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Generic Amazon E-commerce REST API using Hpricot with configurable default options and method call options. Uses Response and Element wrapper classes for easy access to REST XML output. It supports ECS 4.0.

It is generic, so you can easily extend AmazonAssociate::Request to support other not implemented REST operations; and it is also generic because it just wraps around Hpricot element object, instead of providing one-to-one object/attributes to XML elements map.

If in the future, there is a change in REST XML output structure, no changes will be required on amazon-ecs library, instead you just need to change the element path.

NOTE: You must now specify a secret key to support request signing as required by Amazon.

Version: 0.6.1


  • instance based refactoring (singletons are not ideal here)


$ gem install dpickett-amazon_associate


require 'amazon_associate'

# set the default options; options will be camelized and converted to REST request parameters.
AmazonAssociate::Request.configure do |options|
  options[:aWS_access_key_id] = [your developer token]
  options[:secrety_key] = [your secret key]

# options provided on method call will merge with the default options
res = AmazonAssociate::Request.item_search('ruby', {:response_group => 'Medium', :sort => 'salesrank'})

# some common response object methods
res.is_valid_request?     # return true if request is valid
res.has_error?            # return true if there is an error
res.error                 # return error message if there is any
res.total_pages           # return total pages
res.total_results         # return total results
res.item_page             # return current page no if :item_page option is provided

# traverse through each item (AmazonAssociate::Element)
res.items.each do |item|
  # retrieve string value using XML path

  # or return AmazonAssociate::Element instance
  atts = item.search_and_convert('itemattributes')

  # return first author or a string array of authors
  atts.get('author')          # 'Author 1'
  atts.get_array('author')    # ['Author 1', 'Author 2', ...]

  # return an hash of children text values with the element names as the keys
  item.get_hash('smallimage') # {:url => ..., :width => ..., :height => ...}

  # note that '/' returns Hpricot::Elements array object, nil if not found
  reviews = item/'editorialreview'

  # traverse through Hpricot elements
  reviews.each do |review|
    # Getting hash value out of Hpricot element
    AmazonAssociate::Element.get_hash(review) # [:source => ..., :content ==> ...]

    # Or to get unescaped HTML values
    AmazonAssociate::Element.get_unescaped(review, 'source')
    AmazonAssociate::Element.get_unescaped(review, 'content')

    # Or this way
    el =

  # returns AmazonAssociate::Element instead of string

Refer to Amazon Associate's documentation for more information on Amazon REST request parameters and XML output:

To get a sample of Amazon REST response XML output, use scratch pad:


Filesystem caching is now available.

AmazonAssociate::Request.configure do |options|
  options[:aWS_access_key_id] = [your developer token]
  options[:scret_key] = [your secret key]
  options[:caching_strategy] = :filesystem
  options[:caching_options] = {
    :disk_quota      => 200,
    :cache_path      => <path where you want to store requests>,
    :sweep_frequency => 4

The above command will cache up to 200MB of requests. It will purge the cache every 4 hours or when the disk quota has been exceeded.

Every request will be stored in the cache path. On every request, AmazonAssociate::Request will check for the presence of the cached file before querying Amazon directly.



(The MIT License)

Copyright © 2008 Dan Pickett, Enlight Solutions, Inc.