Generic Product Advertising Ruby API using Hpricot. Uses Response and Element wrapper classes for easy access to the REST API XML output.

It is generic, so you can easily extend Amazon::Ecs to support other not implemented REST operations; and it is also generic because it just wraps around Hpricot element object, instead of providing one-to-one object/attributes to XML elements map.

The idea is as the API evolves, there is a change in REST XML output structure, no updates will be required on amazon-ecs gem, instead you just need to update the element path.


$ gem install amazon-ecs


require 'amazon/ecs'

# set the default options; options will be camelized and converted to REST request parameters.
Amazon::Ecs.options = {:aWS_access_key_id => '[your access key]'}

# to generate signed requests include your secret key:
Amazon::Ecs.options = {:aWS_access_key_id => '[your developer token]', :aWS_secret_key => '[your secret access key]'}

# alternatively,
Amazon::Ecs.configure do |options|
    options[:aWS_access_key_id] = '[your access key]'
    options[:aWS_secret_key] = '[you secret key]'

# options provided on method call will merge with the default options
res = Amazon::Ecs.item_search('ruby', {:response_group => 'Medium', :sort => 'salesrank'})

# search amazon uk
res = Amazon::Ecs.item_search('ruby', :country => 'uk')

# some common response object methods
res.is_valid_request?     # return true if request is valid
res.has_error?            # return true if there is an error
res.error                 # return error message if there is any
res.total_pages           # return total pages
res.total_results         # return total results
res.item_page             # return current page no if :item_page option is provided

# traverse through each item (Amazon::Element)
res.items.each do |item|
  # retrieve string value using XML path

  # return Amazon::Element instance
  item_attributes = item.get_element('itemattributes')

  # return first author or a string array of authors
  item_attributes.get('author')          # 'Author 1'
  item_attributes.get_array('author')    # ['Author 1', 'Author 2', ...]

  # return an hash of children text values with the element names as the keys
  item.get_hash('smallimage') # {:url => ..., :width => ..., :height => ...}

  # return the first matching path as Amazon::Element
  item_height = item.get_element('itemdimensions/height')

  # retrieve attributes from Amazon::Element
  item_height.attributes['units']   # 'hundredths-inches'

  # return an array of Amazon::Element
  authors = item.get_elements('author')

  # return Hpricot::Elements object or nil if not found
  reviews = item/'editorialreview'

  # traverse through Hpricot elements
  reviews.each do |review|
    # Getting hash value out of Hpricot element
    Amazon::Element.get_hash(review) # [:source => ..., :content ==> ...]

    # Or to get unescaped HTML values
    Amazon::Element.get_unescaped(review, 'source')
    Amazon::Element.get_unescaped(review, 'content')

    # Or this way
    el =

# Extend Amazon::Ecs, replace 'other_operation' with the appropriate name
module Amazon
  class Ecs
    def self.other_operation(item_id, opts={})
      opts[:operation] = '[other valid operation supported by Product Advertising API]'

      # setting default option value
      opts[:item_id] = item_id


Amazon::Ecs.other_operation('[item_id]', :param1 => 'abc', :param2 => 'xyz')

Refer to Amazon Product Advertising API documentation for more information on other valid operations, request parameters and the XML response output:

To get a sample of Amazon REST XML response output, use scratch pad:



Thanks to Dan Milne ( for the signed request patch.


(The MIT License)

Copyright © 2010 Herryanto Siatono,