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AbeBooks supports a variety of inventory management options suitable for large volume sellers. These include:
FTPS is a file-based inventory processing option suitable for sellers with small or large inventories. No specialized technical knowledge is required. Sellers can choose an inventory management program with FTPS connectivity or use FTPS-compatible FTP software like Filezilla, Cyberduck, or Transmit to send their own inventory files.
AbeBooks can process all standard inventory file types and allows the possibility for custom file format conversions.
The AbeBooks Inventory Update API allows booksellers to use custom inventory management applications that meet their particular business requirements. Inventory Update API is best-suited to sellers who plan to send frequent small updates.
AbeBooks has specified a standardized format for requesting updates to bookseller’s inventory from the Inventory Update server and knowledge of a scripting language and XML is essential.
Communication is done via the HTTPS/TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol. Client software to access the server and add, update or delete books can be built using a number of popular programming languages such as Java, C or Perl.
To begin using the Inventory Update API, you will need:
You will access the server using your Bookseller (vendor) Userid and unique API Key. This information must be included in each call to the server.
The following is a list of keywords which will be picked up by our parsing process if they are in the correct field as outlined in the Inventory Update API documentation:
|Connect via FTPS||Connect via HTTPS with custom script|
|No scripting or XML required||Knowledge of a scripting language and XML essential|
|Existing FTPS software can be used||All implementations are custom|
|Inventory data sent in plain text documents||Inventory data sent via XML requests|
|Easy to troubleshoot||Often harder to troubleshoot|
|Requires minimal AbeBooks setup||Does not require any AbeBooks setup|
|Possibility for custom data field structures||Uses standard data field structure|
|Suitable for small updates or large (1M records or more) bulk updates||Limited to 100 item updates per request at 1 request per second|
|Supports compressed (.zip) files||Suited to small bursts of updates rather than bulk changes|
|Slower update time compared to API||Updates are processed faster than with inventory files|
|FTPS supports inventory and image updates||API supports image updates via URL only|