Important upcoming ASA2 update! Amazon PA API version 4 will no longer be supported from November 2019

Timo ASA 2 Pro, Updates 2 Comments

As you may have noticed, Amazon is updating its Product Advertising API (PA API) from version 4 to 5.

First things first:

  • The current version 4 of the PA API will only be supported by Amazon until October 31, 2019.
  • From November 2019 only the PA API 5.0 will work.
  • ASA2 will continue to support the new PA API 5.0 from version 1.12 on.

But this means that the previous version 1.11 or older versions of ASA2 will not be compatible with the PA API from November 2019 on!

The new ASA2 update is nearing completion. Since Amazon published this change very time-critically (in September 2019), an earlier release of the new ASA2 version was unfortunately not feasible. The release for the new update is planned for at least one week before the end of October.

Learn more about the PA API 5.0 on Amazon’s Product Advertising API 5.0 documentation page.

Three steps to prepare for the changes

You can already take some preparations that are necessary to use the new PA API 5.0 compatible ASA2 version 1.12.

Step 1: AWS Account Upgrade (mandatory)

You need to check if your AWS account is compatible with the new PA API 5.0.

Therefore log in on the PartnerNet page of your country and change to the area “Tools / Product Advertising API”. If your account is not yet compatible, you will find the “Migrate” option in the “Manage Your Credentials” section. Use this to get a new combination of Access Key and Secret Access Key that is compatible with PA API version 5.0.

For more details, check the Amazon documentation page “Migrating your Product Advertising API Account from your AWS Account“.

This new account is still compatible with PA API 4 and can already be used with the current ASA2. This ensures a smooth transition.

After the migration or if your account was already compatible, you will see a table with your Access Key IDs here.

Step 2: PHP Version >= 5.5 better 7.2+ (mandatory)

The new ASA2 version 1.12 will require PHP 5.5. You can check which version is currently running on your server in the section “ASA2 / Service” in the box “Server Environment”. If you scroll down a bit in the text field, you will see the section “# PHP” and the version directly below.

Please note: It is recommended to use at least PHP 7.1, because all older versions are no longer provided with security patches (see: PHP Supported Versions). ASA2 officially only requires an older version, because it is theoretically still executable with it. For security and performance reasons PHP 7.2 or newer is highly recommended.

The official WordPress requirements for PHP are currently 7.3+, see WordPress Requirements.

If your PHP version is less than 5.5, please contact your web host and ask how to upgrade to PHP 7.1 or higher. If this is not possible (which hopefully will not be the case), you should change your webhost as soon as possible.

Step 3: ASA2 Template Placeholders (optional)

To calm you down: The managed templates included in ASA2 will continue to work as usual.

This step is only necessary if you use custom templates or ASA2’s PHP functions.

But the new PA API version 5.0 no longer supports all the values we know from the previous version. We have tried to continue to support all placeholders available in ASA2 and have succeeded with the most important ones (e.g. prices and images).

However, if you use custom templates or use the ASA2 PHP functions to display products, you should carefully read the following overview of the changes and check if your individual implementations are affected.

Deprecated Placeholders

These placeholders are no longer supported with the new PA API version 5.0 from November 2019. They still work, but contain no more values.

  • {{ LinkAddToWishlist }}
  • {{ LinkAllCustomerReviews }}
  • {{ LinkAllOffers }}
  • {{ LinkTellAFriend }}
  • {{OffersTotalOfferPages }}
  • {{ Platform }}
  • {{ Publisher }}
  • {{ CustomerReviewsURL }}

Deprecated Placeholders with Alternative

The following placeholders are no longer supported, but there are alternatives for them that can be used from November 2019.

  • {{ Label }} Alternative: {{ Brand }}
  • {{ Studio }} Alternative: {{ Manufactorer }}

Changes with Placeholders

Prices

For price placeholders that display the formatted price (including the currency symbols like {{ OffersAutoPriceFormattedPrice }}), there may be a format that differs from the previous format depending on the currency / country. For example, the format for Euro in Germany was “EUR 24,99”. With the PA API 5.0 it is “24,99 €”.

ImageSetsArray

If you use the placeholder {{ ImageSetsArray }}, please note that these image sizes are no longer supported:

  • SwatchImage
  • TinyImage
  • ThumbnailImage

Product Descriptions

The new Amazon PA API 5.0 currently does not support product descriptions. So please don’t be surprised if your products with the new ASA2 version are empty from November on. The placeholders still work and as soon as the new API delivers these values, ASA2 will of course be updated.

Affected placeholders are:

  • {{ EditorialReviews }}
  • {{ EditorialReviewsContent }}

ItemAttibutes

If you have accessed the “ItemAttibutes” array with the placeholder {{ item.ItemAttibutes }} or directly via the PHP object to get values that are not directly available with a placeholder, you have to be prepared to adapt it. This is because the previous structure has changed completely.

With the new version of ASA2 / PA API 5.0 you get access to all values via the placeholder {{ item.ItemInfo.xyz }} or via the PHP object, like:

Because the structure of the item attributes has changed completely, to list all changes would be too complex. Please search your needed values with the new version yourself, e.g. by debugging in a template with: {{ dump(item.ItemInfo) }}

New Placeholders

{{ SalesRankArray }}

Contains advanced information about the sales rank of a product from all areas in which the product is listed.

ToDo Placeholders

The following placeholders are not implemented yet with PA API 5.0. They will be supported as soon as possible.

{{ Author }}
{{ Actor }}
{{ Artist }}
{{ Creator }}
{{ Edition }}
{{ ISBN }}
{{ NumberOfPages }}

Concluding notes

The new ASA2 version 1.12 will be tested intensively over the next few days to ensure that the migration to the PA API 5.0 runs as smoothly as possible. Further optimizations will be released as soon as possible after the release if necessary.

Let’s get it straight: To be able to use the Amazon PA API from November 2019, an update to the upcoming ASA2 version 1.12 is mandatory. We didn’t make this up to sell license upgrades, but Amazon forces it because they switch off the current API version 4.

In addition, your AWS account, with which you use the PA API, must be enabled for the new version (see above).

Once these few necessary preparations have been made by you, you will be able to use ASA2 in the same way as before and hopefully continue to enjoy it. 🙂

If you have any questions, please leave a comment or use the contact form.

Get the PA API 5.0 ready ASA2 1.12

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About the Author

Timo

I started working on AmazonSimpleAdmin back in 2007 because I could not find an Amazon plugin for WordPress that met my requirements. After many years of experience and hard work, the complete new ASA 2 Pro was released in early 2016. Follow me on Twitter.

Comments 2

  1. Hello,

    I would like know, how can I add products to my website from Amazon without API keys? I’m new and don’t qualified to receive the API keys, until I meet all the requirements? So do I just add as new product to store and paste the shortcode in the long description portion and write a description? What to do in this situation, because I’m clueless to what and how to add the products without using the Amazon associate plugin. Thank you

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