February 10, 2004, 12:00 AM

Web tools help more software developers build connections to eBay

As eBay expands the range of web technology used to build connections to its online marketplace, a sharply rising number of software developers is responding with better methods of doing business the eBay way.

As eBay expands the range of web technology used to build connections to its online marketplace, more and more software developers are responding with better methods of doing business the eBay way. The eBay Developers Program now has 4,000 members, up from 200 a year ago, eBay says.

One of those developers, SuperPawn, a chain of nine West Coast stores that accept dropped-off items for listings on eBay, has used web tools to build an application that links its POS system to eBay. The application is designed to streamline the listing, categorizing and fulfilling of merchandise listed and sold on eBay. SuperPawn has also begun selling its application to other businesses.

"In a short period of time, the eBay Developers Program has attracted thousands of developers--including eBay sellers, independent software vendors, and large enterprise solution providers," says the program’s director, Debbie Brackeen. "The program is enabling businesses to integrate with the eBay platform, and create a rich array of productivity solutions that will help buyers and sellers in our marketplace."

EBay recently expanded the availability of web-services tools in the eBay software development kit to include Simple Object Access Protocol, or SOAP, and Java integration capabilities in addition to existing XML and other technologies. SOAP makes it easier for different software applications to share information.

Another developer, TestMart, has developed a suite of selling services including a tool to help eBay sellers of TestMart products extract product specifications and photos from TestMart’s product database. TestMart provides test and measurement equipment that other sellers can list on eBay.

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