In 2009, Amazon released a single API - the Product Advertising API, or PA-API. Next, in November 2010, Amazon released two PA-API versions, one for its sellers and one for its partners or associates.

The PA-API had a low barrier to entry, so many programmers took advantage of it to drive traffic to their website. Even as they did so, Amazon did not derive any benefit: Traffic was not coming back to its site, while the load on its servers grew. Amazon decided to tighten control over use of the API gradually.

First, the PA-API for associates was divided into two versions. One version was simplified by removing its function to accurately identify sellers and prices and by limiting the flow of data to be processed.

These changes have not affected the PA-API for sellers, but Amazon is releasing the new MWS Products API, which will replace the PA-API for sellers.

The new API barrier to entry is much higher. To use the API, it is not enough to have an email; a user must also be a legitimate seller on Amazon or pay for access on a monthly basis. While the PA-API for sellers will be replaced by the MWS Products API, the PA-API for associates will continue to function in the version which was released August 1, 2011.

Amazon Product Manager PA-API version for Amazon associates

Magento Amazon Integration can be achieved using Amazon Products Manager extension. Magento extension is based on the PA-API version for Amazon associates. The new MWS Products API is completely different than its predecessor, so it requires a separate module, and this extension will perform somewhat different tasks. Since the MWS Products API is not yet operational, we think many more changes are on the horizon. The new extension will include not only the MWS Products API but also other versions of the MWS API: Reports, Inventory, Orders, and Sellers.

Therefore, we decided that it would be best to spend time on the release of the potential PA-API for associates. In the current version, we bypassed the import configurable products. We also got useful feedback on importing reviews directly to the Magento database.

New features in the Amazon Product Manager

1 Add new locale – Spain

Add new locale – Spain — Imports from this country do not always work, and developers have yet to determine why. More info »

The only assumption that we can make is that the country cannot cope with the load and periodically refuses to process data. The error message is “SSL connection required for SOAP authentication.” (This error is strange, because the request goes through https.) However, if you stop sending requests but send the same query over time, the server will process it and give the expected result. We assume the reason for the problem is the server load.

2 Add import Amazon Reviews

Add import Amazon Reviews to the Magento database — We had to parse the page on Amazon, because direct extraction from the API is not possible.

During the transition to the new MWS API, Amazon is blocking suspicious accounts used to access the PA-API for associates. If a customer uses the same account to access the PA-API for sellers, the customer can contact the Amazon support team to have it removed from the blacklist.