Upcoming Changes to the Finding API for Affiliates

api1 The eBay API is the most robust tool we offer our publishers today. You can use the API to get real-time information for all eBay listings - with the flexibility to best meet the needs of your application. The Finding API is the most commonly used API for accessing eBay search results, with a wide selection of filters and other search criteria. The Finding API represents the latest in eBay search technology with improved performance and scalability over the former search API’s.

The week of May 23rd we will be launching some changes to the click URL’s that are provided in eBay’s Finding API calls. As you probably know, many eBay API calls will return properly formatted ePN links in the response if you provide your tracking information in the API call.

Here’s a sample Finding API call with affiliate tracking:

http://svcs.ebay.com/services/search/FindingService/v1?OPERATION-NAME=findItemsByKeywords&SERVICE-VERSION=1.9.0&SECURITY-APPNAME=Your-App-ID&RESPONSE-DATA-FORMAT=XML&REST-PAYLOAD&affiliate.networkId=9&affiliate.trackingId=1234567890&affiliate.customId=mycustomid& sortOrder=EndTime&paginationInput.entriesPerPage=2&keywords=elmo

In the response to this call, you currently see click URL’s that look like this:

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?campid=1234567890&customid=mycustomid&toolid=0&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.com%2F Sesame-Street-Fisher-Price-2008-Farmer-Country-Elmo-11-%2F190527439548%3Fpt%3DLH_DefaultDomain_0

We will be updating this link with the correct Tool ID and a simplified Item ID link structure (to replace the Custom URL link structure that is currently in place). Two new parameters will also be added – lgeo and vectorid. These are for internal use and shouldn’t be modified. This is how the link will look after these changes are made:

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&toolid=10041&campid=1234567890&customid=mycustomid&lgeo=0&vectorid=229466&item =190527439548

It’s very important that you adopt these changes in your applications. Providing your tracking information and using the proper Tool ID will ensure that you are getting the correct ePN click URL’s and will automatically populate the correct Tool ID for use in your reports. For more information on how to specify your ePN tracking information, please refer to the Finding API documentation.

You should also take a minute to let us know your eBay Developer Program User ID by logging into to the ePN portal and going to Account > Business Information. By linking your accounts within ePN, we can better serve you if there are ever any issues with the API and reach you directly with any updates on new API capabilities.

Still Using the Shopping and Trading APIs for Search Calls?

The eBay Developer Program has posted more information on their blog regarding the deprecation of the following API calls that are popular among affiliates:

• Shopping APIs: FindItemsAdvanced and FindItems • Trading APIs: GetSearchResults and GetCategoryListings

These API calls will not be available after October 2011 and you may start to receive warning messages in early June if you are still using these calls. Please be aware that your applications may be disrupted if you are not properly handling error messages that are returned from the API.

Here are some highlights from the Developer Program blog post that we hope you find useful in planning your migration from the Shopping/Trading API calls to the Finding API.

Features Only Available in Finding API:

1. Retrieve aspect histograms and filter by aspects and/or domains

2. Support new search capabilities:

  • Item Condition histogram and filters
  • Restrict searches to as many as 3 categories at a time
  • Expedited Shipping filters
  • Top-Rated Sellers Only filter
  • Returns Accepted Only filter

3. Image Search API (findItemsByImage): expand eBay’s capabilities in Fashion to developers for the “More Like This” functionality.

4. Three sizes of gallery image: 140x140, 96x96, 80x80 that users can choose to use based on their application’s needs.

5. Future enhancements to picture URL, Multi-variations, LocatedIn etc. filters and more will be released in May.

How Can I Learn More About Migrating to the Finding API?

The following migration guides map input and output fields for GetSearchResults in the Trading API and FindItemsAdvanced in the Shopping API to the corresponding input and output fields in findItemsAdvanced in the Finding API:

Please feel free to contact the eBay Developer Program for questions or more information on Finding API or migration.

-The eBay Partner Network Team