27 posts categorized " Amazon Marketplace Web Service "

August 29, 2011

Spreading out your Amazon MWS requests

Many of us work by the clock, and when the big hand is pointing skyward, that's when we do things. Meetings often start "on the hour" as do many forms of entertainment, programs, and services. But "on the hour" is not a good time to submit lots of requests to Amazon MWS. Because many of your neighbors are doing the exact same thing, when everyone submits requests at the same time, the service can be overwhelmed, affecting its availability.

 

Almost all web services have request rate limits, limits that prevent the service from being overwhelmed by requests. Amazon MWS enforces these limits through a technique called throttling, only allowing a certain rate of requests per operation from all users. Requests that exceed this limit are throttled, resulting in the operation failing with a response code of 503 (Service temporarily unavailable). So one thing you need to consider as a developer using Amazon MWS is when is the best time to submit your requests.

 

The few best practices for timing requests are these:

  • Pick a random time to call Amazon MWS, not a predictable one such as at the top of the hour or even on the minute.
  • For periodic requests, add a jitter (small random variance) to your wait time. So, for example, if you are calling a particular Amazon MWS operation at 10-minute intervals, with a jitter you would still call Amazon MWS six times an hour, but at random intervals varying from, say, 9 to 11 minutes. An initial request could be made at a random time, such as three minutes and 19 seconds after the hour, and then every 10 minutes with a 10% jitter.

 

Suppose you are submitting a request to list orders every 10 minutes for a large number of clients. You should stagger these requests so that all the requests are not submitted at once. This keeps the Amazon MWS web service from possibly being overwhelmed and allows other sellers to submit feeds or retrieve reports. Amazon Services periodically reviews the Amazon MWS web service availability and will loosen restrictions when appropriate. Sellers who spread out their requests over the day, reducing peak usage, can increase the service's availability and reduce the amount of throttling required to keep the service available.

 

Amazon MWS receives a big bursts of requests on the hour. If you spread these requests out over the hour and randomize when you submit your initial requests, everyone wins.

August 15, 2011

Expanded List of Planned Outages for MWS

Greetings,

Amazon Marketplace Web Service (MWS) will experience several planned outages this week. Below is a list of these scheduled partial or complete outages sorted by the region that will be affected.

NA

On Wednesday, August 17, 2011, from 10 PM PST to 10:30 PM PST, there will be a 30-minute scheduled outage of Amazon MWS.  During the outage it will not be possible to use Amazon MWS.

EU

On Tuesday, 16 August from 00:00 – 00:30 GMT (02:00 – 02:30 CEST), there will be a partial outage that could last as long as 30-minute for the Amazon MWS Orders API. During this time, users will not be able to use the Orders API.

On Wednesday, 17 August from 00:00 – 00:30 GMT (02:00 – 02:30 CEST), there will be a 30-minute scheduled outage of Amazon MWS. During the outage it will not be possible to use Amazon MWS.

JP

On Thursday, August 18 from 2:00 am to 2:30 am (Asia/Tokyo time zone), there will be a 30-minute scheduled outage of Amazon MWS. During the outage it will not be possible to use MWS.

CN

On Wednesday, August 17 from 1:00 am to 1:30 am (Asia/Shanghai time zone), there will be a 30-minute scheduled outage of Amazon MWS. During the outage it will not be possible to use MWS

During these times, any request submitted to MWS will receive an error code of ServiceUnavailable and a status code of 503. To successfully submit a request, sellers are advised to resubmit their request after the scheduled outage has completed.

Amazon Marketplace Web Service

August 12, 2011

Upcoming Planned MWS Outages in NA (North America) and EU (Europe)

On Wednesday, August 17, 2011, at 10 PM PST (8/18/11 05:00 am GMT)  there will be a 30-minute scheduled outage of the Amazon NA feeds processing and report generation system to perform system upgrades. This outage will impact the NA Seller Central interface and usage of the MWS, SOAP, and AIM APIs. During the outage it will not be possible to submit new feeds or retrieve reports. Any feeds and reports being processed before the outage will be delayed until the outage is over.

 

On 17 August from 00:00 – 00:30 GMT (02:00 – 02:30 CEST) there will be a 30-minute scheduled outage of the Amazon EU feeds processing and report generation system to perform system upgrades. This outage will impact the EU Seller Central interface and usage of the MWS, SOAP, and AIM APIs. During the outage it will not be possible to submit new feeds or retrieve reports. Any feeds and reports being processed before the outage will be delayed until the outage is over.

 

During these times, any request submitted to MWS will receive an error code of ServiceUnavailable and a status code of 503. To successfully submit a request, resubmit your request after the scheduled outage has completed.

