now is lighter and in JSON format (yaaay!)
- Faster response times (double yaay!)
- Bunch of new data points like price display in preferred currency, multilingual support, prime exclusive, free shipping eligibility, sales rank at browse node
- There is also a new scratchpad to play around with new API
For all the nitty-gritty details, side-by-side request and response comparisons check out their documentation.
Current users of Amazon Product Advertising API have their accounts linked with AWS. And first thing that Amazon wants all those people to do is to decouple Associate account from AWS.
Here is a fair warning:
When you migrate your Product Advertising API account from AWS, your old credentials stay valid for a period of 3 days. After the 3 days period, your old AWS credentials will stop working with Product Advertising API.
So, I recommend doing this immediately -- once you issue your new keys, you'll have 3 days to actually start using those. New credentials work with API version 4 and 5, so this requires no code changes.
As Amazon claims, it could take up to 4 weeks to update.
"We have found that it takes 3 or 4 weeks to make changes to a typical application to upgrade from PA API 4 to PA API 5. The time for testing and deployment depends on your individual installations."
Considering that there is not much in terms of heads-up from PA API team -- I recommend to start moving now.
If you depended on any function related to Cart, you should be completely abandoning that solution in a favor of Cart Form. This is actually first step of migration that I did months ago and experience has been fantastic -- it actually reduced maintenance burden, complexity of such an important action has went down (in other words, it just works).
Judging purely by documentation - most of these improvements have been expected by many. A lot of quirky parts of PA API 4 have been removed or significantly improved. Especially moving to JSON and HTTPS POST/RPC(JSON) is a much welcomed change.
But communication wise there is much to be desired:
- Some proper heads-up on a change would be beneficial for everyone -- forums, associate account or anything... Please!
- Documentation had only one revision and never updated afterwords
I really hope that Amazon will move that deadline for PA API v4 deprecation. Seems like everyone I asked is not even aware of this change, everyone is as surprised as I am.