PayPal APIs

It took me a year to launch our Web Services: https://developer.paypal.com.  Here is a sampling of the PR.  We got over 8 million impressions!


PayPal Announces "PayPal Web Services"    

 

 

Suite of New PayPal APIs Enables Merchants and Developers to Automate Interaction with the PayPal eCommerce Platform

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 3, 2004 - PayPal, the global online payment service, today introduced PayPal Web Services, a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) to the PayPal platform based on open standards.

PayPal Web Services, currently in beta release, is comprised of four new informational and transactional APIs enabling developers and merchants of all sizes to create ecommerce solutions and applications that integrate with the PayPal platform. This new offering expands PayPal's existing family of Website Payments functionality and reporting features, and includes PayPal's popular Instant Payment Notification (IPN) service.

In its initial release, the PayPal Web Services beta provides access to the following four API calls:

  • TransactionSearch: Based on specified search criteria such as payment date or customer name, returns a set of matching transaction IDs and basic transaction details.
  • GetTransactionDetails: For a given transaction, returns all details associated with the transaction, such as customer email address, time of payment, and purchase details.
  • RefundTransaction: For a given transaction, reverses the transaction and issues a refund or partial refund to the purchaser.
  • MassPay: Transfers funds to one or many recipients by providing an automated alternative to cutting paper checks or manually initiating individual payments (available end of second quarter, 2004).

PayPal Web Services enables more streamlined and automated access to the PayPal platform, and broadens the audience for PayPal's ecommerce tools to include advanced technical developers and enterprise customers. PayPal Web Services are based on open standards, supporting Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web Services Description Language (WSDL).

"Through PayPal Web Services, we are able expand the availability of advanced online payment capabilities to a new class of developers, third-party tool vendors and merchants," said Dave McClure, Director of PayPal's Developer Network. "These new standards-based APIs will allow almost anyone to create innovative applications and services incorporating PayPal."

PayPal Web Services Solutions

One of the first companies to incorporate PayPal's SOAP enabled Web Services is Grand Central. A Business Services Network, Grand Central delivers "Integration-On-Demand" to enterprises - lowering the cost, time, and risk of application integration of web services.

"Grand Central provides businesses with a powerful, yet easy, network to publish and consume services on demand," said Ron Palmeri, Executive Vice President, Product & Corporate Development of Grand Central. "By incorporating PayPal Web Services into our Business Services Directory, we can now offer our customers the simplest, fastest and most cost-effective integration to PayPal's powerful ecommerce platform which is used by more than 45 million member accounts around the world."

Developer Central

Developers and merchants can setup and access the PayPal Web Services at the newly launched PayPal Developer Central (https://developer.paypal.com). Designed as an information hub to educate eCommerce developers, Developer Central offers information on how to set up developer certificates, get started with PayPal APIs, and access developer forums for discussion and questions. Developers can also use the new PayPal Sandbox, a testing environment for PayPal Web Services.

The PayPal Web Services architecture shares a common API structure with eBay's web services offerings. Developers can work with both standards-based platforms without additional training.

Developers can learn more about the eBay & PayPal Platforms at the eBay Developer Conference--the forum for eBay and PayPal developers. Through technical sessions and hands-on labs, this venue will allow both experienced developers and those new to the platform to focus on new opportunities. The event will take place June 23rd-24th in New Orleans, LA at eBay Live! To learn more about the event, visit www.ebay.com/devconference

About the PayPal Developer Network

The PayPal Developer Network (PDN) enables merchants and developers to quickly and easily add eCommerce capabilities to their Websites and applications. PDN provides members with a wide range of standards-based technical tools, resources and solutions for developing solutions that incorporate PalPal's secure and cost-effective payment service used by more than 45 million member accounts around the world. For more information and to join PDN, please visit http://www.paypal.com/pdn.

About PayPal

PayPal, an eBay Company, enables any individual or business with an email address to securely, easily and quickly send and receive payments online. PayPal's service builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards and utilizes the world's most advanced proprietary fraud prevention systems to create a safe, global, real-time payment solution. Founded in 1998, PayPal has more than 45 million accounts and is available to users in 38 countries around the world. More information about the company can be found at https://www.paypal.com/.
 


PayPal, The Fifth Credit Card?
By Jim Wagner
May 3, 2004

With its popularity growing among online shoppers, online payment play PayPal is positioning itself as the "fifth credit card" for online transactions as it rolls out its latest beta.

