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Amazon In-App Purchasing Component

 IV: Add Components for More Functionality

The Amazon In-App Purchasing Component uses Amazon's In-App Purchasing (IAP) API to integrate purchasing options in your app.

Available Purchasing Options

The In-App Purchasing Component offers two different purchasing options in your app:

  • Daily Pass: Allows uses to watch any media in your app for a day (starting from the time of purchase for 24 hours). This is similar to an unlimited movie rental for 24 hours.
  • Go Premium: Allows users to pay a subscription fee to watch any media in your app during the subscription time period. You define the subscription time period when you set up the in-app items in the Amazon Developer Console.

With the In-App Purchasing Component, you don't have to worry about handling transactions with users. Users make purchases through their Amazon account, which they set up when they configure their Fire TV. The In-App Purchasing API takes care of all of the transaction details within your app.

The User Experience with Amazon In-App Purchasing Component

After you implement the Amazon In-App Purchase Component in your app, users see a "Daily Pass" and "Go Premium" button on the Content Details screen (instead of a Watch Now button).

Figure 1. Options to either subscribe or purchase a daily pass appear to the user on the Content Details screen.

When a user clicks the "Go Premium" or "Daily Pass" button, the user is prompted to make a purchase using his or her Fire TV account. For example, if the user clicks "Go Premium," the following screen appears:

Figure 2. Subscription options dialog box that appears to users.

If a user clicks "Daily Pass," the following screen appears:

Figure 3. Rental options dialog box that appears to users.

The user completes the transaction through this Fire TV dialog box using his or her Amazon account, which the user entered when setting up Fire TV. When the transaction is finished, the user sees this screen:

Figure 4. The order is completed.

The user can now start watching the content.

Notes and Limitations with In-App Purchasing

Note the following details with the Amazon In-App Purchase component:

  • You must offer both Daily Pass (24-hour access) and Go Premium (subscription) options for your media.
  • When users purchase Daily Pass or Go Premium, they get access to all the media in your app. You can't individually separate out some items for subscription or rental while keeping other items free.
  • Purchases made on other devices won't be acknowledged in the app until a user either restarts the app or attempts to play the content. (The app does not refresh the purchased items when the state goes to background.)
  • If users are in the middle of a movie when their Daily Pass or Subscription expires, the users will be able to finish their movie. The In-App Purchasing component won't stop their movie.
  • You cannot offer multiple subscription types for the same media. For example, you can't offer both an SD or HD option to watch content, nor can you offer monthly or yearly subscriptions.
  • Daily Pass can be used only on the device in which the purchase was made. A user cannot log into another Fire TV device and expect the Daily Pass to work.
  • Go Premium subscriptions work across devices (meaning a user can buy a subscription in one Fire TV device and get the same benefits on another Fire TV device). However, users who log into another device will need to restart the app before the subscription takes effect.
  • If a user purchases a Daily Pass, but then the Fire TV app crashes and the data is lost, the user will no longer have access to Daily Pass on the app. However, with Go Premium (subscriptions), app crashes will not void the user's access after he or she restarts the app.
  • If a user subscribes to content and then clicks the Back button, he or she will see the Go Premium button again. But if the user tries to subscribe a second time, the app will recognize that the user is already a subscriber and will provide access to the media.

Amazon In-App Purchasing Component Workflow

The following steps describe the payment workflow for the Amazon In-App Purchasing Component:

  1. When the app starts, the app uses the In-App Purchasing API to fetch the existing purchases for the current logged-in user and updates the products with the latest receipts.
  2. On a Content Details screen, the user clicks either a Daily Pass or Go Premium button (assuming the user hasn't yet purchased the media).
  3. The app makes a call to the In-App Purchasing API to perform the transaction with the user for the items. The user completes the purchase through the Fire TV account options the user has already set up.
  4. If the transaction is successful, the In-App Purchasing API returns a receipt ID from the transaction to the app.
  5. (Optional) To ensure the receipt is valid, you can set up your own service to send a request to the Receipt Verification service and check if the receipt ID is valid.
  6. If the receipt ID is valid, the app lets the user view the media.

Configuration Overview

To set up the In-App Purchasing Component, you create a Daily Pass item (consumable) and Go Premium item (subscription) in the In-App Items section of the Developer Portal. You configure your app with the SKU information for these items. The component sends the necessary information to the In-App Purchasing API.

The Amazon In-App Purchasing Component uses a wrapper over the IAP API. Only a limited feature set from IAP is available; as such, the documentation here is a modified subset of the IAP documentation.

Daily Pass (Consumables) and Go Premium (Subscriptions)

In-App Purchasing offers 3 types of items: consumables, entitlements, and subscriptions. Only consumables and subscriptions are relevant to the In-App Purchasing Component in Fire App Builder (this component is a wrapper on top of the IAP API, so not all of the IAP API features apply). Both consumable and subscription items (not entitlements) map to the Amazon In-App Purchase Component.

