Only API keys on our Conversations platform are eligible to use this API version. Refer to the Platforms section of our Platform & API Concepts documentation to learn which platform your API keys are on.
Progressive Submission for submission experiences that are not triggered by an email to the author requires that clients use Client-Mastered Authentication. This is because progressive submission relies on the ability to verify a user's identity in order to manage submission sessions. If using Bazaarvoice-mastered authentication, please read the following considerations.

The Conversations API lets you programmatically retrieve and submit Bazaarvoice Conversations data for use in your applications. To learn more, go to the Conversations API documentation home page.

Contents

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Introduction

This tutorial explains how to use the progressive submission endpoints. These endpoints are available as part of the Conversations API.

Overview

Progressive submission improves review content collection in two ways:

  • By allowing collection of reviews on multiple products; and
  • By allowing incremental submission of review attributes

The combination of these two functionalities makes it especially valuable for clients that sell multiple items to a consumer at once. This will improve review coverage across products as well as the content submission rate.

Additionally, the incremental submission functionality may be used to enhance existing single product review submissions. This will improve content submission using this simplified approach.

The flow-chart below is a summary of a multi-product submission process using the progressive submission endpoints:

As previously described, progressive submission also supports the ability to collect review partials (i.e. ratings, review text, title, context data values) over multiple sessions. Reviews can be submitted for moderation once the required fields are completed. This is determined by the isFormComplete field. Partial reviews can be iterated over using the submissionSessionToken.

Components

The following table summarizes the components you will need to understand in order to implement progressive submission. These components will be referenced throughout the rest of this documentation.

Component Description Responsibility
Submission form This a web form you build and host. Authors will use it to submit reviews. client
UserToken The UserToken is an encoded set of fields sent in the body that are authenticated via an HMAC generated with the client's encodingKey. Must contain userId. Read more about userToken.The userToken and userId fields are mutually exclusive. Use one or the other. Using both will result in an error. client
UserId Unique id for user. Can either be sent seprately at this level, or be encoded in UserToken. The userToken and userId fields are mutually exclusive. Use one or the other. Using both will result in an error. client
submissionSessionToken Unique token ID required for progressive submission of the review. Bazaarvoice/client
preview parameter Query string parameter indicating if content should be submitted for moderation. Used with the progressiveSubmit.json endpoint. Read more about the preview parameter. Bazaarvoice/client
isFormComplete parameter A boolean value returned as a query string parameter indicating if content should be submitted for moderation. Used with the progressiveSubmit.json endpoint. Bazaarvoice/client

Walk-through

How it works

  1. Request reviews

    Solicit reviews from consumers.

  2. Initiate progressive submission

    Request form data on product(s) using the initiateSubmit.json endpoint. For additional metadata about the product, you will also need to request data from the products endpoint.

  3. Build product(s) submission form

    Build the submission form(s) for the given productId(s). Render the HTML controls and values for the product submission form.

  4. Submit product(s) review

    Handle the productId(s) submissions. Use the preview parameter in the request to stage the review submission and the isFormComplete in the response to observe if all the required fields are provided.

Step 1: Request reviews

Consumers are asked to provide reviews. This often comes through a post interactive email (PIE) containing a link to 'write reviews on your purchase'.

The user clicks the link in the email and is shown review submission forms for any number of products.

Other methods to solicit a shopper's feedback are also possible, such as hosting a recently purchased page where shoppers can leave reviews.

Step 2: Initiate Progressive Submission

Products may have different review attributes. For instance while a review form for an article of clothing may ask 'how was the fit', that question does not make sense for an electronics good.

The purpose of the initiateSubmit.json call is to provide API users with data to create the review submission form for a given productId. The endpoint accepts an array of productIds in the body parameter.

HTTP POST is required.

initiateSubmit.json request parameters

Name Description Required
format

Data format. Set this value to "json".

Yes

Query string

passkey

Conversations API pass key.

Yes

apiVersion

The API version, e.g. 5.4.

Yes

extended

This parameter is sent as a single key and does not need a value.

When omitted, the fields elements are returned in an ordered list that honors the submission field order as specified in the configuration hub, with the exception that required fields are presented first in the ordered list.

When included, fields elements are returned in full submission-style format.

No

Header

Content-Type

Set this value to "application/json".

Yes

Body

productIds

Array of productId(s) for which to return submission form and check for previous submissions. 20 or less is recommended.

Yes

UserToken The UserToken is an encoded set of fields sent in the body that are authenticated via an HMAC generated with the client's encodingKey. Must contain userId. Read more about userToken.The userToken and userId fields are mutually exclusive. Use one or the other. Using both will result in an error. client
UserId Unique id for user. Can either be sent seprately at this level, or be encoded in UserToken. The userToken and userId fields are mutually exclusive. Use one or the other. Using both will result in an error. client
locale

Locale for content

Yes

deviceFingerprint

Unique identifier for author's device. Read more about deviceFingerprint

No

campaignId

Campaign ID is a text string identifying the action that originated a piece of content. Read more.

