I recently wrote a program to consume the report services of the MSN Adcenter API. Like all Search Marketing API's I have worked with I found the documentation was seriously lacking. While it comprehensively documents the classes and functions, it was lacking the basic information that I believe should be standard to all API's.
My first task was to find out about dummy data in reports. Alas the documentation contained no mention of dummy data. It took a support ticket to the MSN API team to confirm that 1 click/impression was added each day........but this did not matter because while I was working with the program the sandbox was having problems and this was not working ;)
So armed with this knowledge I wrote the program to fetch msn reports. I got a shock when I opened them up and it was nothing but junk....my PC speaker even beeped when I put the contents out to the console (never done that before!). A quick check of the documentation revealed the reports have a zip property, which can no longer be set. I got an excellent and easy to use component called ICSharpCode.SharpZipLib.dll. this allowed me to unzip my zip files and open and read the xml file inside...........which was completely empty because the sandbox was broken!!!!
I though sandboxes where for us developers to try and break......they are not suppose to break themselves!!! Either way I managed to finished my program by getting a full report from a member of the development community.
So armed with a working program I contacted Microsoft only to be told we were not eligible for API access in the first place. You see it makes perfect sense to invite someone to use an API sandbox when you know they can never use the full service.....its a good way of doing business!!!!!!!!!!!! So I wasted over a week.
Write a comment
Required fields are marked with *.
Reply #1 on : Fri April 23, 2010, 21:41:42