Cedemo’s Platform Manages Amazon AFS Communication. My view.

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Amazon Feed Specification (AFS) pilot

Feed Specification (AFS) pilot

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Cedemo’s platform manages Amazon AFS Communication as Amazon is a must nowadays. Therefore, Cedemo participated early on the Amazon Feed Specification (AFS) pilot. Meanwhile, this has become a mature service.

Managing AFS communication?

First of all, let us start with a simplified diagram of the services involves the export process.

Amazon export proces
Amazon export proces

This diagram is valid for all types of exports. For example like CSV, JSON, or the AFS export. An export triggers a manual or automated action. First, the workflow manages the TriggerService. Second, the service will successively call the FormatProcessingService. Third, the TransportService will generate and send generated files.

To sum up, an AFS export requires an additional step. In short, this step consists of validating the generated files. This validation manages a dedicated service called AmazonValidationService.

Improvement: automated updates

The AFS JSON format is not completely standard. It introduces features that allow conditional validation. Therefore, Cedemo chose to re-use the validator that is provided by Amazon. Cedemo updates it every time it changes. Also, another manual operation is the addition of new schema files. Amazon updates these every month. Until now, the files are available through via a Jira project. Which makes it very complicated to upload automatically. But, the S3 bucket directly updates the since the last version of AFS. To improve this service, implementing a fully automated update of the validator. But also for related schema files.

Send files to Amazon

First, you will send the files to Amazon. Second, the platform waits for acknowledgments. As Amazon deposits on an S3 bucket within four hours. The AcknowledgeService is in charge of reading these acknowledgments. Third, according to the feedback the export report and products are updated:

  • The product does not exist.
    Manual validation at home. Re-publication requests in most cases. Note, the re-publication is not automatically at this point.
  • The product exists. And there are no conflicts.
    The Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN) associates with the product. If not already done.
  • The product exists. And there are conflicts.
    Configure and manage or automate conflict management for the manufacturer. Or the manufacturer can manage the conflicts manually. In both cases, after conflict are solved the product is republished automatically.

Relationship Cedemo and Amazon

In short, the relationship between Cedemo and AFS is advanced. But, some features still need to be implemented. For example automated re-publishing. But, also the schema update. As a result, Cedemo can make it fully automatic. Another idea is to fully separate the microservices. And develop them into a platform-independent service. In this way, other Icecat ecosystem services can call the Cedemo AFS service directly. A lot of work ahead!


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