The Web Developer’s Guide To Amazon E-Commerce Service

Big Changes And A Final Update To The Book Examples


Amazon has made some big changes to the Product Advertising API on which this book, and the code samples contained therein, are based. The changes are outlined here: February 21st, 2012 Changes.

They’ve deprecated (e.g. removed) support for a number of operations, stopped returning a lot of product details, and greatly limited the number of products returned by requests. I’m sure there are good technical reasons for these changes, but, as far as this book and the codes samples are concerned, there will be no more updates after this one. I’ve updated the samples to work with the latest WSDL, dated 8-1-2011, and indicated which samples no longer work.

You can download the latest code here: download

This Book Is Now Out Of Print


Judging from reader feedback over the past years, this book has helped a lot of people navigate the original Amazon Web Services API (that API was later re-named “Amazon E-Commerce Service” and is now called the “Product Advertising API“). A fair amount of the content in this book is now outdated and Amazon has significantly improved their documentation in the intervening years. It’s time to make this book “out of print”. Cheers everyone.


The Code Samples Have Been Updated


The book code samples have been revised to work with Amazon’s new digital signature requirement. Various fixes are also included. Download the revised code samples here. The revisions were generally minor and include:

  • All examples tested under PHP 5.2.11
  • Updated everything to use the 10-01-2009 WSDL and REST versions
  • All examples now have the digital signature code included
  • A few minor bug fixes

The Book Is Published!

TheBookCover Product Details
Paperback: 492 pages
Publisher: J9t Publications and (April 12th, 2005)
ISBN: 141162551X
Product Dimensions: 6 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.5 lbs
List Price: $30.00
Your Price: $14.85

Download the Table of Contents (67 Kbyte PDF)

view larger cover image

What’s in the book?


This book is primarily about using PHP to create web applications using Amazon E-Commerce Service 4.0. The target audience is intermediate developers who are creating web applications. That might include people making simple sidebar applications for web sites all the way up to more serious storefronts and even backend inventory systems. Basic understanding of XML and PHP is required, though developers should easily be able to translate the concepts and code samples to other programming languages.

Coverage includes:

  • An overview of the site architecture
  • Strategies for parsing XML responses from Amazon
  • Developing applications using PHP4, PHP5, XSLT, REST, and SOAP
  • Caching and error recovery
  • Developing with Amazon Seller Services — the Amazon Inventory Management System and the Merchants@ API
  • Creating internationalized web applications that take advantage of Amazon’s international presence (e.g.,, etc… )
  • Reference manuals for Amazon E-Commerce Service, Amazon Inventory Management System, and the Merchants@ API

Some Scripts From The Book….


Simple Browse Node traversal: Run the script

Search song titles on International Amazon sites: Run the script
(Note: some web browsers will not respect the META tag which sets the character set to ISO-8859-1 in which case the display may appear garbled)

Pagination example: Run the script

Sorting + pagination example: Run the script

Variations + pagination example: Run the script

Remote shopping cart example : Run the script