API in real life: How to facilitate the task of creating sites for searching and buying auto parts


    In the course of work on the platform for creating online auto parts stores abcp.ru, we were faced with the need to develop an API.

    Initially, work with sellers of auto parts was carried out directly, and we ourselves created standardized online stores on our own engine. However, over time, more and more customers began to demand an individual approach to website development.

    Our resources for the simultaneous conduct of several such projects might not be enough. Therefore, we created an API for external developers, which clients could attract to work on their sites. Today we will tell you more about what we ended up with.

    What is required of the API in the auto parts industry

    In the field of sales of auto parts, there are several classes of tasks, the success of a particular online store depends on the quality of their solution.

    The base of knowledge about analogues of auto parts (crosses)

    Often the original part is not available or it is too expensive. In this case, car owners can purchase a non-original substitute and seriously save (sometimes without even losing quality). Bundles of original spare parts and their substitutes are called crosses, and the most important task of an online store is to have an up-to-date database of such replacement options.

    The lack of such information is a serious minus of the store, which leads to a decrease in sales.


    In order to make life easier for developers of online auto parts stores, we created an API to access our constantly updated cross-database. Information is accessed through the REST API, which allows the use of data not only on websites, but also in mobile applications.

    The following is an example of JSON issuance of substitutes for the VOLKSWAGEN model 6R0615301 brake disc:

     "brand": "VAG",
     "number": "6R0615301",
     "crosses": [
       "brand": "Brembo",
       "number": "09.7011.11",
       "numberFix": "09701111"
       "brand": "Febi",
       "number": "14404",
       "numberFix": "14404"
       "brand": "Jurid",
       "number": "562040J",
       "numberFix": "562040J"
       "brand": "Zimmermann",
       "number": "100 1233 20",
       "numberFix": "100123320"


    The second most important task for the developer of an online auto parts store is to create a high-quality search by product article, taking into account possible analogues, features of part numbers of different brands and so on.

    In the segment of selling auto parts, there are a number of nuances that complicate the creation of online stores for developers who are not immersed in this area. Numbering features, EAN-13 barcodes, alternative and short part numbers - in order to understand all this, you need to spend a lot of time.

    Also, the creation of a search engine for an online auto parts store involves solving complex problems of updating price lists. At the same time, a search that works qualitatively with prices of 5,000 positions will not necessarily be able to process a document that includes 600 thousand positions.

    Using our API, developers can quickly implement a high-quality search, avoiding common mistakes (over 10 years of work, we stepped on a lot of rakes and came up with ways to work around them).

    The ABCP API allows search operations of varying degrees of complexity.

    For example, a search query looks like this to search for a part by number: The


    answer to a similar query may look something like this:

    		"brand": "Hepu",
    		"articleCode": "P999",
    		"articleCodeFix": "P999",
    		"articleId": "2854918",
    		"description": "Антифриз [синий] 1,5л.",
    		"availability": "-1",
    		"deliveryPeriod": 3,
    		"price": 231,
    		"weight": "0"
    		"brand": "Febi",
    		"articleCode": "01089",
    		"articleCodeFix": "01089",
    		"articleId": "37367",
    		"description": "Антифриз 1.5 л синий",
    		"availability": "1943",
    		"deliveryPeriod": 3,
    		"price": 233,
    		"weight": "1.76"
    		"brand": "Vaico Vemo",
    		"articleCode": "V600020",
    		"articleCodeFix": "V600020",
    		"articleId": "4144961",
    		"description": "Антифриз g-11 1.5л. концентрат",
    		"availability": "-2",
    		"deliveryPeriod": 3,
    		"price": 235,
    		"weight": "0"

    The response fields transmit information about the brand, product code, its description, data on stock availability, delivery time (in hours), cost and weight. In the example above, the request returned not only a description of the original product, but also its possible replacement.

    A more detailed description of the API, including search capabilities, is provided on a special wiki page .

    Adding a TecDoc Directory to Your Site

    Historically, the catalog for the selection of TecDoc auto parts is an extremely popular tool for finding the right parts. We believe that this tool is quite overestimated, however, one cannot ignore its demand. That is why we have created a convenient way to install the TecDoc directory on external sites.

    The information in the catalog is presented in the form of a tree - the user clicks on the car brand, selects a specific model, then the desired unit and thus finds the part.


    Usually TecDoc in Runet is used counterfeit, for which developers have to not only purchase a database (it takes several DVDs), but also write a large number of “crutches” for converting information from DVD to MySQL (or pay $ 50- $ 200 to craftsmen-converters base). Placing this gigantic amount of data entails additional costs.

    In addition, TecDoc is updated every quarter, table structures and data formats are changed, which further complicates the maintenance of unlicensed versions of the service in an up-to-date state. Otherwise, it’s difficult to call such a situation a hell for a developer.

    To make life easier for developers, we created the site tecdoc.abcp.ru- on it you can take the source codes for installing the licensed version of the TecDoc catalog on external sites (the database is constantly updated). For non-standard use of catalog data , API functions are available to developers , the set of which we are gradually increasing.

    We are not the only official resellers of the TecDoc catalog on the market of the CIS countries, but the only ones who managed to reduce the cost of using the official version to just 2000 rubles per month.

    We will tell you more about working with the TecDoc catalog in one of the following topics.

    How to further improve the site for the search for auto parts

    In addition to the API itself, there are other methods that allow website developers to provide customers with a higher level of service for searching and buying auto parts. One such tool is a variety of useful widgets.

    Search for auto parts by VIN code

    As we already said in our last topic - finding the right auto parts on the Internet is extremely difficult. Understanding manufacturers' catalogs (which are most often not good examples of informational content) even having a VIN code for a part is not a trivial task.

    On the website of the 4mycar.ru auto parts search engine, we created a special button and the auto- experts who are “hiding” behind it will select the necessary spare part by VIN code.


    This scheme works with the help of a special service for remote selection of auto parts Vinqu.com. Owners of automotive-related sites can install a special widget on their resources, and car experts can participate in the search for parts for visitors. As a result, stores and experts make money, and users find the parts they need.

    In addition, we created a widget for recording in a car service online - the owners of such companies can post its code on the site. Car enthusiasts can not only make an appointment, but also receive SMS reminders about the date of maintenance.

    That's all for today, thanks for watching! In the following topics, we will talk about the infrastructure of our 4mycar.ru auto parts search engine, the creation of the VIN-Request Exchange service, and how our technical support service handled 60 thousand tickets over 5 years of operation.

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