The e-commerce transaction company has released three application program interfaces that developers can use in order to plug PayPal into e-commerce sites, and help sites deploy Web services .

As a result of the latest beta releases, online customers paying for online purchases by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards might in the future be paying for their purchases using the San Jose, Calif., company's service -- even though it's not a bank.

PayPal Web Services are based on recognized standards like the Simple Object Access Protocol and Web Services Description Language , embedding the service deeper into the platform. The three APIs -- TransactionSearch, GetTransactionDetails and RefundTransaction -- will be followed up with a MassPay API in June and several more in the third and fourth quarters of 2004, including one that provides single and batch processing invoice capabilities.

Alan Tien, a senior API product manager at PayPal, said the new interfaces are a step up from their existing reporting system, Instant Payment Notification (IPN), and gives the merchant instant information about transactions taking place.

"In the past you could get an asynchronous notification, IPN, of the transaction details when they finished the transaction," he told internetnews.com.

"Now, what we've added on top of that is the ability to get a synchronous transaction ID upon completion of the payment, and then you can do an API call to get the rest of the information, [through] the GetTransactionDetails call."

Additionally, what PayPal Web Services brings to the table, Tien said, is, well, more public Web services.

"Sure, Web services has been the buzz around developers for the past two years and people have been talking about SOAP and WSDL and maybe even whispering about [Universal Description, Discovery and Integration ] for a long time, but how many public examples are there?" he said. "Google and Amazon.com have rolled out public Web services and ours is in that same vein, but our thinking is, 'hey, we're actually moving money instead of just getting information or making an order."

The API release is intended to break PayPal's primary operations outside of the eBay crowd and small-business industries and into the enterprise. Not everyone's convinced, however, that the interest is there for PayPal's service, which requires a stop through its servers between customer and merchant.

Roger DeSousa, manager of Boulder, Colo.-based ecommerce Web site developer EtchedWeb.com, said companies don't like to lose control during the transaction process and he hasn't heard much demand for PayPal's inclusion as a payment method with his customers.

"PayPal is something that some have asked [for], but to date we haven't actually integrated any Web sites," he told internetnews.com. "Quite honestly, the ones who actually go with PayPal are the ones that can't get a merchant account or don't want to get a merchant account or don't need a merchant account."

Officials at PayPal actually consider that seeming disadvantage as a selling point: by keeping authentication and credit card processing inside their servers, it frees merchants from being held liable for protecting a customer's personal information.

PayPal is making security a big part of its pitch at a time when the growing number of online credit card and identity theft claims -- 27.3 million the past five years, according to a September 2003 Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report -- means many people are staying away from online shopping entirely to avoid that fate.

Dave McClure, PayPal Developer Network (PDN) senior manager, said PayPal is actually more secure than using the credit card online, as the number resides in one place (behind its own firewalls) rather than scattered over every site customers make online buys.

And with approximately 45 million registered users, McClure said he thinks the service is as popular as many mainstream credit card companies online today.

"I think we've really started to hit the radar for a lot of these people in terms of offering them a broad customer base that's got a payment method they want to use," he told internetnews.com.

McClure said those numbers will be enough to convince most businesses to try it out; PayPal might not bring the same transaction volume as a Visa or MasterCard, but enough to justify the effort.

"What a lot of these larger merchants have found there's only another five to 10 percent of their audience that might be interested in using another type of payment method, as long as that payment method is widely distributed it makes sense for them to increase the amount of revenue they can collect," he added.

Also announced Monday was the launch of a site for developers to test the APIs, called the PayPal Sandbox. At the site, developers can run their Web service through the sandbox to see how it will work in a live environment.

Also included at Developer Central is a discussion forum monitored by PayPal customer service reps and developers.

 


PayPal Announces PayPal Web Services

PayPal API Reference Guide

Available after registration at https://developer.paypal.com/
 

An introduction to PayPal Web Services


What are PayPal Web Services?
Most PayPal merchants currently use the PayPal website to manage their PayPal transactions. They can additionally use PayPal merchant tools, such as PayPal Shopping Cart and Instant Payment Notification, for more advanced payment functions.

PayPal now extends this flexibility with the introduction of PayPal Web Services. Using an Application Programming Interface (API), merchants can now use Web services technology to create applications that work directly and automatically with PayPal.

