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Product Advertising API
Developer Guide (API Version 2013-08-01)

Find Items with Browse Nodes

Browse nodes form an organizational hierarchy of items for sale. The hierarchy of nodes is designed to make it easy and fast to browse for items.

Each browse node has an ID (a positive integer) and a name. All items associated with a node are related to the name of the node. For example, a node name "Books about Ancient Greece" will include books about ancient Greece.

This hierarchy of nodes is dynamic, as are the items associated with each node; items can be added and removed from browse nodes at any time. Nodes be added or removed in the node hierarchy.

The value of the hierarchy is that it groups similar items and relates items in an intuitive way. As you move down the hierarchy, you move from parent to child nodes, where child nodes are subsets of the parent node's product category, as shown in the following figure.

As you move down the hierarchy, you refine the number of items that can be returned. In this example, the Shoes category has as a subset, "Women's Shoes". It has two child nodes, "Boots" and "Sneakers".

An item can be associated with more than one browse node, and that a browse node can be associated with more than one browse node.

ItemSearch returns all of the items associated with a node and all of the nodes below it. You can see that a search at the level of "Women's Shoes" will return all items related to "Women's Boots" and "Women's Sneakers". If the customer is only interested in women's boots, a more targeted search will specify the "Boots" browse node using ItemSearch's BrowseNode parameter. For example, if the browse node ID of "Women's Boots" is "123456", a targeted request will look like the following:

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http://webservices.amazon.com/onca/xml? Service=AWSECommerceService& AWSAccessKeyId=[AWS Access Key ID]& AssociateTag=[Associate Tag]& Operation=ItemSearch& Keywords=tall& SearchIndex=Apparel& BrowseNode=123456 &Timestamp=[YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ] &Signature=[Request Signature]

Find a Node to Start Your Search

In the US locale, there are over 120,000 nodes and they are constantly changing. Fortunately, there are multiple ways to find the browse node where you can start your search:

  • Many high level browse nodes are listed in Locale Reference for the Product Advertising API for each locale.

  • The BrowseNodes response group returns browse nodes. You can use this response group with the following operations: ItemSearch, and SimilarityLookup.

  • On Amazon.com, search for an item that is similar to the one you want and then copy the browse node from the URL.

For example, this request searches for item listings for a horse bridle. None of the top product categories (search indices) relate directly to horses. So, use ItemSearch and the BrowseNodes response groups to find a browse node that is associated with horse bridles.

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http://webservices.amazon.com/onca/xml? Service=AWSECommerceService& AWSAccessKeyId=[AWS Access Key ID]& AssociateTag=[Associate Tag]& Operation=ItemSearch& Keywords=horse,bridle& SearchIndex=PetSupplies,SportingGoods &Timestamp=[YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssZ] &Signature=[Request Signature]

This request looks in the PetSupplies and SportingGoods search indices for anything related to horses or bridles.

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