Web API:A Case study and
comparison of the Amazon and
eBay E-Commerce API's
Pranith P Ramamurthy
Spring 2010,CS 6125
Prof. Gail Kaiser
Amazon ecommerce API
Ebay ecommerce API
Comparison of Amazon and eBay ecommerce
Introduction:Whats is an API?
Definition: “language and message format used by an
application program to communicate with a control
In Simple Terms ,It receives your request, and then,
based entirely on the information you gave it returns
Ex:Google API's, Flickr API's, Delicious API's etc
Why do companies actually provide
Create an ecosystem of innovation and tap into a
Once such a freedom is given the applications can
be extended in ways that may have been impossible,
uneconomical or unimaginable for the original
developers to do themselves.
The new reality is that open data is a competitive
Why do we need API's?
For example:you need to use maps in your application or a
Highly impossible task for you to launch satellites into space
and provide your own map interface.
API's come to your rescue. Google Maps or Yahoo Map's API
provide rich set of data they have collected and use them for
your specific purposes.
Over 1000 Web Service API-added to directory of API tracking
site programmableweb.com and many more are expected.
Big market player’s such as Amazon, eBay, Google and others
have already released Web API’s.
Amazon Web API's.
Amazon Product Advertising API:
Opens doors to Amazon's databases-Build Web store to sell
Amazon items or your own items.
As a Developer you get access to large data that Amazon has
Reviews, seller reviews,as well as most of the
Retrieving product and pricing information
Retrieving customer reviews of a product
Retrieving product images
Performing simple and advanced searches
Retrieving wish lists by name, e-mail, and other
How Product Advertising API works
Your application uses the Product Advertising API
to supply details regarding items such as description,
images, seller and customer reviews.
Customers shop on your web site.
Customer is ready to purchase the items in their ecommerce shopping cart.
your application sends an form to Product
Advertising API and Amazon completes the
purchase by getting purchase information.
Amazon fulfills the order by shipping the items.
E-Bay Web API's
eBay is a major contender for Amazon in the eCommerce space, and its database of on-line sales
might well be the largest ever assembled.
E-Bay Finding API:
The Finding API provides programmatic access to the
next generation search capabilities on the eBay platform.
Lets you search and browse for items listed on eBay, and
provides useful metadata to refine searches and enhance
the search experience
How the E-Bay API works
1) A user enters "laptop" in your cool
2) Your app uses makes a search
request for " laptop" using one of the
eBay Web Services.
3) The eBay database looks for
4) The eBay database sends the
response back to you using the API.
5) Your app displays the search
results to the user.
Comparison of Amazon v/s eBay Web
In comparison to Amazon, eBay’s tagging of Metadata is
Amazon as a vendor could pull out more info about the
Items dimensions and description.
In contrast eBay's only real information is the
categorization of the item based on prices and the format
used to describe it.
Number of Queries made:
Amazon doesn’t have any restrictions on the number of
queries made except for no more than 1 per sec per IP.
Ebay has a limit of 5000 queries per day.
REST and SOAP Protocol Support:
Both eBay and Amazon e Commerce API’s provide the
options of querying the API’s using both REST and SOAP
Though eBay has limited set REST API’s its SOAP and
XML API’s are particularly rich.
Ebay's has more tedious process,If not confusing.
Amazon's is rather friendly and could be completed
Number of Results returned:
Amazon returns 10 items per page for every
Ebay returns 400 items per page.
So eBay's more Item per page is improvement for
people looking for more popular items.
Both Amazon and eBay API’s have been
extensively documented and they have lots of
tutorials for covering all the details about the API.
Very important: In making API easy to use and
Developer Community interaction:
Amazon has done a good job by supporting their
API's well with lot of Developer Forums and
organizing Developer Chats.
Ebay on the is trying to have similar developer
Forums and Help Desk.
Amazon is an impressive performer having created a
niche set of functionalities for the developers to use
and some very useful developer communities.
It also doesn’t have any restrictions on the number
of queries that can be made unlike the eBay services.
eBay-a major player in eCommerce sector and
access to its data might well be worth the pain.
Ebay has its share of success to with 60k Users.
 Professional Web APIs with PHP: eBay, Google, PayPal, Amazon,
FedEx, Plus Web Feeds by Paul Reinheimer
 Professional Web APIs: Google, eBay, Amazon.Com, MapPoint,
FedExby Denise M.Gosnell
 APIs and Mashups For The Rest Of Us By Gareth Rushgrovehttp://www.digital-web.com/articles/apis_and_mashups/.
 Programmable Web website: http://www.programmableweb.com/api/.
 Amazon Product Advertising API Developer’s guide:
eBay Finding API official documentation:
Thank you :-)