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  1. #1
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    21
    I was wondering what the difference was, if any. Do some merchants provide live feed, or do the just provide the .txt file and use have to use a tool such as webmerge?


    Just trying to learn

  2. #2
    Just Lurking
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    1,263
    XML is a way of structuring data but instead of using TABS or COMMAS it uses tags that look like HTML. You can makeup the tags to suit the data your working with. You could have tags for <PRICE>...</PRICE> or <DESCRIPTION>..</DESCRIPTION>. Which add to the size of the datafeed.

    ------------------------------
    "A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." -- Mahatma Gandhi

  3. #3
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    21
    So is there a way to automate the process of inputing the xml tags in to a site. Does the merchant provide the tools to do so , if there is a way?


    Thanks

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    1,663
    The whole Amazon affiliate datafeed is built on XML. An html call is made to Amazon and the requested info is returned via XML (when it works.) It is up to the publisher in this case to write the code to parse the returned text. I use ASP but there are many ways to do it. Don't know what merchant you have in mind, but as we've seen in other threads, merchants generally leave it up to the publisher to create a use for their data, (which suits me fine.)

    The beauty of XML in Amazon's case is the data is always fresh. The downside is it is occasionally wrong and the servers are often down which shuts down everyone depending on them.

    Wayne

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    50
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by NorthernStudio:
    The beauty of XML in Amazon's case is the data is always fresh. The downside is it is occasionally wrong and the servers are often down which shuts down everyone depending on them.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Everyone except those who cache results and build failover into their system. In other words, save the result of your xml call and use the saved version until a sufficient amount of time has passed that you think the data might have changed. Then do a new call to refresh your cache. At that point you add logic that if Amazon's feed is down you pull the result from your saved copy.

    The data being wrong is another story. Not much you can do about that.

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