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  1. #1
    Member
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    April 30th, 2008
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    Data Pack API Suggestion
    Hi,

    The PopShops' Data Pack API is nice. I'm able to get products from the advertisers with whom I'm affiliated with no problem. However, one problem I'm facing is creating a price comparison page.

    Currently, I can search for a product by product_id and retrieve its details. However, the same product can have multiple product_ids and each are tied to a specific merchant. In order to do a price comparison, I'd have to make as many calls to the API as the product is returned in the results, supplying a different product_id each time.

    I suggest that PopShops use the product's UPC/EAN as it can have only one (I think). In your database, that unique number should be linked to all merchants that actually sell that product. Also, add a "product_upc" parameter that permits searching for products by UPC/EAN. Finally, there should a list of merchants who sell that particular product along with their prices for it in the returned results. Taking such steps would make creating price comparisons much easier for us developers.

    This is just a suggestion. I hope you guys (and gals) give it some consideration.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.

  2. #2
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    January 2nd, 2008
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    You can find documentation on the pricing comparison at http://www.popshops.com/faq/affiliat...ice_comparison

    You can do a normal search for products and include the parameter "include_product_groups=1", this will bring back products as well as additional parameters indicating if that product is available from multiple merchants.

    We can't just use a product's UPC/EAN as a lot of products are missing that data in the feeds, so we work to "group" products on different factors. We are working toward a UPC search in the future.

    For now, you can get at comparison data easily.

    Here is an example:

    http://api.popshops.com/v2/brgymtenm...oduct_groups=1

    This will perform a search for ipods, and also indicate if the product is part of a product group by placing a product_group_id attribute on the product node. It will also give you how many offers for that specific product are available (product_group_product_count) and how many merchants the offers are from (product_group_merchant_count). You also get a minimum and maximum price.

    Let's say I'm interested in a 32gb ipod. From my previous search I have a product_group_id 29084118 for a 32gb ipod. I can now make a call to get other 32gb ipod's available from other merchants.

    http://api.popshops.com/v2/brgymtenm...up_id=29084118

    This will return all of the products in that product group, as well as merchant data for all of the products in that group. You shouldn't need to make multiple calls to get all of the product data for that group. You should just need to make the one call.

  3. #3
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    April 30th, 2008
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    @danharms

    Thanks for the response.

    Due to the examples you provided, I now have a much better grasp of the API's capabilities. It's awesome stuff!

    Still, in my own tests, the API isn't returning the same response fields. For instance, using my API keys, searching for "vitamins" and specifying "include_product_groups=1" yields no product_group_id fields at all. But if I were to substitute the word "ipod" with "vitamins" in the first example you provided (using the example API keys provided), I get product_group_id fields in the response. Why is that?

    However, the second example you provided doesn't match what the documentation says. According to the docs, the "product_group_id" can only be passed when the "keywords" parameter is present. Well, the second example retrieves products using the product_group_id parameter and not the keywords parameter. Strange.

    Also, is there an xml schema file for the Data Pack API?

    Thanks for the concern.

  4. #4
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    January 2nd, 2008
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    The "include_product_groups=1" flag indicates that product group information will be returned if it is available, not that it is required for all products. So your 'vitamin' example just happens to have products being returned that are not a part of a product group. A lot of that is also dependent on what merchants you have in your catalog. The more merchants, the more likely the catalog will return product groups because it has more merchants available to build the groups out of. Make sense? So instead of not returning any results, the api will still bring back products, even though they don't belong to a product group.

    As for the documentation with the "keywords" parameter and product_group_id, this was true of an earlier version of the api, but isn't required anymore. I'll try and get that cleaned up.

    Finally, there is currently no xml schema file available.

  5. #5
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    April 30th, 2008
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    @danharms

    Thanks again for the response. You gave a clear explanation of things (although further testing lead me to the same conclusion).

    Ideally, every product would be a member of a product group, but that would be an impossible feat. There are far too many products to sift through to determine what group to include them in! If only the merchants would include product UPCs in their feeds. I think that data would go a long way towards making each product a member of at least one product group more feasible.

    The xml schema file is not a necessity. I only asked because I'm using LINQ to XML and a schema file would allow for speedy development on my end. With or without it, I can get things done.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Caseyfern's Avatar
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    @dude-dastic: The way I understand it, keywords aren't visible, searchable even in Data Pack, nor are the contents of fields other than what we can already see in regular Shopbuilder. The presence of product UPCs wouldn't make much of a difference if I'm right.

    @danharms: Mmm, searchable keywords… A girl can dream, can't she?

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