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InfoQ Homepage News Ticketmaster Launches API Suite

Ticketmaster Launches API Suite

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Ticketmaster joined the event API landscape in late March with the launch of their developer portal, a suite of public-facing APIs, Web page widgets, and a forthcoming SDK for mobile application integration.

Each of the APIs share an apikey based authentication pattern and are rate limited with a default of 5,000 API calls per day. Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) is enabled on the API endpoints to simplify use of the APIs from within web pages and applications.

Creating an account is straightforward, but requires an "Application URL" during sign-up--though http://localhost/ was sufficient during the initial account creation. The sign-up system creates an initial "app" and generates a "Consumer Key" and "Consumer Secret" for use with the sample code or the interactive API documentation.

The Interactive API Console (hosted by Apigee) requires an authentication method and provides and interface for Custom Token (via query string or header) or OAuth2. However, the documentation only references use of the apikey query string parameter.

Responses to the various APIs are returned in application/json, but include Hypermedia Application Language (HAL) affordances. Despite the more generic media type, the HAL _links and _embedded key/values are documented by Ticketmaster and developers are encouraged to use them according to the HAL specification. Requests for Accept: application/hal+json still solicited the application/json response and a format URI template variable is required and must be equal to json.

The APIs available are split into six distinct groupings:

  • The Discovery API includes event, attraction, and venue search as well as loading details and images for specific events.
  • The Commerce API works off an "Event ID" (retrievable via a Discovery API) and returns the various tickets and prices as well as identifiers for "areas" and "offers" (the meaning and use of which is unclear from the documentation).
  • The Partner API provides the foundation for building a complete ticket purchase system and includes a shopping cart and payment system.
  • The Deals API is similar to the Discovery API, but with a more narrow focus on events currently offering sales or group discounts. The list of events is filterable by "Market ID" which is an integer associated with a metro area.
  • The Publish API uses the same "Market ID" and identifiers for venues and attractions from the Discovery API to enable the submission of event data to Ticketmaster making their data available to the Discovery API.
  • The International Discovery API is similar in concept to the Discovery API, but uses a unique JSON format (without the hypermedia afforadances). This API also requires a separate request (via email) for a unique API key.

Many of the APIs include multilingual response options for localizing interfaces generated from the response content.

Developers should be aware that there may be additional requirements for use of the Partner, Publish, and International Discovery APIs.

Ticketmaster's ongoing API and developer community activities can be followed on their Tech blog, developer events page, and open source projects page.

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