EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 700 - February 13, 2004     2 of 3

eBay Creates New 'Token' Authentication System for Developers

Email This Story to a Friend

eBay is rolling out a new program so third-party developers do not have to collect and store eBay member passwords. Under the existing system, eBay requires developers to adhere to stringent restrictions in how they store data about eBay members, requiring them to encrypt user names and passwords for security reasons. eBay's new Authentication and Authorization Program will use "tokens," similar to Microsoft's Passport system.

Under the new system, eBay members who sign up for a third-party service from an eBay-certified developer will be taken to the eBay sign-in page. eBay will then send a token to the vendor to confirm the user is who she says she is.

The new "Auth Auth" program is easier for developers, according to Debbie Brackeen, director of the eBay Developers Program. New developers are required to adopt the token system, and eventually all developers will rollover to the new system. Some third-party services continue to "scrape" eBay data rather than joining the developers program, including sniping services. Brackeen did not say whether the new token program would affect those companies, saying scraping is against eBay's policies.

Tabbatha Lawe of is an eBay-certified developer who supports the move to the token system. "We did not want eBay passwords. Sellers are more receptive to our service without our requiring their password," she said. MyStoreCredit offers sellers the ability to automatically create a bonus store credit as a thank you for their buyers at the close of each sale and send reminders to buyers who opt-in.

eBay announced this week it is adding SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and Java integration capabilities to the eBay software development kit (SDK) family to give developers more ways to seamlessly connect to the eBay platform. eBay said it has over 4,000 certified software developers compared to less than 200 just one year ago. eBay is holding a Developer Conference on June 23-24, 2004, in New Orleans before its annual eBay Live conference.

eBay's Developer program is open to individuals, companies and commercial developers. More information is available at

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

You may quote up to 50 words of any article on the condition that you attribute the article to and either link to the original article or to
All other use is prohibited.