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Congratulations! Now that you have completed the basic example presented in this guide, you are ready to start designing your own Product Advertising API application. Although, most applications built on Product Advertising API are not as simple as the example in this guide, the principles used in the example readily apply to more complex applications.
The Product Advertising API provides a wealth of opportunities for developing new and innovative applications and websites. Previous sections covered in depth how to find an item for sale using
ItemSearch. Finding an item is often the first task a Product Advertising API application implements. The tasks presented in this section are ordered in a use case scenario that is common for a customer using a Product Advertising API application.
Tasks in a Typical Use Case
All of these tasks are covered in greater depth in the Product Advertising API Developer Guide. Also, for a sample implementation of many of these tasks, see the SimpleStore.php application, which is available at AWS Developer's Resource Center.
ItemSearch request, which we discussed and implemented in the previous sections, often returns multiple items. Typically, a Product Advertising API application displays a small image of each of those items along with a short description. A customer, however, often likes to pick from the list one or more items that look interesting so they can learn more about them. While it is possible to display extended information about each of the items returned by
ItemSearch, the length of the web page would grow substantially. For that reason, we recommend that you provide a customer with extended information only when they show interest in a specific item.
Given the item identifier returned by
ItemSearch, you can return extended information about any of the displayed items using the
ItemLookup, for example, can return all of the physical characteristics of the item along with pricing information.
Once a customer decides to purchase an item, he or she must be able to add it to a Product Advertising API remote shopping cart. Typically, you implement this with a user interface button labeled, for example, Add to Cart. The Product Advertising API operations that facilitate this functionality are
CartCreate if the customer does not already have a shopping cart or
CartAdd if the customer does.
Now that the item is in the Product Advertising API remote shopping cart, the customer can purchase it. You can implement this task using a user interface button labeled, for example, Proceed to Checkout. The actual process of getting the customer's billing and shipping information, and method of payment is handled entirely by Amazon in what is called the Order Pipeline. The only task your application or website must implement is sending a
PurchaseURL in a request to Amazon. Every cart operation returns the
PurchaseURL. It contains all of the information necessary for Amazon to locate the customer's Product Advertising API remote shopping cart on its servers. The
PurchaseURL also contains Associate information so that if an Associate brokered the sale, they receive a commission.
There you have it: a complete shopping cycle, from finding an item to purchasing it. The use case scenario covers only a small slice of the functionality that Product Advertising API offers. For example, given a customer's demonstrated interest in an item, you might want to:
Present similar items for sale to the customer.
Present the top selling items in the same product category.
Help the customer find a friend's wish list so that a wedding or baby shower gift can be purchased.
For more information about these options, see the Product Advertising API Developer Guide. For more information about joining the developer forums, go to Product Advertising API developer forum. There, you can ask questions and get answers from fellow developers and the staff at Amazon.
For general information about the Product Advertising API, as well as for code samples and other resources, go to the Product Advertising API website.