PayPal API calls can automate certain PayPal functions that normally would require a person to manually enter information.
For example, the PayPal Refund API allows merchants to automate refunds to buyers. This is especially useful for large merchants who make hundreds of refunds each month.
Why is PayPal offering Web Services?
PayPal has introduced Web services to allow merchants greater flexibility and control when using PayPal for payment transactions. The API takes advantage of available open standards, such as SOAP and WSDL, so that businesses can easily integrate PayPal services into their own transaction framework.
Who can use PayPal Web Services?
PayPal API calls are accessible by qualified Business and Premier accounts.
What can I do with PayPal Web Services?
The following are some applications of PayPal Web Services:
 

More functionality will be available in the coming months.
Are there any usage limits for PayPal Web Services?
Currently there are no usage limits for the PayPal Web Services, although PayPal reserves the right to limit usage in the future.
Where can I access the PayPal Web Services WSDL files?
https://api.paypal.com/2.0/wsdl/

PayPal reaches out to enterprise developers

http://www.computerworld.com/developmenttopics/development/story/0,10801,92897,00.html
 

"This is big news. It opens up whole new markets for PayPal," said Avivah Litan, an analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc.

For example, PayPal will now be able to offer its payment services to companies that enter into subscription-type billing arrangements with customers, arrangements that require recurrent payments, Litan said. Previously, PayPal wasn't set up to cater to this type of client, such as providers of digital content. So far, credit cards have been the main method for paying for these services, but if PayPal can lower the cost for the content providers, it will make inroads into the market, she added.

PayPal offers developers a peek at its code

http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104_2-5204718.html
 

PayPal on Monday made available a set of Web services APIs that will allow programmers and merchants to develop e-commerce applications linked to the company's online payment service.

PayPal Announces ''PayPal Web Services''; Suite of New PayPal APIs Enables Merchants and Developers to Automate Interaction with the PayPal eCommerce Platform

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 3, 2004--PayPal, the global online payment service, today introduced PayPal Web Services, a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) to the PayPal platform based on open standards.

PayPal Web Services, currently in beta release, is comprised of four new informational and transactional APIs enabling developers and merchants of all sizes to create ecommerce solutions and applications that integrate with the PayPal platform. This new offering expands PayPal's existing family of Website Payments functionality and reporting features, and includes PayPal's popular Instant Payment Notification (IPN) service.

In its initial release, the PayPal Web Services beta provides access to the following four API calls:
 

PayPal Web Services enables more streamlined and automated access to the PayPal platform, and broadens the audience for PayPal's ecommerce tools to include advanced technical developers and enterprise customers. PayPal Web Services are based on open standards, supporting Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web Services Description Language (WSDL).

"Through PayPal Web Services, we are able expand the availability of advanced online payment capabilities to a new class of developers, third-party tool vendors and merchants," said Dave McClure, Director of PayPal's Developer Network. "These new standards-based APIs will allow almost anyone to create innovative applications and services incorporating PayPal."

 

PayPal Web Services Solutions

One of the first companies to incorporate PayPal's SOAP enabled Web Services is Grand Central. A Business Services Network, Grand Central delivers "Integration-On-Demand" to enterprises -- lowering the cost, time, and risk of application integration of web services.

"Grand Central provides businesses with a powerful, yet easy, network to publish and consume services on demand," said Ron Palmeri, Executive Vice President, Product & Corporate Development of Grand Central. "By incorporating PayPal Web Services into our Business Services Directory, we can now offer our customers the simplest, fastest and most cost-effective integration to PayPal's powerful ecommerce platform which is used by more than 45 million member accounts around the world."

 

Developer Central

Developers and merchants can setup and access the PayPal Web Services at the newly launched PayPal Developer Central (https://developer.paypal.com). Designed as an information hub to educate eCommerce developers, Developer Central offers information on how to set up developer certificates, get started with PayPal APIs, and access developer forums for discussion and questions. Developers can also use the new PayPal Sandbox, a testing environment for PayPal Web Services.

The PayPal Web Services architecture shares a common API structure with eBay's web services offerings. Developers can work with both standards-based platforms without additional training.

Developers can learn more about the eBay & PayPal Platforms at the eBay Developer Conference -- the forum for eBay and PayPal developers. Through technical sessions and hands-on labs, this venue will allow both experienced developers and those new to the platform to focus on new opportunities. The event will take place June 23rd-24th in New Orleans at eBay Live! To learn more about the event, visit www.ebay.com/devconference.

 

About the PayPal Developer Network

The PayPal Developer Network (PDN) enables merchants and developers to quickly and easily add eCommerce capabilities to their Websites and applications. PDN provides members with a wide range of standards-based technical tools, resources and solutions for developing solutions that incorporate PalPal's secure and cost-effective payment service used by more than 45 million member accounts around the world. For more information and to join PDN, please visit http://www.paypal.com/pdn.

