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New Amazon Product Advertising API is here and you need to migrate FAST!

Without much of a fanfare Amazon has rolled out new Product Advertising API version 5. I've been really excited to hear about all the changes to API that Amazon neglected for quite some time.

I usually monitor multitude of amazon support forms to have updates about things like these. But this time it's different - I found zero announcements at all in Google. But stumbled upon this news in an open source library I'm following.

Before going into details on what was actually changed, I'd like to stress out a fact that on 31 October current API will be shut down and everyone who didn't migrate – disconnected.

Changes

For all the nitty-gritty details, side-by-side request and response comparisons check out their documentation.

This API ships with official support for Java, PHP, Python and JavaScript SDK's. Yeat, no Ruby support is in sight (starts crying…)

First thing to do - migrate to new keys

Current users of Amazon Product Advertising API have their accounts linked with AWS. And first thing that Amazon wants all those people to do is to decouple Associate account from AWS.

Here is a fair warning: When you migrate your Product Advertising API account from AWS, your old credentials stay valid for a period of 3 days. After the 3 days period, your old AWS credentials will stop working with Product Advertising API.

So, I recommend doing this immediately – once you issue your new keys, you'll have 3 days to actually start using those. New credentials work with API version 4 and 5, so this requires no code changes.

Moving to new API

As Amazon claims, it could take up to 4 weeks to update.

"We have found that it takes 3 or 4 weeks to make changes to a typical application to upgrade from PA API 4 to PA API 5. The time for testing and deployment depends on your individual installations."

Considering that there is not much in terms of heads-up from PA API team – I recommend to start moving now.

If you depended on any function related to Cart, you should be completely abandoning that solution in a favor of Cart Form. This is actually first step of migration that I did months ago and experience has been fantastic – it actually reduced maintenance burden, complexity of such an important action has went down (in other words, it just works).

Onle after that you can integrate to PA-API 5.0. If your not using any of officially supported SDK's your best bet is to have a sneak peak at their Java code and roll with your own implementation.

Good luck!

Final note

Judging purely by documentation - most of these improvements have been expected by many. A lot of quirky parts of PA API 4 have been removed or significantly improved. Especially moving to JSON and HTTPS POST/RPC(JSON) is a much welcomed change.

But communication wise there is much to be desired:

I really hope that Amazon will move that deadline for PA API v4 deprecation. Seems like everyone I asked is not even aware of this change, everyone is as surprised as I am.