eBay woos developers: Releases new Web services for anywhere shopping

eBay joins the Web services bandwagon at its Developer conference in Boston by offering developers APIs to take eBay "everywhere." Web 2.0 has ushered in an era of social networking, where a significant amount of time is spent on personalized domains. It is this area that eBay is targeting with its Web services offering. The event also saw the unveiling of "an eBay desktop application that includes all the major functionality of the eBay buying experience, search, bidding, watch list, My eBay features, and so on," says Alan Lewis, San Dimas project manager. "We started from scratch and wanted to bring a brand new eBay experience using the Adobe platform" (NetworkWorld).

Among the new services eBay will introduce is an application-programming interface (API) to allow bidding on eBay from outside of its Web site. In addition to this Bidding API, as it's formally known, the company will also announce Shopping Web Services, a suite of APIs that accelerates searching on eBay and contains tools for creating buyer applications.

Also on Monday, eBay will introduce Client Alerts, which it describes as "lightweight, near real time" notifications about marketplace activity. New JavaScript and Flash developer centers are also coming online.

Here's an excerpt from the article at ComputerWorld | IDG News Service:

The roll-outs at the conference are perfectly in sync with the strategies that major Web-based companies are employing to push services towards users. Companies are essentially leveraging the talent pool of third-party developers to come up with innovative solutions using their APIs, which inherently drives more demand for the services of the company. eBay, whose string of acquisitions includes PayPal and Skype, has yet to see a major rise in its core competency as mentioned in this detailed article at BusinessWeek.

Though it may lack strong third-party developer support that Google or Microsoft can garner, it will be interesting to watch how the latest developments will aid eBay in boosting its profits vis-à-vis Amazon.

Additional link:

EBay opens up new APIs, demos rich client bidding app (Arstechnica)