Best Buy announced a major change around access to its API program. From the program's inception, anyone with a valid email address remained free to access Best Buy APIs. While Best Buy continues its dedication to open access, it will soon shut off access to accounts using free email services (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo, etc.). Best Buy assures the developer community the move has more to do with maintenance and sustainability rather than restricting access.
"Over the next couple of months we will transition to a new system that will associate API keys with a company and not an individual," Anna Bliss, Best Buy Developer APIs Associate Product Manager, explained in a blog post...."[Y]our keys will roll into a single company-based account. This will give us better contact information for our users, and also provide improved insights about how you are using [Best Buy] APIs...."
The policy change falls under a fundamental shift from individual-based API access, to company-based API access. While this might frustrate individual developers accustomed to using personal email accounts for Best Buy API access, Best Buy pitches the change as merely good housekeeping. Companies have turnover. Accordingly, communication regarding adds, moves, and changes to individuals may not reach the appropriate company contacts if an API key is associated with an individual rather than the company that has integrated the Best Buy API. The short term pains associated with the transition should be outweighed by a more sophisticated long term relationship.
For those with existing keys tied to a free, non-company email address; Best Buy will assist the developer with a transition to a company-based email address. However, effective immediately, Best Buy will no longer issue new keys to free email addresses. For those who need to transition, reach out to the developer team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those using free email accounts for research and education purposes, Best Buy is currently developing a program to address such uses. Currently, Best Buy plans to have the program up and running before the start of the next school year. In addition to research and education, Best Buy will accommodate events, hackathons, and developer sandboxes as well that won't necessarily require a company-based email. For more information on Best Buy's API program, visit the developer site.