New in version 1.0dev15: DotDict added.


The following pertains to features added in v1.0dev15 related to MWS requests. These features are disabled by default. To use these features, set flag _use_feature_mwsresponse to True on an API class instance before making any requests:

api_class = Orders(...)
api_class._use_feature_mwsresponse = True

If the flag is False, all requests will return either DictWrapper or DataWrapper objects (deprecated); and parsed XML contents will be returned as an instance of ObjectDict (deprecated).

New features using MWSResponse and DotDict will become the default in v1.0.

The DotDict class is a subclass of a standard Python dict that provides access to its keys as attributes. This object is used mainly for parsed XML content returned by MWSResponse.parsed and MWSResponse.metadata, but DotDict can also be used as a general-purpose dict replacement (with some caveats, as shown below).

Keys as attributes

While keys of a DotDict can be accessed the same as keys in a standard dict, they can also be accessed as attributes:

from mws.utils.collections import DotDict

foo = DotDict({'spam': 'ham'})

# 'ham'
# 'ham'
# 'ham'

This is useful for traversing the nested structures created by parsing XML documents, where several keys are required in order to access a leaf node.

Consider the following (truncated and edited) example response from the MWS operation ListMatchingProducts:

 <?xml version="1.0"?>
 <ListMatchingProductsResponse xmlns="">

When this document is parsed, accessing the <ASIN> on line 9 using dict keys looks like the following:

# assuming `response` is an instance of `MWSResponse`
asin = response.parsed['Products']['Product']['Identifiers']['MarketplaceASIN']['ASIN']

Using attribute access, the above call turns into:

asin = response.parsed.Products.Product.Identifiers.MarketplaceASIN.ASIN

And, of course, a mix of the different methods is possible:

asin = response.parsed['Products'].get('Product').Identifiers['MarketplaceASIN'].get('ASIN')


Accessing specific data in an MWS response will often produce lengthy code lines, as the above samples show. We recommend following best practices for Python programs in general, breaking up these longer lines by assigning chunks of data to intermediary variables:

product = response.parsed.Products.Product
asin = product.Identifiers.MarketplaceASIN.ASIN

Native iteration

XML represents sequences of similar objects by having sibling tags with the same tag name. Consider the following toy example with three <Product> tags:


When parsed, these are collected into a list of DotDict instances:

     'Products': DotDict({
         'Product': [
             DotDict({'Name': 'spam'}),
             DotDict({'Name': 'ham'}),
             DotDict({'Name': 'eggs'}),


The list of objects will always be found under the same key name as the duplicate tags, i.e. Product; not under their parent key, Products. This may seem counterintuitive, but the parser is simply preserving all tag names present in the XML document.

Further, if a tag attribute is present on the parent <Products> tag, you would be able to access it as a separate key at the same level as Product. This would not be possible if Products returned a list.

To gather the names of all products in this response, we can simply iterate over this list:

names = []
for product in response.parsed.Products.Product:

# ['spam', 'ham', 'eggs']

If the same request returns only one <Product> tag, the Product key in the parsed response will return only a single DotDict, similar to any other node in the XML tree. Trying to access the Product node in this case as though it were a list - such as using indices (.Product[0]) - will result in errors.

However, when a DotDict is iterated, it will wrap itself in a list in order to provide the same interface as before.

So, for an XML response like so:


…the same Python code can be used to access “all” Product keys:

names = []
for product in response.parsed.Products.Product:

# ['foo']


While DotDict is a subclass of dict, this behavior is different from that of the standard dict, where iterating directly on the dict object is equivalent to iterating on dict.keys(). We have chosen to implement the above behavior to more closely match most users’ intended usage when working with parsed XML, even though DotDict can be used much like a standard dict for (most) general purposes.

Recursive conversion of dict objects

DotDict instances expect to hold nested data, as seen in the examples throughout this document. As such, any dict assigned as a value to a DotDict is automatically converted to a DotDict, as well. The values of the assigned dict are then recursively built the same way, such that every dict (or other mapping type) instance in the structure is also converted to DotDict.

This holds true in a variety of scenarios:

  • Wrapping a nested dict in DotDict:

    example1 = DotDict({'spam': {'ham': {'eggs': 'juice'}}})
    # DotDict({'spam': DotDict({'ham': DotDict({'eggs': 'juice'})})})
  • Using kwargs to build DotDict, with a dict as one of the values:

    example2 = DotDict(spam={'muffin': {'cereal': 'milk'}})
    DotDict({'spam': DotDict({'muffin': DotDict({'cereal': 'milk'})})})
  • Assigning a dict to a key of an existing DotDict, including creating new keys:

    example3 = DotDict()
    example3.pancakes = {'maple': 'syrup'}
    # DotDict({'pancakes': DotDict({'maple': 'syrup'})})
    example3.pancakes.toast = {'strawberry': 'jam'}
    # DotDict({'pancakes': DotDict({'maple': 'syrup', 'toast': DotDict({'strawberry': 'jam'})})})
  • Using DotDict.update in a similar manner as dict.update:

    example4 = DotDict()
    example4.update({'chicken': {'waffles': 'honey'}})
    # DotDict({'chicken': DotDict({'waffles': 'honey'})})
    # Including a mix of a plain dict and kwargs
    example5 = DotDict()
    example5.update({'running': {'out': 'of'}}, food='examples', to={'use': 'here'})
    # DotDict({'running': DotDict({'out': 'of'}), 'food': 'examples', 'to': DotDict({'use': 'here'})})

Working with XML tag attributes

DotDict is used in python-amazon-mws primarily for parsed XML content. As such, some features of the class are specialized for working with that content.

XML tags can contain attributes with additional data points. When parsed, these attributes are assigned to their own dict keys starting with @, differentiating them from normal tag names.

Further, tags that contain an attribute and text content will store the text on a special key, #text.

For example, with the following XML document:

     <Product Name="spam">
       <WhatHaveYou anotherAttr="foo">eggs</WhatHaveYou>

The parsed response would look like:

     'Products': DotDict({
         'Product': DotDict({
             '@Name': 'spam',
             'SomethingElse': 'ham',
             'WhatHaveYou': DotDict({
                 '@anotherAttr': 'foo',
                 '#text': 'eggs'

These @ and #text keys cannot be accessed directly as attributes due to Python syntax, which reserves the @ and # characters. You can still use standard dict keys to access this content:

# 'spam'

# 'eggs'

DotDict also allows accessing these keys using a fallback method. Simply provide the key name without @ or # in front, and it will attempt to find a matching key:

# 'spam'

# 'eggs'


In case of a conflicting key name, a key matching the attribute will be returned first:

dotdict = DotDict({'foo': 'spam', '@foo': 'ham'})
# 'spam'
# 'ham'

This conflict is a rare occurrence for most XML documents, however, as they are not likely to return a tag attribute with the same name as an immediate child tag.

DotDict API

class mws.DotDict(*args, **kwargs)[source]

Read-only dict-like object class that wraps a mapping object.

New in version 1.0dev15.

update(*args, **kwargs)[source]

Recursively builds values in any nested objects, such that any mapping object in the nested structure is converted to a DotDict.

  • Each nested mapping object will be converted to DotDict.

  • Each non-string, non-dict iterable will have elements built, as well.

  • All other objects in the data are left unchanged.

classmethod build(obj)[source]

Builds objects to work as recursive versions of this object.

  • Mappings are converted to a DotDict object.

  • For iterables, each element in the sequence is run through the build method recursively.

  • All other objects are returned unchanged.