Paypal Offers Developers a Sense of Community

eBay's payment-processing company launches a Web site and hub designed to help developers and merchants get started.

To provide merchants and developers with centralized access to the resources needed to integrate PayPal into their online stores, PayPal yesterday announced the launch a new Developer Community Web site and Developer Hub. This announcement came as a part of its 5th annual eBay Developers Conference.

PayPal's new Developer Hub is designed to be a starting point for merchants by offering easy access to API references and software development kits (SDKs), which are needed to integrate PayPal within your e-commerce Web site.

In addition to the Developer Hub, PayPal also unveiled a new Developer Community Web site with new forums, blogs and RSS feeds built to encourage developers to share ideas and connect with PayPal e-commerce experts and other members of the PayPal Developer Network.

It comes as no surprise that while PayPal currently handles the larger percentage of eBay transactions, the company is looking to gain a larger share of the $165 billion "off-ebay" payment processing dollars.

Tim Villanueva, general manager, PayPal Platform and Developer Network, told ECommerce-Guide that the newly launched Developer Community Web site and Developer Hub provides developers and merchants with the tools and resources needed to integrate PayPal as an off-eBay merchant payment solution.

"The PayPal Developer Program is the direct result of listening to developers and our hard work in bringing forth the tools they need to be successful in their own e-commerce business. Through this program, developers have the opportunity to communicate their needs to PayPal — and also to have quick and easy access to PayPal tools, solutions, and resources in a relaxed community setting that is facilitated by PayPal."

By offering organized and updated information, PayPal is looking to draw in developers who have a key or contributing role in deciding which payment systems merchants will use on their "off-eBay" e-commerce Web sites. Villanueva said he sees the Developer Network program and associated developer Web sites as a logical progression for PayPal.

"PayPal is unique. It is more than eBay, and more than just payment-processing. Paypal is a peer-to-peer network, which allows developers to offer applications and mash-ups that you couldn't get with another credit card processing system. Our newly launched Developer Community and Hub Web sites are an important aspect of our overall developer program as it encourages more direct feedback and communication between the developer and PayPal. We can give developers and merchants exactly what they need."

Moving forward with the Developer Program, PayPal reports that it has set several targets for year-end that focus on alternative and easier ways for developers and merchants to integrate PayPal into their e-commerce Web sites. In terms of forward-looking releases, you can expect to see new interfaces coming through the Developer program for partners to seamlessly accept PayPal payments without having to route the customer to PayPal's Web site to login.

Currently PayPal uses the SOAP language to offer its Web services, and while it plans to continue support and invest in it, Villanueva confirmed that by year-end they expect to offer REST Web services, which is an HTTP transport alternative and will also provide developers with interfaces for less supported platforms.

As PayPal-developer updates, news and releases become available, developers and merchants will have access to the information through the Developer Hub, and can seek advice and assistance with implementation and testing through the newly launched Developer Community Web site.

Vangie Beal is a regular contributor to ECommerce-Guide.com.

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