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eBay developer conference: San Dimas desktop and APIs

Online-commerce giant releases faster APIs, shows off desktop application written with Adobe Systems' AIR.

BOSTON--eBay on Monday opened the doors to its developer conference, where the commerce giant announced a batch of new application-programming interfaces, or APIs, and showed off its new desktop application.

The company announced better-performing shopping Web services, an API for bidding on goods and a way to notify users about auctions through automated alerts.

In addition, the company is expected to demonstrate the desktop application for accessing eBay services, code-named the San Dimas project, during the morning keynote speech.

The software was built using Adobe's AIR platform which enables people to write applications with Web-based toolkits that operate like traditional desktop programs.

Update: Alan Lewis, the program manager for Sam Dimas at eBay, announced during the morning keynote that the beta program is open. People who attend the developer conference will get preferred access to the program, Lewis said.

eBay's desktop application keeps people connected to online auctions but operates and looks like other desktop applications. eBay

On top of releasing new commerce APIs and a new API for mobile PayPal applications, eBay upped the limit on the number of calls that developers can make to eBay's platform per month without paying a transaction fee.

Developers can write applications that make 150,000 calls per month to eBay's Web services, which was bumped up from 10,000. The goal is to simplify the process of letting developers create eBay-connected applications online, according to company executives.

"Before when you were using their API, you had to register for keys and get certified--you had to jump through a lot of hoops," said Jeremy Schoemaker, president of Shoemoney Media Group which is an eBay developer. "Now you can do a lot of basic functionality for free."