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Using Amazon E-Commerce Services With PEAR SOAP
Integrate Amazon.com's ECS service into your own Web site.

| If Wishes Were Horses... |

Unless you've been snoozing in a cave for the last few years, you know what Amazon.com is - quite simply, the pioneer of Internet retailing, with a catalog spanning books, DVDs, electronics, home furnishings, cars, cutlery, shoes...the list is endless. In fact, if you can't find it on Amazon.com, chances are good it doesn't exist!

One of Amazon's cooler initiatives in recent years has been its E-Commerce Service (ECS), formerly called the Amazon Web Service (AWS). This service is essentially a set of APIs designed to let users interact with the Amazon database using the SOAP protocol. The idea behind this is simple: to allow independent users to easily create online stores, supported by Amazon's extensive product catalog and transaction back-end. Oh yeah...and it's free!

If this sounds like a sweet deal, it gets sweeter: your favourite language and mine, PHP, can easily be set up to work with the SOAP protocol, either through the external PEAR SOAP class or using the built-in SOAP client that ships with PHP 5.x. The only problem? Not too many people know how to do it.

That's where this tutorial comes in. Over the next few pages, I'll be demonstrating how you can integrate the Amazon ECS service into your own Web site using PHP and the PEAR SOAP class. If you've always wanted your own online book store, pet store or shoe store (or maybe all three), then keep reading - I'm about to make your dream come true!

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