Here's the difference between consumables and subscriptions:

  • Consumables (mapped to Daily Pass) are consumed within the app and can be purchased multiple times. Consumables are mapped to "Daily Pass" in Fire App Builder. Choose this type of item if you want users to have access to all your media for a 24-hour access period.
  • Subscriptions (mapped to Go Premium) offer access to a premium set of content or features for a limited period of time. Subscriptions are mapped to "Go Premium" in Fire App Builder. Choose this type of item if you want users to have access to all your media throughout the subscription period.

Amazon In-App Purchasing Component Configuration

To configure the In-App Purchase Component, follow these steps:

Step 1. Create an App in the Developer Portal

If you have already created an app, you can skip this section jump to the next.

  1. Log in to the Developer Portal.
  2. Click Add a New App and select Android in the "Choose a Platform" dialog box. Then click Next.
  3. Complete the basic fields for your app:

    • App title: The name of your app.
    • App SKU: A unique identifier for your app (for example, mycalypsomediapp1234). The SKU has a max length of 150 characters and can contain the characters a-z, A-Z, 0-9, underscores, periods, and dashes. SKUs are case-sensitive.
    • Category: Choose a category appropriate for your app and media.
  4. For Customer Support Contact, select Use my default support information or customize the fields. Then click Save.

Step 2. Create a Consumable (Daily Pass) In-App Item

  1. Log in to the Developer Portal, go to the Dashboard, and click your app.
  2. Click the In-App Items tab in your app.
  3. Click the Add a Consumable button (for Daily Pass).

    Figure 5. Rental options dialog box that appears to users.
  4. Enter values for the fields defined in the following table:

    Field Description
    Title A name to refer to this item. This title doesn’t appear to users. Type Daily Pass for convenience.
    SKU A unique-to-your-app string that becomes the ID for the item. For example, "com.amazon.example.iap.mydailypassitem". The SKUs used by your app must match the SKUs that you submit to the Amazon Appstore. The same SKU character requirements as before (when you created an app) apply here too.
    Content delivery Choose No additional file required since the content to be delivered is included as part of the app.
  5. Click Save.

  6. Click the Availability & Pricing tab and complete the details as described in the following table.

    Field Description
    Are you charging for this consumable / entitlement? Select Yes, my base price is… A field displays allowing you to set the base price and currency for the item. After you set the base price, you can manually set the price for other currencies, or allow the Amazon Appstore to set those prices for you, based on conversion rates and taxes. Valid prices (in USD) can either be $0.00 or range from $0.99 to $400.
    When would you like this item to be available? Specify a date (IAP uses the PST time zone) for the item to become available in your app. If you leave this field blank, the item will become available as soon as it is approved by the Amazon Appstore.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Click the Description tab.
  9. Complete the Display Title and Description fields.

    These fields appear in the dialog box after users click Daily Pass:

    Figure 6. Title and Description fields that appear to users.
  10. Click Save.
  11. Click the Images tab.
  12. Upload the two images as indicated based on the size requirements. Only the 114px image appears in the Daily Pass dialog box users see in the app. In the previous screenshot (Figure 6), the image is simply an orange square. For convenience in creating the 512px image, you can upload this generic image.
  13. Click Save.

Step 3. Create a Subscription (Go Premium) In-App Item

  1. If necessary, log in to the Developer Portal, go to the Dashboard, and click your app.
  2. Click the In-App Items tab in your app.
  3. Click the Add a Subscription button (for Go Premium). (In the "Subscriptions are not supported by Amazon Underground" prompt, click the Add a Subscription button again.)
  4. Enter values for the fields defined in the following table:

    Field Description
    Title A name to refer to this item. This title doesn’t appear to users. Type Go Premium for convenience.
    SKU A unique-to-your-app string that becomes the ID for the item. For example, "com.amazon.example.iap.mygopremiumitem." The SKUs used by your app must match the SKUs that you submit to the Amazon Appstore. The same SKU character requirements as before (when you created an app) apply here too.
    Content delivery Choose No additional file required since the content to be delivered is included as part of the app.
  5. Click Save.

  6. Click the Subscription Periods tab and complete the fields as defined in the following table.

    Field Description
    Subscription Period Select the subscription duration you want. Subscription periods start on the date of purchase.
    SKU Enter a unique SKU (using the same guidelines as the other SKU fields) that corresponds to this subscription period. For example, "com.amazon.example.calypso.monthly". This SKU is a child SKU of the SKU that you entered on the item detail page.
    Free Trial If desired, specify an optional free trial period for the subscription.
    Are you charging for this subscription? Select Yes, my base price is…. A field displays allowing you to set the base price and currency for the item. After you set the base price, you can manually set the price for other currencies, or allow the Amazon Appstore to set those prices for you, based on conversion rates and taxes. Valid prices (in USD) can either be $0.00 or range from $0.99 to $299.00.
    When would you like this item to be available? Specify a date (IAP uses the PST time zone) for the item to become available in your app. If you leave this field blank, the item will become available as soon as it is approved by the Amazon Appstore.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Click the Description tab.
  9. Complete the Display Title and Description fields.