No

POST request

POST /data/initiateSubmit.json?passkey={CONVERSATIONS_API_PASSKEY}&apiVersion={latestApiVersion} HTTP/1.1
Host: [stg.]api.bazaarvoice.com
Content-Type: application/json
X-Forwarded-For: [AuthorIPAddress]
...

{
  "locale": "en_US",
  "userToken": "{USER_TOKEN}",
  "productIds": [
    "Product1",
    "ProductZ"
  ]
}

Ellipses (…) in above example indicate that your app may generate other content.

initiateSubmit.json response

The following response is a sample from a HTTP POST to the initiateSubmit.json endpoint:

{
  "hasErrors": false,
  "response": {  
    "userNickname": "USER_NICKNAME",
    "productFormData": {
      "wbk003xl": {
        "review": {
          "submissionID": "qbk13gsqk9ffyqbwhs2y51m2z",
          "productExternalID": "wbk003xl",
          "submissionTime": "2019-08-06@20:43:47"
        },
        "fieldsOrder": [
          "rating",
          "title",
          "reviewtext",
         ....
        ],
        "fields": {
          "rating": {
            "id": "rating",
            "type": "integer",
            "class": "rating"
          },
          "Gender": {
            "valuesLabels": {
              "Male": "Male",
              "Female": "Female"
            },
            "autoPopulate": true,
            "label": "What is your gender?",
            "id": "contextdatavalue_Gender",
            "type": "choice",
            "class": "cdv",
            "required": false
          },            
          "title": {
            "required": true,
            "id": "title",
            "maxLength": 50,
            "type": "text",
            "class": "title"
          },
          "reviewtext": {
            "required": true,
            "id": "reviewtext",
            "minLength": 50,
            "type": "text",
            "class": "reviewtext"
          },
          ...
        },  
        "submissionSessionToken": "qbk13gsqk9ffyqbwhs2y51m2z_caa2ab8becea612e79d7c5abe31de4877267d744ac3f157816bb55e1aef2037c_X2E6cHCr5bs="
      },
      "wsd005c": {
        "review": {
          "submissionID": "q2wxet06q1xfp6onq906uze57",
          "productExternalID": "wsd005c",
          "submissionTime": "2019-08-06@20:43:47"
        },
        "fieldsOrder": [
          "rating",
          "title",
          "reviewtext",
         ....
        ],
        "fields": {
          "rating": {
            "id": "rating",
            "type": "integer",
            "class": "rating"
          },
          "Gender": {
            "valuesLabels": {
              "Male": "Male",
              "Female": "Female"
            },            
          "title": {
            "required": true,
            "id": "title",
            "maxLength": 50,
            "type": "text",
            "class": "title"
          },
          "reviewtext": {
            "required": true,
            "id": "reviewtext",
            "minLength": 50,
            "type": "text",
            "class": "reviewtext"
          },
          ...
        },  
        "submissionSessionToken": "q2wxet06q1xfp6onq906uze57_4a4e35f8a38ad43859fe5433c8bdeb4c7e1bfff0944252a8b866b44c4114e5ac_JKAYiolGI+g="
      }
    }
  }
}
      

Read more reference documentation on the initiateSubmit.json endpoint.

Step 3: Build product(s) submission form

Building a progressive submission form is similar to building a submission form using the full submission endpoint. High level steps include:

  1. Obtaining product metadata from the products endpoint. This may include product descriptions, images and any other relevant data to help users write a review. Rather than displaying just the questions to review a product, it is often helpful to provide context. Product images, title, and price are just some attributes that help when writing a review.

    The products endpoint supports passing in a list of productIds to optimize the number of API requests.

  2. Use both the fieldsOrder and fields elements from the initiateSubmit.json response to create the HTML controls needed for the submission form.

    The fieldsOrder lists the required submission questions first, followed by those submission elements set up on the Site Manager.

    The field data contains attributes that provide information on the specific HTML controls that should be displayed on the submission form.

    The possible field types are shown below

      "title": {
        "required": true,
        "id": "title",
        "maxLength": 50,
        "type": "text",
        "class": "title"
      },
      

    As you can see, there is a list of name/value pairs that are returned for each Fields object. The sole purpose of this data is to provide developers a blue print to construct a submission form.

    Let's take a look at these name/value pairs:

Step 4: Submit product(s) review

By this time, the review submission form(s) should be presented to the consumer to fill out. Again, this may be a single review form or a collection of submission forms.

The significance of progressive submission is that it allows shoppers the ability to partially submit a review and then return to that review to update it up to 30 days after the initial submission. For instance, it is possible to submit a review where all the required fields are not completed, then return to that review and complete the review.

The following discussion assumes the progressive submission described below:

Product review submission forms are unique and require client-side validation that must be handled by clients.