 

About PayPal

PayPal, an eBay (Nasdaq:EBAY) Company, enables any individual or business with an email address to securely, easily and quickly send and receive payments online. PayPal's service builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards and utilizes the world's most advanced proprietary fraud prevention systems to create a safe, global, real-time payment solution. Founded in 1998, PayPal has more than 45 million accounts and is available to users in 38 countries around the world. More information about the company can be found at https://www.paypal.com/.

 

 


NewsForge
The Online Newspaper for Linux and Open Source
http://business.newsforge.com/

Title    PayPal API release aimed at Web services, OS developers
Date    2004.05.13 9:00
Author    JLyman
Topic    E-business

http://business.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=04/05/11/2020205

In an effort to help higher-level developers build payment and transaction functions into their Web sites and applications, PayPal has released a suite of free APIs that the eBay-owned company claims will enable more streamlined and automated access to its platform.

 

PayPal Developer Network director Dave McClure told NewsForge the initial three API calls are just the beginning of a series of APIs the company will release over coming quarters.

With the initial PayPal Web Services in beta form, PayPal is providing TransactionSearch, which is based on specified search criteria, such as payment date or customer name and returns a set of matching transaction IDs and details; GetTransactionDetails, which returns all details -- email, time of payment, etc. -- associated with a given transaction; and RefundTransaction, to reverse transactions and issue partial or full refunds. MassPay, an API to be available next month, transfers funds to one or many recipients by providing an automated alternative to cutting paper checks or manually initiating individual payments.

Trying to reach more sophisticated developers

McClure referred to previous PayPal developer outreach efforts and toolset opening such as the Instant Payment Notification (IPN) interface -- for handling real-time purchase confirmation, server-to-server communications, download management, and user login among other services and communications. He said the newest APIs came about as a result of parent company's similar moves last year-- which amount to Web services offerings with the same common API structure -- and a desire to reach more technical, enterprise-level developers.

"It's more of an experience and size question," McClure said of the target for the new APIs. "We're trying not to focus on one specific platform for developers. We're trying to focus on the platforms developers are using."

While the majority of work is expected around Microsoft's Visual Studio and Java on Sun or BEA, McClure said PayPal is building on existing work with open source platforms and communities, such as Zend. McClure said there were fewer open source tools available to work from and that PayPal is just trying to get out to the various platforms at this stage.

"The same kind of work we're seeing in Java and .Net -- we're trying to extend that out to the open source community," McClure said, referring to work with Perl and other open source projects. "There are still a few hurdles."

Another reason for the new PayPal APIs was demand for the SOAP and WSDL-supporting interfaces from a growing audience of developers, according to McClure.

"We've definitely seen a lot more adoption among more sophisticated developers, and they were asking for more tools," McClure said.

Developers were also asking for the newly announced PayPal Sandbox, a part of PayPal Developer Central intended to allow developers to test PayPal solutions before deploying them.

Want a testing environment? You've got it

"People were always complaining about wanting a testing environment," McClure said. "Now they can simulate account creation and management, simulate purchases or funds transfers. It's really a much broader offering for them to test all of that functionality."

McClure added that this month's PayPal Web Services API release covered the "core" APIs that will be added to, but are "pretty powerful already."

Gartner research director Whit Andrews said that PayPal was looking to ease the ability of Web site and software developers -- particularly financial software -- to integrate PayPal capabilities into their work.

"Essentially, they are seeking to expand beyond the idea of 'email me money,' to 'use your preferred means to get money to someone,' " Andrews said.

The analyst added the PayPal APIs are significant in that they carry transactional duty, which while not unprecedented, is unusual.

"They will aid PayPal in extending capabilities beyond those inherent to its own Web site," Andrews said.

Andrews also highlighted the importance of the PayPal APIs basis in open standards.

"Such APIs grow substantially in value when they use open standards, because the time it takes for developers to learn them is reduced," Andrews said. "Also, developers may be assured that adopting the APIs is less risky. The use of standards to define the APIs substantially increases the likelihood they will be broadly adopted."

PayPal's McClure said the time was right for the new APIs also because Web services standards are becoming more formalized and more widely used.

PayPal getting into Web services big time

Yankee senior analyst Phil Fersht said he agreed that there is more Web services adoption taking place -- both at the edge and at the front end -- and PayPal's API release is an effort to get in the game.

