Domino Effects and "MTAmazon 3.0"

The holidays has seen a lot of development activity from me, and MTAmazon is not exception. It all started when a user filed a help ticket asking if I would support Amazon’s Access Key system, yet another incarnation of their API key, Developer Token, or Subscriber ID. The answer was “of course I will.” So I started working on the problem and before I knew it, I was upgrading all the Web services calls within MTAmazon to use the most recent and up-to-date version of their APIs.

And now as I begin to unravel the final vesitages of Adam Kalsey’s implementation, I am beginning to reconsider how it all works. Especially how the template tags work.

Amazon’s APIs are incredibly flexible, but the current template tag structure is unfortunately very rigid. So why not introduce a more polymorphic template tag syntax? For example, why not simply pass on to MTAmazon whatever arguments are used within an MTAmazon template tag? For example, imagine marshalling the following MTAmazon template tag:

<MTAmazon Operation="ItemSearch" SearchIndex="Books" 
                     Keywords="dog" ResponseGroup="Request,Small">

Into the following Amazon Web Service REST call?

http://webservices.amazon.com/onca/xml?Service=AWSECommerceService
  &AWSAccessKeyId=[Your Access Key ID Here]
  &Operation=ItemSearch
  &SearchIndex=Books
  &Keywords=dog
  &ResponseGroup=Request,Small

How more straight forward can you get? Not much.

Of course MTAmazon will handle the common attributes for you (like your access key, response group, etc), and will set all the necessary and logical defaults. All you have to do is tell MTAmazon what parameters to use. MTAmazon will parse the response into the template tags as required by each operation (e.g. ItemSearch, ItemLookup, ListSearch, etc).

Anyway, the point is that it is highly unlikely that MTAmazon 1.3.5 will ever see the light of day. It is time to take this plugin to the next level by bringing it completely up-to-date. It has been a long time in coming, but the moment has finally arrived. Stay tuned, as development on MTAmazon 3.0 continues.

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