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Developer Guide

Being successful on the platform

With our updated RESTful API and SDKs for Android and iOS, Amazon Drive is moving to an invite-only developer offering to ensure we can provide a consistently viable service available for supported use-cases. We want you to be successful when developing apps on the Amazon Drive platform. We have created a guide to help you on your way from getting started to having your app reviewed by our team before releasing it to the public. Please also refer to our Brand Guidelines and the App Distribution and Services Agreement before developing your app.

App Permissions 

When you build an app using the Amazon Drive API you need to submit a request to have your app whitelisted. During this process you need to provide details about your app, whether you need read and/or write access, and the type of content you want to have access to in a customer account such as images, videos, or documents. During the app review process we will verify your app has requested the appropriate permissions.

Permission Level    

Your app can have read, write, or read and write access. We require you never request more access than your app needs to operate. Read access let’s your app download the contents from a customer account whereas write access lets your app upload, modify and trash content. If your app doesn’t need to upload or modify content then you should only request “clouddrive:read” access. You can choose to select either or both levels of access. For example, if you've built a photo printing app then you only need read access since you want to download all of the images from a customer account to let them view, select and print the photos from their Amazon Drive account.

Account Access Control

The content type you choose will determine what files your app will have access to in a customer’s account. You may choose access to images, videos, documents or everything. You are required to choose the correct content type your app needs access to and nothing more.

Everything

The "Everything" content type provides your app with access to all files and folders within a customer's Amazon Drive account. Your app should not request this content type if it does not require access to all customer content.

App Review 

Once your app is whitelisted you will be able to start using the Amazon Drive API with Development Rate Limits to the service. Your app must be submitted for review before it is placed into production, used at a demo, hackathon, or as an internal tool. You can submit your app for review by sending an email to clouddrive-api-support@amazon.com. Please include a link to access a build of your app for review together with testing instructions. When your app is submitted for review we will verify permissions, run a call-pattern analysis, implementation of a back-off strategy and whether or not your app complies with our Brand Guidelines and the App Distribution and Services Agreement. When your app is reviewed and approved your rate limits will be increased to Production Rate Limits.

Amazon Drive will help you market your app to millions of customers, which is one of the benefits of choosing our platform. If you choose to have your app placed into the Amazon Drive App Gallery please inform us when submitting it for review. The App Gallery is a showcase of apps using the Amazon Drive API where Amazon Drive customers can discover your app and access more info about it.

Successful Apps on the Service    

Apps that are approved during the App Review and marketed on the App Gallery have some similar characteristics.

Branding 

You should follow our Brand Guidelines to avoid any confusion over who built your app. Your app should not imply it was endorsed, build by, or in partnership with Amazon. You should clearly state that your app uses the Amazon Drive service by using one of the icons or logos provided in the Brand Guidelines. This is especially true if your app has similar functionality as one of the Amazon Drive branded apps.

Minimal Permissions 

You should only request access and permission to content your app needs and nothing more. For example, if your app is a photo printing app you should not request access to customer documents. You should only have access to “images”. Requesting full access to everything in a customer account isn’t needed in most cases.

Deleting Files 

We do not allow developers to recursively delete customer content. In the API you will see an option for trashing customer content. While you may use a garbage can icon to delete something in your app, the files that are “deleted” are placed into the customer’s trash in their Amazon Drive account and are accessible from the Amazon Drive website. Do not give the impression to customers that you are permanently deleting their content.

Login with Amazon

You must use Login with Amazon to log in customers to their Amazon Drive accounts. We will review your app to make sure it does not request or collect Amazon usernames or passwords.

Privacy 

Amazon is earth's most customer-centric company. We are customer obsessed and pride ourselves on earning customer trust. A big part of that is respecting the privacy of our customers. We expect you to do the same and have a privacy policy in place for your app that includes specifics about what you and your app will and will not do with customer data. When you create your Security Profile in the Developer Portal you need to add a link to your Privacy Policy.

Don't Hide Amazon Drive Functionality    

Add Amazon Amazon Drive functionality to both free and paid versions of your app. Placing Amazon Drive functionality behind a pay wall is not permitted because it creates a poor customer experience.

Disconnecting Amazon Drive

Amazon has built trust with its customers. Make sure you provide customers with a clear way to disconnect or sign out of their Amazon Drive account from within your app.

Developer Tools 

If you choose to build tools for developers to help them adopt the Amazon Drive API each developer must have their own client id that they create within the Developer Portal.

App Registration 

If you have, or plan to build, multiple apps where you will integrate the Amazon Drive API it is recommended to use a distinct client id for each app. This makes it easier for us to run a call-pattern analysis against your app and get you quickly through the App Review process.

What Not To Build

We understand that developers spend a lot of time creating apps that customers love to use. We want to give you some guidelines for apps not to build on the Amazon Drive platform to save you time in building something that will not be approved during the App Review process. While this isn’t an all-inclusive list, focus your energy on developing apps that solve customer problems, which don’t violate our Terms of UseBrand Guidelines and the App Distribution and Services Agreement.

  • Don’t build apps that support commercial use
  • Don’t build apps that harm customers or their data
  • Don’t build apps that make excessive requests to the API
  • Don't build apps that infringe trademark, copyright or intellectual property
  • Don't build apps that scrape content or allow customers to copy content from websites
  • Don't build apps that promote illegal peer-to-peer file sharing
  • Don’t build apps that use business names and/or logos in a manner that can mislead, confuse or deceive customers (e.g., do not copy the look and feel of Amazon Drive branded apps)
  • Don't build apps that confuse or mislead customers
  • Don't build apps that impersonate or facilitate impersonation of others in a manner that can mislead, confuse or deceive customers

Applications that perform client-side encryption will prevent customers from viewing data in any other application, impacting the overall customer experience.

Service Limitations

At this time here are some limitations of the platform.

Non-Supported Countries

The Amazon Drive API does not support account creation and revocation using Login with Amazon in China and Japan marketplaces. If your app is available in these countries you will need to hide Amazon Drive functionality in your app for people in these countries or postpone your integration until we fully support these marketplaces.

Amazon Appstore Submissions

If you are developing an app for the Amazon Appstore make sure that you link the Security Profile in “My Apps” before you submit your binary. You can check this by selecting the app on the "My Apps" tab in the Developer Portal and then going to the app's "Security Profile" tab. If the app is not linked, you can fix that by selecting your Security Profile from the list on that page and then clicking the "Confirm" button that shows up.

Fire TV Developers

Please follow this guideline below when developing for the Fire TV.

  1. Don’t overwrite the user-agents completely.
  2. For Fire TV, use this user-agent “amzn-cd3P-firetv-”. You can use your app name in the placeholder .

Support

If you have any questions, see the Developer Forum.