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New tools to boost eBay apps

eBay adds platforms for third-party developers

eBay plans to increase the programming tools it provides external developers so that they’ll be able to increase the volume and variety of applications they create for the company's marketplace.

The company will release new SDKs (software development kits) and provide more technical resources to its community of third-party developers. It will also release new APIs (application programming interfaces) designed to create applications for eBay buyers specifically. The eBay Developers Program has about 45,000 members.

In recent years, large internet companies such as Google, eBay, AOL and Yahoo have courted external developers aggressively. Given the necessary tools, these programmers can create plug-ins, applications and extensions that enhance the internet companies' services and boost their popularity and usage. Because they are built to work in conjunction with features and data from another company's online service, these external applications are commonly referred to as ‘mashups’.

The developer news was announced by Max Mancini, eBay's senior director of platform and innovation, in a posting to the eBay Developers Program official blog on Tuesday. Mancini didn't indicate when these new tools will become available, nor did he provide many details about their functionality. eBay didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mancini, whose appointment as leader of the eBay Developers Program was also announced Tuesday, also oversees a new eBay team charged with fostering innovation.

The so-called Disruptive Innovation team was created to "explore new concepts and create new tools to allow our 222 million buyers, sellers and developers to make better use of the eBay platform," Mancini wrote. This innovation group will work closely with the developers program.

Previously, Mancini led eBay product development teams in areas such as trust and safety, customer support and stores.


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