August 09, 2011

Two Scheduled Outages of the Amazon Europe Feeds Processing and Report Generation System

On 10 August from 00:00 – 00:30 GMT (02:00 – 02:30 CEST) there will be a 30-minute scheduled outage of the Amazon EU feeds processing and report generation system to perform system upgrades. This outage will impact the EU Seller Central interface and usage of the MWS, SOAP, and AIM APIs. During the outage it will not be possible to submit new feeds or retrieve reports. Any feeds and reports being processed before the outage will be delayed until the outage is over.

 

On 12 August from 00:00 – 00:30 GMT (02:00 – 02:30 CEST) there will be a partial outage that could last as long as 30-minute for the Amazon EU feeds processing and report generation system to perform system upgrades. During this timeframe, users that interact with the feeds and reporting system should be able to submit and receive feeds and reports. However, some feeds and reports being processed by the system will be delayed for processing during the outage window.

July 29, 2011

Have a look at the All Orders Report

Amazon MWS released a new orders report in January that you may not have heard about. The report is called the All Orders report and is available in XML and tab-delimited TXT formats. It is not intended for fulfillment management but for order analysis, such as comparing sales channels.

 

The All Orders report:

  • Can be manually requested either using Seller Central or by using the Amazon MWS Reports API section
  • Presents data by either Order Date or Last Update Date
  • Can have a date range of 30 days over the last 25 months of data history
  • Shows both seller-fulfilled orders and FBA orders
  • Is available for all sellers

 

The report types for the All Orders report are:

_GET_FLAT_FILE_ALL_ORDERS_DATA_BY_LAST_UPDATE_

_GET_FLAT_FILE_ALL_ORDERS_DATA_BY_ORDER_DATE_

_GET_XML_ALL_ORDERS_DATA_BY_LAST_UPDATE_

_GET_XML_ALL_ORDERS_DATA_BY_ORDER_DATE_

 

The All Orders report shows the current order status, the fulfillment channel and the delivery service.

 

All-orders1

 

The All Orders report also shows order quantity but does not show financial details for pending orders.

 

All-orders2

 

Here is how the All Orders report compares to a regular order report and an FBA shipment report:

 

All-orders3

 

As with all reports, you request the All Orders report using the RequestReport operation. You then provide the report type (listed above) that you want. Remember that you can also use the MWS Scratchpad application to submit the report request if you want to look at the report.

 

 

Thanks to Thomas Muenchhausen in Amazon EU for the graphics.

 

 

 

June 01, 2011

Best Practices for Submitting Item Feeds

If you use feeds to update your product listings, there are a number of things you can do to decrease their processing time.

After the initial upload, you do not need to provide complete product information in your feed, unless you are updating all aspects of your existing listing. If you intend to update only your prices and quantities, your feed will process quicker if it doesn’t include any listing data you don’t wish to modify.

Feed data can be broken into four parts: Amazon Sign

  1. Price
  2. Inventory and lead time to ship
  3. Images
  4. Product Data and Relationship Data
     (description, bullet points, category, etc.)

To create Pricing and Inventory feeds, eliminate from your feed any product data that typically does not change (particularly Product, Relationship and Image information). You can maintain a separate feed that contains full product data that you can upload when that data changes. Below are the fields required for creation of Pricing and Inventory feeds:

  • sku, item-price, currency – this will update just your price (you can also submit sale prices in this feed)
  • sku, quantity, leadtime-to-ship – this will updated your quantity; leadtime-to-ship must be included if the item does not have the default 1-2 day leadtime-to-ship

April 05, 2011

New Tool for Amazon MWS Developers

If you've found that creating a correct URL request or query signature for Amazon MWS has been daunting, there is a new tool that can help you. You can also use this new tool to get to know the various API sections and operations that Amazon MWS offers.

The Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS) team has created a simple application called Amazon MWS Scratchpad. It lets you submit report requests, feeds, and order queries, all by typing the parameters into several textboxes. When you click the Submit button, the tool automatically creates a valid request signature, a timestamp, and an MD5 header, and then submits your request to Amazon MWS.

After your request is processed, you can not only view the returned response but you can see the constructed URL request and the calculated signature of your request. This lets you see how these inputs look when correctly formatted.

 

All the Amazon MWS API sections and operations can be used with Amazon MWS Scratchpad. Required and optional parameters are shown, and you can add multiple parameters when allowed. You can also use Amazon MWS Scratchpad to submit a feed. Simply paste the feed into the textbox under the Feed tab (don't forget to select the correct FeedType), and then enter the required credentials and click the Submit button. Note that the feed will be working with your production data; this is not a test environment.

 

You can get to Amazon MWS Scratchpad by clicking the "Amazon MWS Scratchpad" link on the Amazon MWS portal page for your region:

 

• CA: http://developer.amazonservices.ca

• DE: http://developer.amazonservices.de

• FR: http://developer.amazonservices.fr

• JP: http://developer.amazonservices.jp

• UK: http://developer.amazonservices.co.uk

• US: http://developer.amazonservices.com

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