Associate Engine : Revisions History : v11.08.16  
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v11.08.16 (Aug. 16, 2011)

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Upgrade instructions

  1. Get an AWS Access Key from if you have not already done so. You should have your AWS Access Key before uploading the new version of

  2. Download the Associate Engine .zip distribution file and unzip it into a temporary directory on your computer, such as into c:\ae

  3. Upload to your webserver's cgi-bin directory (or to whatever directory you normally put script in). Note: If necessary, edit the first line so it indicates where Perl is on your server; default is #!/usr/local/bin/perl Note: Be sure to upload in ASCII mode and set the file permissions (i.e.: CHMOD 755 which is rwxr-xr-x).

  4. Upload ae-format/* files into the ae-format directory on your webserver. An ae-format directory should already be located where your file is located.

  5. After upgrading, you may encounter one of these errors:


NOTE: This update is recommended.

  1. Critical: Your own AWS Access Key is now required.

    If you have not already done so, get your own AWS Access Key from and set the and access.secret configuration variables. The default shared AWS Access Key will no longer work and "No Results" will be displayed.

  2. Fix: Customer Reviews available again. removed Customer Reviews from their data and they are now indirectly available via an <iframe>. The formatting templates (i.e.: ae-format/*.html) have been updated to use an <iframe> to display the Customer Reviews. To show customer reviews, upload the revised formatting templates. also removed the Average Customer Rating data and it is no longer available. As such, the Average Customer Rating formatting codes have been removed from the formatting templates.

    Note: The <iframe> is of constant height and has a scrollbar. It is not possible for the <iframe> to auto-adjust its height based on its content (this is in fact a non-trival problem related to cross-domain JavaScript security restrictions of web browsers). Also, the Customer Reviews text is not indexed by search engine spiders since the text is not part of your webpage.

    • {details.customerreviews} has been added and it is the <iframe> URL.
    • ae-format/*.html formatting templates now use {details.customerreviews} instead of {}.
    • {} and all its sub-variables (e.g.: {}) have been removed.
    • {} has been removed.
    • {format.rating.*} have been removed.
  3. New: New USA store sections added: Appliances, ArtsAndCrafts, MobileApps, Shoes

    New USA store sections have been added. The following store sections can now be searched by setting the mode= parameter:

    Store mode
    Appliances Appliances
    Arts & Crafts ArtsAndCrafts
    Mobile Apps for Android * MobileApps
    Shoes Shoes

    * Note: does not pay any referral commission for the sale of any product, including games and other applications, sold through the Amazon Appstore for Android. See: Associates Program Excluded Products. Nevertheless, the links do contain your associate ID and the user will be tagged with your associate ID. Thus there is the possibility of the user browsing around the Amazon site and buying something that is elligible for a commission.

  4. Fix: Sales Rank is displayed again.

    The product's sales rank is displayed once again for most products (via {details.salesrank} formatting code). In recent versions, sales rank was always empty and not displayed. Note: Some sections, such as shoes, still do not show sales rank.

  5. Improve: More efficient use of Amazon API for searches.

    For each search performed, one less Amazon API call is performed and thus results are displayed sooner. Previously, at the end of the search results, an additional Amazon API call was made to pre-fetch the next page of results. Thus each search involved a minimum of two API calls. This pre-fetch has been eliminated.

  6. New: rel="nofollow" in generated links.

    Generated links now contain rel="nofollow" attribute value. The new nofollow configuration variable controls the presence of this link attribute (default: yes). Set it to no to turn off this feature. Note: This feature only affects generated links, it does not affect any hard-coded links you put in your templates.

    • nofollow configuration variable added (default: yes).
    • {format.nofollow} formatting code added.
    • All formatting codes that used {format.newWindow} now use {format.remote.attr} instead.
  7. Fix: Product thumbnail images are correct size again.

    Recently, the thumbnail sized image formatting code was showing the medium sized image instead. Once again, four image sizes are available (from smallest to largest): small, thumb, medium, large.

  8. New: Additional item links added to product details page.

    The following links are now available on product details pages: Customer Reviews, Technical Details, All Offers, Add to Baby Registry, Add to Wedding Registry, Add to Wishlist, and Tell A Friend. These links go to the corresponding page at

    Upload the revised ae-format/details*.html templates to display these new links.

