Alibris Launches Marketplace for Books, Movies and Music

Romin Irani, December 21st, 2010

AlibrisAlibris, an online marketplace that brings together Indepenent sellers of popular, collectible and bargain books, music and movies has launched a Developer Network. The company is inviting developers to use its API to not only build applications but earn commissions via its affiliate program. The Alibris API exposes most of its data like current books, music and movies on sale, item information, seller information and item/seller reviews.

Announcing the launch of the Developer Portal, Liz Derr, COO of Monsoon Commerce Solutions (of which Alibris is a division) said that the aim of the API was to give developers access to their extensive inventory, thus increasing the reach of the API to various other platforms and devices. Alibris has also launched the “Alibris Recommends” application for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices and the API was used to build  that.

To get started with the Alibris API, you need to register for a developer account. Once registered, you can ask for an API Key. Application developers stand to get a 5% commission on all sales that their applications are able to drive to Alibris. In case you are interested in that, you need to additionally sign up with the Alibris Affliate program, if you are planning to drive traffic through your application to Alibris.

The API is REST-based and the default data format is XML. There is an option that you can use to get JSON data. The current rate limit is 5000 per day with a maximum of 2 calls per second. You need to incorporate some branding guidelines to make sure that your application and Alibris gets the correct attribution.

The current API methods can be invoked in the following format:
http://api.alibris.com/v1/public/<method>?apikey=<apikey>&<other method parameters>

Current methods exposed are:

  • Search method: This returns a list of items that match the input parameters. You can use this method to search for listed items and filter them via various parameters like author, title, etc. An example query to search for all items on photography is given below:http://api.alibris.com/v1/public/search?wquery=photography&apikey=<YOUR_API_KEY>
  • Recommendations method: This returns a list of 6 randomized recommendations for a particular Work Id. A Work Id Alibris-assigned title-author combination that is given a numeric Work ID and which you can typically retrieve via search method results. See details in the Search Method documentation. An example call is given below:

http://api.alibris.com/v1/public/recommend?work=<work_id>&apikey=< YOUR_API_KEY >

  • Reviews method: This returns a list of 10 most recent reviews for a particular Work Id. An example call is given below:

http://api.alibris.com/v1/public/review?work=<work_id>&apikey=< YOUR_API_KEY >

Alibris is definitely making a push to see if developers can expand its presence to different applications and devices. The fact that they launched the iOS based mobile applications, which used their API, at the same time as launching their developer portal would definitely give them more confidence to announce that the API platform is ready to serve.

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One Response to “Alibris Launches Marketplace for Books, Movies and Music”

April 13th, 2011
at 4:02 pm
Comment by: Alibris Invites Developers to Hack Night and Developer Contest

[...] had covered the announcement of Alibris Developer Network in December last year. The Alibris API currently [...]

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