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Headsoft asked

An OSX Desktop Notification Application

I am developing an OSX Mountain Lion eBay application that polls the eBay API to get TimeLeft data from the WishList and BidList and then if auctions are about to end it will display them along with the time left in the OSX Notification Center.

 

The reason I developed this is because I couldn't find a simple app that ran in the menu bar to do this. I am thinking that since this app is useful to me that others may also find it useful. Therefore I am considering publishing the app on the Mac App Store.

 

I have a few questions related to this endeavor.

 

- I understand there is an eBay API limit to 5000 calls a day. The default setting for my app to poll would be every 5 minutes so I estimate 288 calls a day per user. To increase this limit I would need to pass the Compatible Application Check process and get the compatible application logo. Would an application like this have trouble getting certified?

- Since this app will run in the menu bar there is no good place to have the compatible application logo. Is it necessary to include this logo?

- When my app sends a notification to OSX the message is shown with a small 16x16 application icon. As I understand it this would be too small to show the eBay logo. Would it be okay to display the favicon.ico from the website instead?

 

Thanks for your time.

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Actually I can put the logo in the preferences screen now.

 

Also I was calling the app "eBay Notifier" but when I tried to enter this into the Application Settings it states that "eBay" is a reserved word. Will I have to change the name of my app?

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Headsoft answered

I submitted my app today and passed the Compatible Application Check process. That is great but I do still see a problem with my app and the 1.5 million Trading API call limit.

 

If my users are polling the eBay API every 5 minutes that means each user is making 288 calls per day. That means my application must not have more than 5208 users otherwise all my users will start to receive "Error 518 - Call usage limit has been reached" errors thus rendering my app useless.

 

From what I've read there is no way to go over the 1.5 million API call limitation. That is indeed a bit of a pickle.

 

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Headsoft answered

Unfortunately I won't be able to release my app to the public. It's a shame because I fine it extremely useful. Maybe one day eBay will remove their 1.5 million calls a day limit. In the meantime here are some teaser screenshots of the app you will never see in the wild.

 

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shulmani_developer.support answered

Hi,

 

Go ahead and release your app to the public.

You can tell about your new app to the community by submitting your application to the Developer Spotlight:

/content/tell-community-about-your-new-app

 

In case you reach the 1.5 million daily call limit, you can open a ticket and  submit a business case and the Developer support can take a look at it.

 

Cheers!!!
 

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helios825 answered

You might want to see if you can proxy your app's calls through your own server. As long as it's not an "open" proxy -- instead, you throttle calls by caching, checking IPs, bundling, etc. -- eBay Dev should be OK with it.

By routing all the item checks through your own server, you can take control of the process and make optimizations as you please, as well as address security concerns. And, most importantly, you can keep your AppID key private.

You can also bundle together item checks to save on API calls. Check out the deets on GetItemStatus:
http://developer.ebay.com/DevZone/shopping/docs/CallRef/GetItemStatus.html

There's also using Platform Notifications (not something I've used myself) to get updates pushed to you, instead of having to check periodically:
http://developer.ebay.com/DevZone/xml/docs/HowTo/Notifications/Notifications_listing.html

Another angle is to NOT use your AppID at all. Instead, have each user get their own free eBay Dev keyset, good for 5K calls/day. You can hold their hand through the registration process, have them enter their AppID key in your app's settings page, etc.

1 other idea, if the above ideas don't work for you: Maybe have it poll every 15 minutes, and then they can subscribe to a premium version of your software to enable 5-minute polling, plus a few other features to justify the cost. That would keep frequent polling to a minimum, leaving room for your power buyers...

Check out this page, regarding including "eBay" in your app's name:
/developers/ebay/programs-events/developer-marketing-handbook/marketing-support-materials

-h

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qtyman answered

I seriously doubt eBay is going to expand upon the 1.5M call limit given my own experiences with such requests.  But I would encourage the OP to rethink their app.  You don't have to implement it with polling.  There are platform notifications as Helios mentioned and it can be developed using those instead.  Short of verifying that the listing is still active there shouldn't be much need for any of the API.  I mean there is even one specifically for items on your wish list ending soon.  Just be warned it isn't perfect and you will miss notifications from time to time.  You also need to be make sure you can scale over time to handle them on your own server.  I currently receive about 1M per day or over 10 per second every second per day to give you an idea of the kind of volume they can generate.  Granted you'll be listening to a lot less but you will potentially have a lot more subscribers just by the very nature of your app.

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Headsoft answered

I've just spent the last week finishing my app ready for submission to the Mac App Store and now I read this.

 

I was under the assumption that Xcom_DTS_Shruti was an employee of eBay and so would not tell me to release my app unless there was a good chance I could get an increase.

 

The thing is if I release my app and it reaches the limit, and eBay does not allow me to increase it, then I will have many annoyed customers when the app suddenly stops working.

 

The reason I went with polling is because I do not have the resources to setup a server for using the notification system. I also do not have the time to re-write it from scratch to function in completely different way.

 

So it looks like my only option now is to put in a support ticket (which appears to cost money?) and ask for an increase before I release. If I get rejected then I have just wasted my time polishing this app ready for the Mac App Store.

 

Please tell me I haven't wasted my time.

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Headsoft,

 

Have you made any progress with this application? I would love to use something like this. It's really nice & clean unlike most of the one's I've seen out there.

 

Thank you,

alb73

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