Nana Gilbert-Baffoe's blog about affiliate marketing and related topics that will be of interest to affiliate marketers.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The eBay Affiliate Sales Report Tool Now Uses eBay API

After my last post about my "eBay Affiliate Sales Report Tool" I immediately took some time to get acquainted with the eBay API. As of yesterday afternoon, The eBay Affiliate Sales Report Tool is 100% API based.

As expected, it only took a few minutes to recover my username and password. After that I spent 2-3 hours reading documentation, applying for tokens, and trying out the sample code. I had to call it a night(morning) when the eBay API went down. It was displaying Http/1.1 Service Unavailable for my requests. Looking back it was probably a good thing since I may have been up all night coding.

I initially thought I had been blocked or something because I went to check shoemoney's auctionads system and saw it was still serving ads. But then I remembered that they also had a killer caching system in place, so it was very likely that it would take a while before their own systems went down.

This is one major problem with living off a 3rd parties API. You also have to suffer through their system downtime, unless you have a system in place to keep going for a while. Certain types of API based applications can withstand API downtime better than others.

My app is based on returning data that I don't know I have to return until it's requested. So it makes it almost impossible to prepare for API downtime. One work around would involve switching to the good old system the app was developed with whenever the API is non responsive.

Another new problem I now have to deal with is the 5000 eBay API calls a day limit for the eBay API. However after certification the limits will go up to either 1.5 million calls a day for the application, or a user-based limit of 20,000 calls per user. My other option is to have users install the app on their servers and have them use their own API quota. I'll be evaluating both options over the next few days.

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