    The new {details.itemlinks} formatting code contains an unordered list (<ul>) of the following links:

    Description Nickname URL URL (with target & rel)
    Customer Reviews customerreviews {details.url.customerreviews} {format.url.customerreviews}
    Technical Details technical {details.url.technical} {format.url.technical}
    All Offers offers {details.url.offers} {format.url.offers}
    Add to Baby Registry babyregistry {details.url.babyregistry} {format.url.babyregistry}
    Add to Wedding Registry weddingregistry {details.url.weddingregistry} {format.url.weddingregistry}
    Add to Wishlist wishlist {details.url.wishlist} {format.url.wishlist}
    Tell A Friend tellafriend {details.url.tellafriend} {format.url.tellafriend}

    The new url.itemlinks configuration variable is a comma-separated list of nicknames specifying which links to include in {details.itemlinks}. The order of nicknames specifies the order of the links. To remove links or to change the order of links, edit the url.itemlinks configuration variable (default: "customerreviews,technical,offers,babyregistry,weddingregistry,wishlist,tellafriend").

    Depending upon the particular product, some links may not be available and thus will not appear. To conditionally test if any links are available, use something like: {if details.itemlinks}<p>More:</p>{details.itemlinks}{endif}. If there are no links, {details.itemlinks} will be empty and test as false.

    • ae-format/details*.html templates now use {details.itemlinks} formatting code.
    • url.itemlinks configuration variable has been added.
    • {details.itemlinks} formatting code has been added.
    • {details.url.*} formatting codes have been added.
    • {format.url.*} formatting codes have been added.
  9. New: Alternate "More Results »" link shows more search results at

    The search results footer can now display a "More Results »" button (or text link) that goes to Amazon to display more search results at Amazon (the link causes the user to leave your website). This "More Results »" footer looks similar to the "« Previous Results, More Results »" footer which is used to show more results locally. Set moreResults configuration variable to yes to show it.

    Tip: If you set moreResults to yes, set prevNext configuration variable to no so only one footer is shown.

    • moreResults configuration variable shows the "More Results »" footer (default: no).
    • moreResults.range configuration variable shows the results range (e.g.: 1-10) in the footer (default: yes).
    • configuration variable shows the total results after the range (e.g.: 1-10 of 153) in the fotoer (default: no).
    • configuration variables shows the "More Results »" as a graphic (yes, default) or as text (no).
    • {format.moreResults} formatting code added to show the "More Results »" footer.
    • {format.results:more} formatting code is the "More Results »" URL. Tip: To conditionally test if there are more results, use: {if format.results:more}...{endif}
    • {format.url.more} formatting code is the "More Results »" URL with optional target and rel attributes. Example: {if format.results:more}<a href="{format.url.more}">View more search results at</a>{endif}
  10. New: Advanced Search added (type=advsearch).

    A new "Advanced Search" search type (type=advsearch) has been added. It allows direct access to nearly all of the search parameters of the Amazon API. When type=advsearch, one or more of the following search parameters can be specified:

    Parameter Description
    The browse node or store section to search in. Can specify a numeric browse node via BrowseNode (e.g.: BrowseNode=2) or mode (e.g.: mode=2). Or can specify a store section via mode (e.g.: mode=books) or SearchIndex (e.g.: SearchIndex=books).
    Actor The name of the movie actor to search for. Only valid for movie related browse nodes and store sections (e.g.: dvd, vhs, video).
    Artist The name of the music artist to search for. Only available for music related browse nodes and store sections (e.g.: mp3downloads, music).
    Author The name of the book author to search for. Only valid for book related browse nodes and store sections (e.g.: books, KindleStore).
    Brand The name of the brand to search for. Only valid for some browse nodes and store sections.
    Composer The name of the music composer to search for. Only valid for music related browse nodes and store sections.
    Conductor The name of the music conductor to search for. Only valid for music related browse nodes and store sections.
    Director The name of the movie director to search for. Only valid for movie related browse nodes and store sections.
    Keywords Keywords to search for.
    Manufacturer The name of the manufacturer to search for. Only available for some browse nodes and store sections.
    • MinimumPrice: The minimum price. Specify without a decimal point. For example, minimumprice=300 equates to a minimum price of $3.00. Default is no minimum price.

    • MaximumPrice: The maximum price. Specify without a decimal point. For example, maximumprice=2500 equates to a maximum price of $25.00. Default is no maximum price.