"Why companies like PayPal are providing these is to bring themselves into the Web services jigsaw," Fersht said. "They want fit into a service-oriented architecture, and they're going after the larger vendors like HP, Sun, VA, and Oracle."

Fersht added software vendors such as Macromedia that actually develop Web services may also benefit from PayPal's APIs, which bring critical billing capabilities to the mix.

The analyst also said PayPal's compatibility with Web services security standards could make or break its strategy with the APIs.

"We'd have to wait and see who they've committed to with partners, but if they have a billing and payments system that incorporates the security challenges of Web services and provides communication between applications in a secure environment, then they've on to a winner," Fersht said.

McClure said after reaching graphic designers and Web site developers, PayPal is now looking to the "third level" of more traditional hardware and software developers with a goal of allowing wizard-based creation of payment and related capabilities. PayPal now offers payment button creation through PayPal wizards for Macromedia Contribute and Dreamweaver MX, Microsoft FrontPage and Visual Studio .Net, NetObjects Fusion, Macromedia Flash MX, and Adobe GoLive!

McClure said work with open source projects, including Source Forge projects that rely on PayPal to take donations or pay developers, will continue.

"We've seen a lot of interest from the community," he said.


 

PayPal Releases Web Services APIs for Developers

By Kirk L. Kroeker
TechNewsWorld
05/04/04 4:36 AM PT

"Through PayPal Web Services, we are able to expand the availability of advanced online payment capabilities to a new class of developers, third-party tool vendors and merchants," said Dave McClure, director of PayPal's Developer Network.

PayPal (Nasdaq: PYPL)  yesterday introduced PayPal Web Services, a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that the company hopes developers will use to build code that will integrate the PayPal platform into other e-commerce systems.

PayPal Web Services, based on open standards and currently in beta, consists of four new informational and transactional APIs. This new offering adds to PayPal's existing payment-and-reporting features, including PayPal's popular Instant Payment Notification (IPN) service.

Four New APIs

In its initial release, the PayPal Web Services beta provides access to the following four API calls:

  • TransactionSearch. Based on specified search criteria, such as payment date or customer name, the TransactionSearch API returns a set of matching transaction IDs and basic transaction details.

     

  • GetTransactionDetails: For a given transaction, the GetTransactionDetails API returns all details associated with a transaction, such as customer e-mail address, time of payment and purchase details.

     

  • RefundTransaction: For a given transaction, calls to the RefundTransaction API reverses the transaction and issues a refund or partial refund to the purchaser.

     

  • MassPay: The MassPay API transfers funds to recipients by providing an automated alternative to cutting paper checks or manually initiating individual payments.

     

    The company intends these new APIs to help foster more automated access to the PayPal platform.

     

    APIs Based on Open Standards

     

    The company said the new APIs are based on open standards that support the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and the Web Services Description Language (WSDL).

    "Through PayPal Web Services, we are able to expand the availability of advanced online payment capabilities to a new class of developers, third-party tool vendors and merchants," said Dave McClure, director of PayPal's Developer Network.

    "These new standards-based APIs will allow almost anyone to create innovative applications and services incorporating PayPal."

     

    Already Incorporating PayPal APIs

     

    One of the first companies to incorporate PayPal's SOAP-enabled APIs is Grand Central. A business services network, Grand Central offers integration-on-demand software to help with Web-services integration.

    "Grand Central provides businesses with a powerful, yet easy, network to publish and consume services on demand," said Ron Palmeri, executive vice president of product and corporate development at Grand Central. "By incorporating PayPal Web Services into our Business Services Directory, we can now offer our customers ... [a] cost-effective integration to PayPal's powerful e-commerce platform, which is used by more than 45 million member accounts around the world."

    Developer Central

    Developers and merchants can set up and access the PayPal Web Services at the newly launched PayPal Developer Central site.

    Designed as an information source for e-commerce developers, PayPal's Developer Central offers details on how to set up developer  certificates, get started with PayPal APIs and access developer forums for discussion and questions. Developers also can use the new PayPal Sandbox, a testing environment for PayPal Web Services.

    The PayPal Web Services architecture shares a common API structure with eBay's (Nasdaq: EBAY)  Web services offerings. Developers can learn more about the eBay and PayPal platforms at the eBay developer conference, an event that will take place starting June 23rd in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the eBay live conference.

    PayPal, an eBay company, lets any individual or business with an e-mail address send and receive payments online. PayPal's service builds on the existing financial infrastructure of bank accounts and credit cards and uses a proprietary fraud-prevention system. Founded in 1998, PayPal touts more than 45 million accounts and is available to users in 38 countries around the world.


