Set up an Amazon Book Store on Google App Engine – 1

24 Feb

Who said good things don’t come for free? They do! Amazon Product Advertising API and Google App Engine are 2 such powerful things that all web developers should know! Google App Engine lets you host your websites/apps for FREE, completely running on Google’s resources, whereas Amazon Product Advertising API allows you to showcase Amazon’s product data on your website for free, and you get a commission of 5% – 15% per purchase made via your site.

We’ll learn to integrate these 2 services in a single app by setting up an Amazon book store on Google app engine.

Divide the app in 3 parts:
1) Set up the basic structure of our app. Make sure all the request handlers are in place and working.

2) The Amazon part of our app: We learn to construct and sign the request url for getting the book data from Amazon.

3) The templating part. We’ll display the books data in a tabular format on our site.

Prerequisites:
1) Amazon Associates Account: Sign up ‘FREE’ over here: Amazon Associates. You’ll get all the credentials required to access Amazon product data: Access keys, Associate tag etc.

2) Python 2.5 and Google App Engine: Download the GAE sdk for Python from Google App Engine downloads page. It works only with Python 2.5. Download Python 2.5. Install GAE and complete the ‘Hello World’ and ‘Guestbook’ tutorials from the docs for Google App Engine. Those are the best tutorials on getting started with GAE. And most important, this tutorial will assume that you have completed those 2 tutorials, and hence know the folder structure and basic files needed.

3) Python programming skills: Yes, you need to know atleast the basics of Python programming. Loops, conditional statements, lists, dictionaries etc. would do.

4) XML: As we will be dealing with XML data, you should know how an XML doc is and it would be very nice if you know how to parse it in Python ( don’t worry if you don’t know to, we will solve that problem later !)

Demo: Click to see my store in action!

Read More: Set up an Amazon Book Store on Google App Engine – 1

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