Category: Developer Tools*

Free ISBN Web Service

From The Programmable Web comes word of, a large database of  books indexed by ISBN. Of interest to developers is the fact that there is a complete (and free) REST API. Items in the site are organized (and accessible) via book, subject, category, author, and publisher index.

Several (ok, many) ECS developers have asked me for similar services over the past year or two and it is great to see this new and powerful service in action. If you build something cool with this (alone or in conjunction with ECS) please drop me a note so that I can give it consideration for this blog.

— Jeff;

AWS with PHP and Ajax

Ajax Magazine is running a multi-part series on the use of PHP and Ajax to create an AWS-powered application:

  • Part 1 is already up. It creates a basic site with dynamic search functionality.
  • Part 2 adds price  comparison across the 6 Amazon sites supported by ECS.
  • Part 3 adds browsing functionality.
  • Part 4 adds a price filter, using a slider widget from the Yahoo UI library.

I will update this post each time a new installment is posted.

By the way, you can also run the application.

— Jeff;

Two New Tutorials: ECS and PHP 5

IBM developerWorks has published two tutorials on how to use ECS with PHP 5:

Create an Amazon storefront using PHP, Part 1: Getting content with Amazon ECS

This is the first of a two-part tutorial that constructs an Amazon storefront using PHP and the Amazon E-Commerce Service (ECS). The storefront constructed will allow shoppers to view items displayed in lists or search for specific items in the store.

Create an Amazon storefront using PHP, Part 2:Shopping Cart, Similarities, Shops

This is Part 2 of a two-part tutorial that constructs an Amazon storefront using PHP and the Amazon E-commerce Service (ECS). This tutorial shows how to create a shopping cart, a browse for similar items feature, a specialty theme shop, and a collectibles shop.

Cool Stuff!

— Jeff;

Mechanical Turk Controller Class in C#

Bitporter_cs_mechanical_turk_requester_c Over at, Andrew has released a nice C# class which provides a clean and simple way to access the Mechanical Turk.

Andrew’s code implements a TurkController class with clean, simple methods like GetQualificationRequests(), GetQualificationTypes(), ApproveQualification(), GetAccountBalance(), CreateQualification(), CreateHIT(), GetReviewableHITs(), DisposeHIT(), and so forth. It uses the SOAP version of the APIs and handles the request signing and error checking.

This code should work fine in the free Express Edition of Visual C#. Download it today, start writing some code, and qualify for the promotion!

Amazon ECS.Net Library

AmazonECS.Net is a free, open source .Net library. The library was used to build the DVDs Universe site.

Classes are provided to represent many ECS search and lookup operations including requests for item details, new releases, browse node children, browse node paths, similar items, top sellers, and the shopping cart. The site also includes demos of each function.

The library can be used in many ways, from a simple item listing in an application or website to a complete high-level ecommerce website including remote shopping cart management. AmazonECS.Net makes it simple to earn money using your Amazon Associates account. It also features a caching engine for all requests to make response times smoother and faster.

Ning Does Amazon!

The freshly released Ning application environment includes a set of APIs to access AWS. The API is rather lean and mean at the moment — it includes ItemSearch and ItemLookup calls, along with some methods for dealing with search results of various types. You will need developer-level access to Ning in order to find and use these calls.

If you have built a Ning application using these APIs, please let us know.