    These fields appear in the dialog box after users click Go Premium:

    Figure 7. Title and Description fields that appear to users.
  10. Click Save.
  11. Click the Images tab.
  12. The image icons are required by the Developer Console, but unlike with Daily Pass (consumables), neither image is used in the Go Premium dialog box users see in the app. For convenience, you can upload this generic 114px image and this generic 512px image image.
  13. Click Save.

Step 4. Download and Push the JSON Data File

After you have configured both the Daily Pass and Go Premium in-app items, you will download a JSON file containing details about your in-app items.

  1. If necessary, log in to the Developer Portal, go to the Dashboard, and click your app.
  2. Click the In-App Items tab in your app.
  3. Click the JSON Data File button to download the JSON file containing your in-app item details.

  4. In your terminal, cd to the directory containing this file.
  5. Push the JSON file to your Fire TV device using the following command:

    $ adb push amazon.sdktester.json /mnt/sdcard/
    

    The response will show the following: [100%] /mnt/sdcard/amazon.sdktester.json

Step 5. Enable the In-App Purchasing Component in your App

Now that you've created your in-app items in the Developer Console, you need to enable the IAP component in your app.

  1. Load the Amazon In-App Purchasing component into your app. See the Load a Component for details about how to load a component into your app.
  2. In Android Studio (in the Android view), expand the ContentBrowser folder and go to res > values and open the custom.xml file.
  3. Copy the following string:

    <bool name="is_iap_disabled">true</bool>
    

    (Ignore the override_all_contents_subscription_flag field.)

  4. In your app folder, open the custom.xml file (located in res > values).
  5. Paste the string you copied earlier and change the value to false. Make sure to paste this string inside the resources tags:

    <bool name="is_iap_disabled">false</bool>
    

    The values in your app's custom.xml will overwrite any values in the components.

Step 6. Map In-App Items to Content in Your App

  1. In Android Studio (in the Android view), expand the PurchaseInterface folder and go to assets. Then open the skuslist.json file.

  2. For "Go Premium" items, replace the fields in red with your Go Premium item's SKU value:

    {
      "skusList": [
        {
          "sku": "testSubSku",
          "productType": "SUBSCRIBE",
          "purchaseSku": "testSubSku"
        },
        {
          "sku": "RentUnPurchased",
          "productType": "RENT",
          "purchaseSku": "RentUnPurchased"
        }
      ],
      "actions": {
        "CONTENT_ACTION_DAILY_PASS": "RentUnPurchased",
        "CONTENT_ACTION_SUBSCRIPTION": "testSubSku"
      }
    }
    

    Go Premium items are subscriptions.

  3. For "Daily Pass" items, replace the fields in red with your Daily Pass item's SKU value:

    {
      "skusList": [
        {
          "sku": "testSubSku",
          "productType": "SUBSCRIBE",
          "purchaseSku": "testSubSku"
        },
        {
          "sku": "RentUnPurchased",
          "productType": "RENT",
          "purchaseSku": "RentUnPurchased"
        }
      ],
      "actions": {
        "CONTENT_ACTION_DAILY_PASS": "RentUnPurchased",
        "CONTENT_ACTION_SUBSCRIPTION": "testSubSku"
      }
    }
    

    Daily Pass items are rentals.

Step 7. Customize the Button Text

You can customize the "Daily Pass" or the "Go Premium" text that appears on the buttons on the Content Details screen.

To customize the text:

  1. Go to ContentBrowser > res > values and open the strings.xml file.
  2. Copy the following strings and paste them into your app's custom.xml file:

    <string name="premium_1">Go</string>
    <string name="premium_2">Premium</string>
    <string name="daily_pass_1">Daily</string>
    <string name="daily_pass_2">Pass</string>
    

    You can also copy other strings related to the Purchasing Component here as well:

    <string name="iap_error_dialog_title">Purchase Error</string>
    <string name="subscription_expired">Your subscription expired!</string>
    <string name="ok">Ok</string>
    
  3. Customize the string values as desired.

Step 8. Set Up the App Tester

Now that you've set up your in-app items and configured your app, it's time to test out the integration and see how IAP interacts with your media.

To test the in-app items in your app — without actually making purchases and before submitting your app to the Appstore — you need to use the IAP App Tester. The App Tester simulates calls to the In-App Purchasing API using a sandbox server. The App Tester intercepts the outgoing call to the In-App Purchasing API and returns a valid receipt, authorizing the transaction. (For more details, see Installing and Configuring the App Tester.)

