Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Integrating with Amazon

Remember that massive ASIN database that I mentioned in the last post? Well, forget it. It was a poor solution to the problem and a much better one has been found.

Why recreate that Amazon database when they are nice enough to allow coders to access it directly? Thanks to some online examples and a slow week at the real job, reBOOKed now links directly into the Amazon database when searching for titles.

One limitation is that when a user is searching for a book to put into their bookshelf, the Amazon code only returns 10 books (20 if searching for both title and author). This could be expanded, but I have noticed that in every case where someone has manually entered a book, that book is either the first or second choice that shows up in a search. So if someone doesn't see the book they're trying to enter, they either should be more specific in their search or they can assume it's just too obscure and enter it manually like before.

Since the Amazon search is working so nicely now, I went ahead and added Amazon results to the "Explore->Search" results. At the bottom of the page, where there used to be a box that said "Would you like to search Amazon?", instead there is now a group of book cover images. Very neat.

Enjoy, and let me know if anything is not easy to understand or use.

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