Using eBay web services with the TaskCentre Web Service Connector

Orbis Software announced the availability of a connection file for eBay. This file is a plug-in for the TaskCentre Web Service Connector tool and simplifies the use of the eBay Trading API. The file enables easy configurable integration with eBay for the automatic downloading of orders and updating of order statuses, stock levels and prices.

The following article from the Orbis Knowledgebase expalins how the tool can be used:

Using eBay web services with the Web Service Connector Tool

Introduction

TaskCentre can be used to automate calls to the eBay Trading API, as described on our Solutions page at http://www.orbis-software.com/solutions/eBay-integration.php. Four operations are made available, which provide the key functionality of downloading products, downloading orders, uploading inventory status changes and uploading order status changes. This article deals with the idiosyncrasies of this web service that you will need to understand in order to use it successfully. If you are familiar with the eBay Trading API, you may wish to note that the operations available make use of the raw calls GetSellerList, GetOrders, ReviseInventoryStatus and CompleteSale. An additional operation, GeteBayDetails, is provided in its raw form for the purpose of retrieving certain metadata, such as the available shipping carriers.

Initial setup

This article assumes that you have already installed the Web Service Connector Tool (service release 4 or higher). Firstly, you need to download our eBay Trading API connection file, which tells the Web Service Connector Tool how to communicate with eBay’s web services. The file is available at http://www.orbis-software.com/software/TaskCentre-eBay-Trading-API-Connection-Release-1_0.zip (the zip file contains the connection file in TCWX format, along with the release notes in PDF format). This must be imported into the Web Service Connector Tool by opening the tool’s global configuration window and clicking on the Import button and locating the TCWX file. Subsequently, you will be prompted to give a descriptive name to the web service configuration (e.g. “eBay Trading API”) and to provide the values of two important parameters, the eBay user token and the eBay site ID. The two paragraphs below describe how you can acquire these values.

Acquiring a user token

A user token is what identifies you to the eBay web service and signifies your consent for TaskCentre to carry out operations on your behalf. To obtain one, you must sign up to the eBay Developers Program at https://developer.ebay.com/join/. After signing up, click on the activation link that will be emailed to you, and then navigate to https://developer.ebay.com/DevZone/account/ to generate a set of production keys (you do not need to make note of these). Finally, go to https://developer.ebay.com/DevZone/account/appsettings/Tokens/, select the set of keys that you have just generated, and then click on “Generate Token” and enter the username and password of your eBay account in order to get your token. Screenshots illustrating this process can be found at http://www.orbis-software.com/knowledge-base/viewArticle.php?id=178.

Determining your site ID

A site ID is what the eBay web service uses to determine which of the numerous global eBay websites you are dealing with. Site ID 3, which signifies the eBay United Kingdom website, is specified by default. A list of all of the possible site IDs is available at http://developer.ebay.com/DevZone/XML/docs/Reference/ebay/types/SiteCodeType.html.

Sandbox environment

If you wish to test your eBay tasks before deployment, you may wish to direct your web service calls towards eBay’s Sandbox testing environment instead of the live eBay site.

Using the eBay Sandbox website

The eBay Sandbox website is located at http://www.sandbox.ebay.com/ and is a copy of the real eBay site, using pretend money instead of real money and pretend products instead of real products. You can list items for sale on the Sandbox site, buy them using the pretend money, and then use TaskCentre to make test web service calls to retrieve information about your pretend products and orders.

Making calls to the eBay Sandbox web service

To direct your calls towards the Sandbox web service, you should open the global configuration of the Web Service Connector Tool, locate the eBay Trading API connection file, open it with the Edit button, navigate to the “Web service root” tab, and then replace the URL with the following: https://api.sandbox.ebay.com/ws/api.dll. To reverse this change and revert to making calls to the live eBay web service, repeat these steps and change the URL back to the following: https://api.ebay.com/ws/api.dll.

 

Fisher Technology is the North American Distributor for TaskCentre.

 

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