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Intro to the AdWords API Sandbox

Intro to the AdWords API Sandbox

>>KOLEDA: Hi, I’m Eric Koleda from the AdWords
API Developer Relations team. This presentation will provide an introduction to the AdWords
API Sandbox, and information on how you can start using it. We get a lot of questions
about the Sandbox. And this screencast will address the most common issues that developers
encounter. To get started, what is the Sandbox? The Sandbox is a testing environment for API
calls. This means that the calls made here will have no effect on your existing campaigns;
add groups, ads, and keywords. The Sandbox is open to everyone, and it doesnít require
any tokens to use. Best of all, it’s free. All you need to get started is a Google account.
And you may already have one. If you’ve already sign up for AdWords, Gmail, YouTube or similar
Google services, you have everything you need to start using the Sandbox today. If you donít
have a Google account, you can create one from any e-mail address. So how do you use
the Sandbox? For authentication, use the login and password of the Google account you selected.
The authentication method is the same as in production. For v13, this means an e-mail
and Password Header. And for v2009, this means generation an authToken. The key differences
between requests made to production in Sandbox are the Header Values. The Sandbox automatically
generates five client accounts based on the Google account you choose to login with. The
format of this account e-mails is client_n, where n is a number of one through five, +
login id, where login id is the login of the Google account you used during authentication.
So for example, if you login using [email protected], one of your client accounts would be [email protected]
Another Header Value that’s changed is developerToken. The value used here is not the same as your
productionToken. The format is login id++currency code. You can look up the full listing of
currency codes on the AdWords API documentation. Finally, the Header applicationToken is ignored
by the Sandbox. You can leave without other requests completely. Request made to the Sandbox
must be submitted against the different URL in production. The basic URL structure is
the same and only the domain is changed. In the v13 version of the API, the domain is
Sandbox.google.com. And then the v2009 version of the API, the domain is adwords-Sandbox.google.com.
Before you can start making a request against the automatically generated client accounts
we’ve mentioned earlier, you must first initialize them. This is done by making a call to the
account service method, getClientAccounts. This request must be made as an MCC user,
so ensure you do not include the client e-mail header. There are important tips and tricks
about the Sandbox that you should be aware of. The XML format of the request sent to
the Sandbox are exactly the same as those sent to production. The AdWords API namespace,
unlike the URL, should not be changed. Here’s an example request sent to the Sandbox, “Please
note the AdWords API namespace remains adwords.google.com.” If you use one of the official AdWords API
Client Libraries, making a request against the Sandbox is easy. The only change required
is setting a flag in the configuration file. This makes it simple for your application,
to switch routine to production and Sandbox Environments. Each library use a slightly
different flag, so consult the README file that was included with the library. The Sandbox
does come with some important limitations. Accounts in the Sandbox start empty. If you
already have an existing AdWords account, your Sandbox account will not contain a copy
of your production data. It is possible to write a script that populates your Sandbox
account with relevant data for testing. Also, Sandbox accounts reset approximately every
month, clearing out all the data within. Watch for Sandbox reset announcements on the AdWords
API form. Another limitation is that some method in the Sandbox returned dummy data,
specifically the ReportService, TrafficEstimatorService, and KeywordToolService. Finally, the Sandbox
has no web interface. There are a number of great resources where you can get more information
about the Sandbox. Using the Sandbox provide some of the basics covered here as well as
the limitations discussed. You’ve also written the best practice article, detailing how to
initialize your account and how to simulate error messages. If you have any follow-up
questions or encounter any problems when using the Sandbox, push your question to the AdWords
API form, and we’ll be glad to help. Thank you for listening and enjoy using the Sandbox.

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