To set up the App Tester:

  1. Using your computer's browser, go to the App Tester from the AppStore, get the app (it's free), and deliver it to your device.

    To deliver this app to your device, you must be signed in to Amazon with the same credentials as you used in setting up your Fire TV. Use the "Deliver to" options to deliver the app to your device:

    Figure 9. The Delivery options allows you to send the app to your Fire TV device.
  2. On your Fire TV, sync your purchases with your device by going to Settings > My Account > Sync Amazon Content.
  3. From the Fire TV home screen, go to Apps and select Your Apps Library.
  4. Select the Amazon App Tester app and download and install the app from the cloud.
  5. Launch the app after the download completes.
  6. Click the In-App Purchasing API section.

    Figure 10. In-App Purchasing API option.
  7. Select 5. IAP Items in JSON File and verify that items from your amazon.sdktester.json file appear here.

Simulate Calls

With your app and the testing tool configured, you can now simulate calls to the IAP service.

  1. Using adb, start your app.
  2. Browse to media in your app.
  3. Click the Daily Pass or Subscribe button.

Adjust In-App Items

You may want to adjust the Title and Description fields on the Description tab based on how the text appears in your app.

You can adjust the text or other features in your in-app items by logging into the Developer Console, clicking your app, and going to the In-App Items tab. As long as you haven't submitted your app, all the fields remain editable.

Reset Purchases

As you're testing the functionality, you can reset any Daily Pass or Go Premium purchases by doing the following:

  1. Go to Settings > Applications > Manage Installed Applications > Amazon App Tester.
  2. Select Clear data and Clear cache.

Implementing Additional Security Through the Receipt Verification Service

When users purchase a Daily Pass or Subscription to your media, the IAP API returns a receipt to your app indicating whether the transaction was valid. Since your users own the Fire TV device, it's possible for hackers to re-route the outgoing call to the IAP API and spoof the receipt.

To verify that the receipt returned from the IAP API is valid, you can set up your own service to call Amazon's Receipt Verification Service.

Here's the general process for verifying receipts with the Receipt Verification Service using Fire App Builder:

  • You set up your own server (using any language/platform) to send the receipt and an accompanying secret to the Receipt Verification Service, asking whether the receipt is valid.
  • Your app sends a request with the required properties and shared secret to the Receipt Verification Service to check the receipt. The required values can be found in AmazonInAppPurchaseComponent > res > values values.xml.
  • After verifying the secret, the Receipt Verification Service determines whether the receipt is valid and responds with a true or false answer.

This workflow is not included in Fire App Builder. By default, Fire App Builder just makes a call to a dummy service that always returns valid. Specifically, in Fire App Builder, the AReceiptVerifier class (in the AmazonInAppPurchaseComponent folder) is an abstract class that you extend with your own subclass to call the Receipt Verification Service.

DefaultReceiptVerificationService is a sample subclass in Fire App Builder that extends AReceiptVerifier. The validateReceipt method inside DefaultReceiptVerificationService implements all the required parameters needed by the Receipt Verification Service:

  • context: The application context
  • requestId: The request id for this request
  • sku: SKU for the receipt
  • userData: User data of the current user
  • receipt: The receipt to validate
  • listener: The listener of this request
  • return: The request id

However, validateReceipt doesn't actually call the Receipt Verification Service. Instead, this method just returns a status of successful.

You must create your own subclass to extend AReceiptVerifier with an actual call to the Receipt Verification Service. (Alternatively, you can customize the DefaultReceiptVerificationService subclass.)

When you create the subclass, you must provide your subclass name in your app's custom.xml file by doing the following:

  1. Go to AmazonInAppPurchaseComponent > res > values and open the strings.xml file.
  2. Copy the following receipt_verification_service_iap string, and paste it into your app's custom.xml file (inside app > resources):

    <string name="receipt_verification_service_iap">com.amazon.inapppurchase.DefaultReceiptVerificationService</string>
    
  3. In your app's custom.xml file, update the string's value with the complete path to your subclass. By default, the DefaultReceiptVerificationService is configured. You can either create a new subclass or simply overwrite the DefaultReceiptVerificationService class.

For more details on calling the Receipt Verification Service, see RVS for Android Apps and RVS for Web Apps.

Submitting In-App Items to Production

So far this documentation has explained how to configure your app in a test environment. When you're ready to submit your app to the app store, you need to also submit the in-app items.

To submit the in-app items:

  1. Log in to the Developer Portal, go to the Dashboard, and click your app.
  2. Click the In-App Items tab in your app.
  3. Click the Submit In-App Item button.

After you submit your in-app items, you can no longer edit them. If you need to change the in-app items that have already been submitted, you will need to either create a new version of your app or create a new app and add new in-app items to the app.