adCenter API tokens ? 3 types of tokens for different scenarios

If you have a history of high monthly expenditures on adCenter, you can get tokens to  access accounts programmatically via the adCenter API. If you want to have access to the adCenter API, then contact your adCenter account representative to discuss the nomination process.

In addition to a user name and password, API users need a developer token or code to access their data.

adCenter provides 3 kinds of API access to suit the needs of different customers. There are 3 kinds of tokens:

Single-user tokens  -- These work only with one customer’s user name and password – not any other customer accounts. Agencies may use single-user tokens when they manage multiple customer campaigns under the same account. Agencies may also use single-user tokens if they manage accounts on behalf of a customer.

3rd-Party Developer tokens – These work with any valid adCenter credentials. Tool developers, who provide software or services for use by many adCenter users, will want this type of token. This is also the most restricted token. If you are requesting this type of token, then you should understand the nomination process, talk with your business representative, and explain the business need. Agencies  or Resellers may also use 3rd Party developer tokens based on requirements.  Please discuss with your business representative on whether it is a good fit for your needs.

Aggregator tokens -- Aggregators handle search advertising for hundreds or thoursands of small businesses. They are also known as "resellers" or Small and Medium Business (SMB) Aggregators. This token is provided to these customers, and allows the creation of new adCenter customers via the API. Users accessing the API with this token can manage any customer accounts that they have created. The aggregators can create new customers in adCenter for each new business they bring on.

adCenter will continue to offer these 3 types of tokens for developers. In some cases, you may need more than one type or need to change token types. To discuss this, you should contact your account representatives.

Comments (7)
  1. says:

    Do you know if there are any plans to release the API to small businesses that don't "have a history of high monthly expenditures" any time soon?  I've been able to use similar API's for products such as Google AdWords and Yahoo! Search Marketing for many years.  

    I have many small business customers who use applications I've built using these interfaces.  In the past when I told these customers that Microsoft was unlikely to give them API access the usual response was that adCenter wasn't so important for them and it would be OK as long as AdWords and YSM worked.  However, with the requirement that YSM advertisers are to start using adCenter to manage their accounts soon, it appears that the YSM functionality will cease to operate.  Do I need to tell people that I can now only realistically build them applications to work on the AdWords platform?

  2. Cnorred says:

    Hi Ewan, Thank you for the question on the blog. I'll ask Shamit to add more info. We do have plans to ope the API to small businesses. We haven't announced a date, but it's an important milestone for our API and we know there is interest from customers like yourself.

    At the same time, you should read Scott White's post from Friday on migrating from YSM to adCenter API:…/migrating-from-search-marketing-api-to-adcenter-api.aspx

    Please be sure to subscribe to the blog and forum feeds in the coming days and weeks for more information on the migration.

    Let us know here or in the forum if you have any questions.

    We're looking forward to helping you use the adCenter API.

    Chris Norred, community manager.

  3. Cnorred says:

    Hi Chris, Thanks for that.  I'll keep my eyes out.  I hope to be able to get my hands on the API after so many years of waiting!  I've actually been speaking to a previous customer who's got some tokens now so I should be able to look at it quite soon.

  4. Cnorred says:

    Hi R.G.

    thank you for the question and for the interest in the API. We know there is broader interest in using the API and we are working to make it available to more users. If you are already using adCenter for your search advertising, you can ask your search representative about gaining access to the API via an invitation. Meanwhile, subscribe to the blog and forums to make sure you're updated when there is news about API availability.

  5. Cnorred says:

    I was just told today (4/20/2010) that AdCenter API is still invitation-only. I must say it is rather annoying that Microsoft hasn't opened API access to their paid search platform, especially considering MS's history of support for developers. The amount of traffic I receive from Bing account looks like a rounding error when compared to the Google numbers. Why are you sitting on technology that could make your platform more attractive to 3rd party developers?

  6. Cnorred says:

    Hi Shamit,

    One part of your post doesn't make any sense. You are saying that:

    1) In order to get 3rd party developet token, you need to contact your "business representative".

    2) As we all know, "business representative" is assigned only to adCenter users with big monthly spend.

    3) We (and other 3rd party developers) don't spend anything because we are not advertisers, we develop software for advertisers. Therefore, we (and other 3rd party developers) don't have adcenter "business representative".

    4) In conclusion, 3rd parties can't get "3rd party developer token" because they are not advertisers!

    What is the purpose of "3rd party developer token" then? This sounds like Catch 22 (…/Catch-22_%28logic%29).

    Our situation is simple, we develop advanced AdWords Editor ( We support Google and we want to add support for MS and Yahoo as well. However, we are developers, we don't spend money on adCenter and we don't have "business representative". So MS doesn't want us to develop software for their platform?

    We are also MS Partner (partner ID: 2299139), so I will try to solve this issue via local MS office.



  7. Cnorred says:

    The parties on this thread may have already heard that earlier this year we opened up API access for any adCenter client. If you do not have an account manager, you may request access via this link:

    I hope this helps!

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