Progressively submitting a review includes the following high level processes:

HTTP POST is required.

progressiveSubmit.json request parameters

Name Description Required
format

Data format (json)

Yes

Query string

passkey

Conversations API pass key.

Yes

apiVersion

The API version, e.g. 5.4.

Yes

fields

Included to indicate that form fields, as from initiateSubmit.json request, should be returned along with the response. This parameter is sent as a single key and does not need a value.

No

preview

Include this field to indicate that the API should not submit and instead return a display representation of the review. This parameter is sent as a single key and does not need a value.

No

Header

Content-Type

Set this to 'application/json"

Yes

Body

productId

A single productId for a review or review form.

Yes

submissionSessionToken

Unique token ID required for progressiveSubmit.json of the review. Read more about the submissionSessionToken

Yes

locale

Locale for translated product dimensions. Read more about using the locale parameter.

Yes

userToken

Authenticated user data. Fields can instead be sent in post body.

No

userId

Unique ID for user. * Can be encoded in UserToken or sent as own element, depending on key configuration.

Yes*

useremail

Email address for user. Can either be sent separately at this level, or be encoded in UserToken.

Yes*

deviceFingerprint

Unique identifier for author's device.

No

campaignId

Campaign ID is a text string identifying the action that originated a piece of content. Read more.

No

submissionFields

Key value pairs for submitted fields on submission form. Data varies per API key configurations.

No

POST request

POST /data/progressiveSubmit.json?passkey={CONVERSATIONS_API_PASSKEY}&apiVersion={latestApiVersion} HTTP/1.1
Host: [stg.]api.bazaarvoice.com
Content-Type: application/json
X-Forwarded-For: [AuthorIPAddress]
...

{
  "locale": "en_US",
  "userId": "tom",
  "submissionSessionToken": "[Token_Value]",
  "productId":"1000001",
  "useremail":"foo@bazaarvoice.com",
  "submissionFields":{
    "rating":"5", 
    "agreedtotermsandconditions":"true",
    "title": "This is the title",
    "reviewtext": "This is the review text. This is some more review text. This is some review text......",
    "usernickname": "largeMouthBass"
  }
}

progressiveSubmit.json response

{
  "hasErrors": false,
  "response": {
    "review": {
      "SendEmailAlertWhenCommented": false,
        "Rating": 5,
        "SubmissionTime": "2019-08-07T21:45:12.051+00:00",
        "ReviewText": "this is some title this is some title this is some title this is   some title this is some title this is some title this is some title",
        "Title": "this is some title",
        "SendEmailAlertWhenPublished": false
    },
    "submissionId": "h7jcqg70gil5ggqcfqs3ru7bt",
    "isFormComplete": true,
    "submissionSessionToken": "h3fh0cbwjgyoud7ncqtgb6nd8_eebf6f276a745e1d0323bab2e143ecf14e92f8103ea9509c3e40ebef88de1380_laoXsLeVBDQ=_v"
  }
}

Additional Tips

How to avoid submitting 'ratings only' reviews

With progressive submission, it is possible to submit a 'ratings-only' review. A 'ratings-only' review is where a review contains no content other than an integer rating.

Avoid this by setting the preview flag on submission until the point where the review is ready for moderation and publication.

How to change the fieldsOrder elements

The fieldsOrder element is contained within the initiateSubmit.json response. This element contains the suggested order of the review elements as they should be presented on a review submission form. The array of elements contained within the fieldsOrder elements are ordered by:

  1. Overall rating
  2. Review text
  3. Review title
  4. Nickname
  5. Required submission elements beginning with email and location if both are required.
  6. Photo
  7. Video
  8. Would you recommend this product to a friend
  9. Optional fields as ordered in the Submission Form editor
  10. Would you recommend [this client] to a friend

If email and location are not configured as required, they are expected to appear with the optional fields and ordered in the same way as the submission form editor.

If email and nickname are passed within the UAS, these fields will be hidden from the order but will be included in the hidden fields.

The order of the review submission questions can be modified in the Submission Form Editor within the the site manager from the Bazaarvoice Workbench. Read more about working with the configuration hub.

What should be included in the UserToken?

The UserToken is an encoded set of fields sent in the request body that are authenticated via an HMAC generated with the client's encodingKey.

Read more about creating the UserToken. The following table details some of the values you can encode in the token:

User Token Field Value
date

YYYYMMDD formatted date on which this token was generated

userid

Reviewer's unique ID.

emailAddress

Reviewer's email address.

username

Reviewer's username.

verifiedPurchaser

'true' to indicate that the reviewer has been verified to have purchased the product.

IncentivizedReview

Indicates user has purchased item they are reviewing. Omit if value is not 'true'.

MaxAge

The number of days before the user authentication string expires. The default number of days is one. Changing this to a greater value is useful in preauthenticated URLs such as in email campaigns.