Thursday 19 July 2007

Finding a working PHP eBay API...

If you are trying to understand the eBay communication APIs, then you have commited yourself to a BIG leaning curve.

As I have walked the walk already(I worked for eBay), I hope my experiences can help those who follow me up this monumental path..

All eBay programming APIs are designed to talk to the exposed eBay services. These services are constantly evolving. As they evolve, older versions become obsolete.

These older version are usually supported for about 14 months after a new version is created, however, they will eventually fall off the supported list and start to cause API call failure.

So to make sure you can design applications that talk correctly to the eBay services, you need an uptodate API.

FYI: you will need to keep your API up-to-date as well duing the lifetime of your application. As the APIs are really a communication layer, you should be ok calling them directly, rather than implementing your own abstraction layer on top.

So far we have managed to find one fully functional PHP API.
You can get this from IN TRADE SYS at this url:

These guys seem to be totally up to date with the current version of the eBay services platform. They also provide a few samples and some basic documentation...

Definetely Recomended if you are looking to develope eBay applications with PHP.


  1. I tried there API and it works a treat. Best PHP API for eBay I have used.

  2. Reply to George: Well eBay does a fairly good job keeping there APi working considering how many calls it gets a day. Now there API's are either JSON, SOAP, or REST style APi's which are friendly to most languages. AKA they do not have a PHP api themselves. It's up to developers to create the native language API interface.

    Don't get me wrong as someone who's dealt with there API it's far from perfect. Causes a LOT of headaches.

    Re: IN TRADE SYS up to date. Well, I've not looked at there API in a while, but it's far from up to date Compatibility Level 347 (the most recent in end of March, 2004). It's a GREAT start though.

    I've been told to try Michael Hawthornthwaite's eBay API for PHP but I've not tried it myself.


  3. I don't see why the eBay API would go out of date. They are constantly creating new versions, but you specify your API version with each call.

  4. Silicon loop: the issue here is the support at the eBay end of the communications. Can you imagine what it would be like to support/fix every API version since the beginning, especially as they release an update every 2 weeks. They are now in the 300's. By only keeping API versions live for 14 months, they guarentee only 50 or so concurrent API are running, which is a manageable number. The reason you specify the API version, is that it is then possible to check the API call is properly configured and verified with an sutomated system, as well as inform you if it is out of date.

  5. The style of writing is very familiar to me. Did you write guest posts for other bloggers?

  6. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in it.