    • Price: The price range (e.g.: price=300-2500). Alternatively, you can specify the price range limits individually via MinimumPrice and MaximumPrice parameters.

    Orchestra The name of the orchestra to search for. Only available for music related browse nodes and store sections.
    Publisher The name of the book publisher to search for. Only available for books and movies related browse nodes and store sections.
    ItemTitle The name of the product title.

    Tip: If the combination of parameters is invalid (e.g.: search for an actor in the music store section) then "No Results" is displayed along with an error message provided by pointing out the invalid combination. If you prefer not to show the error message, set the new xml.error configuration variable to no (default: yes).

    Multiple parameters can be specified. For example, to search for DVD's directed by Alfred Hitchcock with actor James Stewart, use: search=advsearch&mode=dvd&director=Alfred+Hitchcock&actor=James+Stewart

  11. Improve: "Buy from:" link only displayed if mode is valid for that foreign locale.

    If you enter your associate ID for foreign locales (e.g.:, then "Buy From:" links are shown (e.g.: "Buy From: Germany"). However, not all store sections are available in all of Amazon's locales. For example, Magazines is only valid for (USA) and (Germany) and none of the other Amazon locales. In this version, "Buy From:" only include links for those locacles for which the store section is valid. For example, if a magazine is being viewed, then "United Kingdom" will not appear in the "Buy From:" links since does not have a Magazines store section. Also, the keyword based links are to specific store sections rather than to blended search results.

    The new addto.buyfrom.blended configuration variable controls this behaviour. If set to yes, a link is shown even if the locale does not support the selected store section, and the link goes to blended search results. Otherwise, if set to no (default), a link is shown only if the locale supports the store section, and the link goes to search results for the selected store section.

    • addto.buyfrom.blended configuration variable added (default no).
    • {details.url.foreign} formatting code added. Is defined if foreign links are available.
    • {} now tests {details.url.foreign}.
    • Foreign product URL's ({}, {}, {}, {}, {}, {}) now defined based on addto.buyfrom.blended configuration variable.
  12. Improve: Product image width/height attributes obtained more efficiently.

    Product image width/height attributes are now obtained from the Amazon web services data rather than from the image files themselves. Thus the ae-imgcache directory is no longer required.

    The formatting code for the image width is {details.imageWidthSIZE} and for the image height is {details.imageHeightSIZE}. The four image sizes (in place of SIZE) are: small, thumb, medium, large. Thus the dimensions of the large image are: width="{details.imageWidthLarge}" and height="{details.imageHeightLarge}".

    • imageWH configuration variable now defaults as yes so that all product images include width and height attributes.
  13. Improve: Page title of more browse nodes displayed (rather than generic "Products" title)

    More browse nodes now display an appropriate page title rather than a generic "Products" page title.

  14. New: Specify keywords via keyword parameter or keywords parameter

    Previously, keywords could be specified via the keyword parameter (singular spelling). Keywords can now be alternatively specified via the new keywords parameter (plural spelling).

  15. Improve: Cache now defaults to 24 hours and 20MB.

    The cache stale time (cache.stale configuration variable) now defaults to 24 hours. Previously, it would default to 1 hour.

    The cache size (cache.size configuration variable) now defaults to 20MB which is the new maximum. Previously, it would default to 10MB which was the old maximum.

  16. Improve: Configuration report recommends value for clock.offset web services requires that all requests be accurately time stamped. If your server's clock is off by more than 15 minutes, all requests will fail. In that case, change the server's clock (if you are the administrator) or set the clock.offset configuration variable.

    The AE Configuration Report now recommends a value for the clock.offset configuration variable. The recommended value is the difference in seconds between a reference atomic clock and your server's clock (a positive value indicates that your server's clock is slow; a negative value indicates that your server's clock is fast).

  17. Improve: Disk cache used more efficiently; less disk access.

    A memory cache has been added on top of the disk cache. If the current running instance of needs to access the same file more than once, memory is checked before reading from the disk thus reducing disk access and speeding up the response.

  18. Improve: file size reduced.

    The file is smaller than the previous version by 10%. Thus now loads faster.

  19. Improve: Blended searches display results sooner.

    Blended searches (e.g.: type=search&mode=blended) have been optimized. Less data is requested and thus results are displayed sooner.

Prior to this point was Associate Engine v10.10.20.

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