The other day I wanted to use Amazon's web services to get book info using ISBNs, but couldn't seem to find a method in the e-Commerce API that took an ISBN as a parameter. After some searching*, I discovered the following information:
Every unique product in Amazon.com's catalog has an "ASIN", which is short for "Amazon Standard Item Number". (For our books category, a book's ASIN is the same as its "International Standard Book Number", or "ISBN").Very useful information, indeed. It should have been alot easier to find, but I'm glad that this particular search (looking up a book by ISBN) is available via AWS.
It's also interesting to note that if you enter an ISBN number as a parameter in a Google search, you get an advertisement from Amazon, linking to that book's page on Amazon.com. Looks like it might be time to take a look at Google's AdWords API.
*In order to arrive at this information, I ended up doing a search on amazon.com for books about AWS, and then used Amazon's "Search Inside This Book" feature to get to a page in Mining Amazon Web Services: Building Applications with the Amazon API, that in turn referenced a page in the AWS guide (AmazonWebServices/API Guide/search_asin_isbn.htm) that I'd downloaded previously from amazon, and was sitting on my hard drive. Man, I can't wait for Spotlight.