  • Get Paid
     
    PayPal Debuts Web Services


    By Christopher Saunders
     

    May 4, 2004

    E-commerce merchants and developers will now have greater flexibility in making PayPal transactions a part of their businesses, through the online payment provider's new set of Web services application program interfaces .

    Using the APIs, developers and merchants can create applications that leverage of the San Jose, Calif.-based PayPal's payment infrastructure to facilitate transactions or to retrieve related types of information.

    The beta release, which was made available this week, provides access to three API calls:

    • TransactionSearch: Based on specified search criteria such as payment date or customer name, returns a set of matching transaction IDs and basic transaction details.
    • GetTransactionDetails: For a given transaction, returns all details associated with the transaction, such as customer e-mail address, time of payment, and purchase details.
    • RefundTransaction: For a given transaction, reverses the transaction and issues a refund or partial refund to the purchaser.

    By the middle of next month, PayPal also expects to offer a fourth call, MassPay, which transfers funds to one or many recipients.

    PayPal Web Services are based on open standards, supporting Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web Services Description Language (WSDL).

    By offering Web Services support, PayPal is hoping that merchants and developers will leverage the tools to automate interaction with the PayPal e-commerce and transaction platform -- thereby increasing its use.

    "We're been trying to reach a non-technical audience in the past," said Dave McClure, director of the PayPal Developer Network. "Now, we're looking to reach out to a more technical audience -- reach up into the higher end, with a higher-volume customer base."

    The offering extends PayPal's Website Payment solutions, including its Instant Payment Notification service (IPN) -- which relied on an HTTPS form POST to a URL specified on a customer's server.

    "We introduced IPN... close to three years ago, and at the time, we wanted something easy to use," McClure said. "That gave us a lot of adoption with people, and didn't require a lot of technical sophistication on their part. Now we're going for a larger set of developers."

    For more tech-savvy merchants and for developers (including those creating third-party tools,) the potential benefits include closer access to PayPal's platform, allowing them to build applications linking transactions and transactional records into their sites and existing applications.

    McClure cited one likely scenario in which a developer (such as Grand Central, which is working with PayPal on the APIs) could use available APIs from eBay, Intuit's Quickbooks, and PayPal to automate selling, payment and accounting in connection with a car dealership's online auctions.

    "We're directly going after API developers of all shapes and sizes, especially the larger, small-to-medium-sized businesses who want more automation and who maybe want to automate with other tools in their environments -- maybe CRM systems or fulfillment systems," McClure Said. The APIs also could add functionality for "third parties, like shopping cart manufacturers or storefront developers, or e-mail marketing vendors."

    Leveraging the APIs can also speed or reduce costs in existing business processes. TransactionSearch, for instance, might prove helpful for businesses using a drop-shipper.

    "They may work with a third-party fulfillment house that they give permission to use the APIs," McClure said. The drop-shipping firm "then can pull down that list of transactions."

    With the MassPay API, "a customer may want to send a number of checks to multiple recipients -- they may be doing a check run or some sort of payout to a group of affiliate vendors or franchisees -- and our MassPay function provides a way for them to do that in an automated function, by specifying an e-mail address and an amount," McClure said. "Previously, there might have had to be a physical paper check cut. Or you might have needed the person on the other end to have some type of merchant processing to do an electronic transfer ... There's probably a cost savings there."

    McClure added that he is hoping that the PayPal developer community will discover additional scenarios "that we don't have an inkling of now, [and] create some innovation on our platform."

    He also said that he expects to see continued additions to the PayPal APIs in coming months. Among them is likely to be additional reporting services, and an invoicing API, tying into PayPal's existing Request Money service.

    "The Request Money functionality is very popular on our Web site," he said. "A lot of people are using that ... [but] it doesn't necessary require a Web site."

    Not surprisingly, the PayPal Web Services architecture shares a common API structure and business language with the Web services offerings of PayPal's parent, eBay -- making it simpler for developers to learn and work with both sets of APIs, while also ideally increasing usage.

    PayPal Web Services is available at PayPal Developer Central, which includes information on how to set up developer certificates, get started with PayPal APIs, and access developer forums for discussion and questions.

    PayPal Developer Central also offers a "Sandbox" testing environment for Web services, modeled after the eBay Sandbox for its own developers.

    Christopher Saunders is managing editor of eCommerce-Guide.com