Frequently Asked Questions
What is PA API 5.0?
PA API 5.0 (PA API 5) is the latest version of the Product Advertising API. It has been upgraded from prior version PA API 4 to give access to the latest retail product information. PA API 5 is available in United States (US), Canada (CA), Mexico (MX), Brazil (BR), United Kingdom (UK), Germany (DE), Spain (ES), France (FR), India (IN), Italy (IT), United Arab Emirates (AE), Turkey (TR), Japan (JP), and Australia (AU) marketplaces. All new marketplaces will only be supported in PA API 5. See Locale Reference for more details.
I am using PA API 4. Why do I need to upgrade to newer version of PA API?
PA API 5 gives you access to the latest features that can give you not only the most important features available in PA API 4 but also new features that are added to Amazon’s products. These new capabilities will help you deliver improved shopping experiences to your customers. PA API 5 has new support for developers to easily integrate with the API and reduce time to develop your applications and sites. All future product enhancements will made available only through PA API 5. For detailed list of new features, please see the questions below and documentation. PA API 4 is built on technology that is being deprecated. We will be shutting down PA API 4 on October 31, 2019. All your applications and sites using PA API 4 will not work as expected after that. Hence, it is important to upgrade to latest version of PA API.
What is the business value of upgrading to PA API 5 to an Associate?
PA API 5 is an API to help you as an Associate to advertise products and earn commission as a result. It gives you the following benefits:
- Increase your ability to monetize your site and social media posts by selling products available on Amazon through your site, using global scale Amazon Product Advertising API (PA API 5) and web service.
- Access information about the latest offers and products in the entire Amazon product database / catalog.
- Newer, improved ways to get most relevant product information to advertise.
- Rapid integration and easier development with lower engineering cost through use of popular tools and languages.
- Upgrade from PA API 4 before the service is turned off to avoid downtime and loss of revenue.
- NEW! Access the most relevant product data available on Amazon's retail site: information on new offerings like Prime, Free Shipping, etc. are available through PA API 5.
- NEW! Discover products and offers using better search results of products for your content research by filtering for Prime, FulfillmentByAmazon and additional programs.
- IMPROVED! Identify the best products to promote using more granular sales ranks within categories.
- NEW! Scale to global markets by globalizing and regionalizing your content - multiple currencies and multiple languages.
- NEW! Find more offers and promotions information - PA API 5 returns new offer information such as SubscribeAndSave promotion with discounted pricing.
- Get programmatic access to the latest Amazon product offerings using information about item attributes, offers, images, sales ranks.
- NEW! Promote products that are in Prime exclusive, PrimePantry, Fulfilled by Amazon programs to improve your conversion among Amazon customers.
- NEW! For global customers, retrieve price information in currency format and product information in language of choice to target global marketplaces.
What is the technical benefit of upgrading to PA API 5 as a developer?
- IMPROVED! Identify the best products to promote using more granular sales ranks within categories - PA API 5 now returns sales rank information against each category in consistent format as you see on Amazon's product page. (PA API 4 only had a single rank.)
- NEW! Flexibility of data processing using JSON interchange format which is more readable, faster, more flexible in processing and much lighter.
- NEW! PA API 5 uses the latest AWS signature version 4 that provides improved security by using a signing key instead of your secret access keys.
If I am a PA API user today, what do I have to do to upgrade to PA API 5?
If you use PA API 4 today, you can upgrade to PA API 5 using the following steps.
- If you are using old AWS credentials migrate your account to new PA API account.
- Get new credentials from Associate Central.
- Test PA API 5 using Scratchpad.
- Update all your applications and sites to integrate with PA API 5 APIs replacing PA API 4
- Test and deploy your newly upgraded application. A detailed guide is available in Migration guide.
Does this mean that to upgrade my PA API 4 site to PA API 5, I will have to update my site or application?
Yes, if you are already using PA API 4, you will have to update your site or application using PA API 5 to replace all PA API 4 API calls with equivalent PA API 5 APIs. For your benefit, we have provided a simple table mapping the PA API 4 API calls to PA API 5 API calls in the migration guide.
How much effort and time will be required to upgrade to PA API 5 from PA API 4?
The effort and time required to upgrade to PA API 5 will depend on the complexity of your site or application. We cannot accurately provide this information. We have found that it takes 3 or 4 weeks to make changes to a typical application to upgrade from PA API 4 to PA API 5. The time for testing and deployment depends on your individual installations. During the upgrade period from now until Oct 31, 2019 you can access both PA API 4 and PA API 5. To make it easier, we have provided documentation with troubleshooting. You can also contact us on the email provided in the FAQ.
Do I need new credentials to access PA API 5 or can I use my old ones?
If you have generated credentials after September 30th 2017, there is no action required from you. If you have generated credentials before September 29th 2017, please visit Associates Central’s PA API page and click the “migrate now” button which will refresh your credentials with ones that are compatible with PA API 5. Make sure you login with your primary owner account. See Migrating your account for more information. Please ensure you update all your existing credential stores and configuration files immediately, to continue successfully using PA API.
I do not remember if I generated new credentials. How do I know if I have old or new credentials?
The easiest way to test PA API is to use look at the PA API page on the Associates Central. Make sure you login with your primary owner account.
- Please use PA API 5 Scratchpad to check if your credentials are compatible with PA API 5. Use “Start Tour” option to get tour of the Scratchpad, if you have any questions refer Scratchpad usage guide section.
- If you are getting “AccessDeniedException” with “AccessDeniedAwsUsers” code, please visit PA API tab on Associates Central website and migrate your credential.
- If you are not getting above exception play around with the Scratchpad to see functionality provided in PA API 5.
- During your application development if you ever want to debug your application, you can use Scratchpad to confirm API’s responses. More details in the question relating to ‘additional help’.
Can I use the new credentials to access PA API 4?
Yes, you can use the new credentials to access PA API 4. You may do so until PA API 4 access is shutdown on October 31, 2019. You can also continue to use the old credentials with PA API 4 until it is available. But rather than managing two sets of credentials – old and new, you can use the new credentials with all PA API versions.
If I have upgraded to PA API 5, can I roll back to PA API 4?
Once you have upgraded to PA API 5, you can continue to use both PA API 5 and PA API 4. This will allow you to use both systems in parallel for testing while you are upgrading preventing any downtime. On October 31, 2019, we will be shutting down PA API 4 after which you will not be able to use it. You can continue to use PA API 5 with the latest credentials.
When I upgrade to PA API 5, do the efficiency guidelines apply?
Yes, once you have upgraded to PA API 5, the same Efficiency guidelines and limits apply.
I have never used PA API. What do I have to do to use PA API 5?
If you signed up to be part of Amazon Associate program and your account is approved, you will can request for access to PA API. Once you get the credentials from Associates Central you can use it to call PA API 5. For more information see Register for PA API.
I have questions or have feedback. How can I get additional help?
If you have any questions/feedback, you can get help in any of the following ways:
- The documentation has many examples of using PA API 5.
- For error codes and messages, see Error Handling.
- To create example requests and code samples, see Using the Amazon Product Advertising API 5.0 Scratchpad.
- You can send email for technical help to email@example.com with following information.
- Please include your email id and store id associated with your associate account.
- You should also include your sample request/response along with screenshots for reference.
- The emails should be in English.