Generic Requests

New in version 1.0dev15: Generic request support added.

While most MWS operations are well-covered by python-amazon-mws with dedicated and purpose-built request methods, Amazon may occasionally update MWS to include new parameters that we do not yet provide access to. Either that, or you just want lower-level access to input your own request, without going through the rest of python-amazon-mws to do so.

For these situations, you can use APIClass.generic_request(), available in all API classes that inherit from the base MWS class.

Back to basics

To use .generic_request(), you must first instantiate the API class that contains the operation you want to send. Using the correct API class is required, as the base URI used the build the request is different for each API section. For instance, to use the ListOrders operation in the Orders API, you would create an Orders instance.

With the class instantiated, specify the operation to call as the action arg to .generic_request(); then provide a dict of parameters for your request as params:

import datetime

from mws import Orders, Marketplaces

my_marketplace_ids = [


response = orders_api.generic_request(
        "MarketplaceId.Id": my_marketplace_ids,
        "CreatedAfter": datetime.datetime(2020, 8, 28),

The above is equivalent to calling Orders.list_orders with:

response = orders_api.list_orders(
    created_after=datetime.datetime(2020, 8, 28),

Key differences between a generic request and the “pythonic” version include:

  • The action must be specified for each call, using the case-sensitive name of the MWS operation (usually in CapCase with no underscores).

  • params must include case-sensitive keys matching the parameters required for the MWS operation, according to Amazon documentation.

  • The params dict is flattened, such that nested lists and dicts in params are keyed and enumerated into appropriate request parameter keys.

Parameter dict flattening

Generic requests make use of flat_param_dict() to convert nested Mappings and Iterables into a “flat” set of key-value pairs.


  • Nested mapping objects (dict, DotDict, etc.) are recursively flattened, joining the keys of the child mapping to the parent key with ..

  • Nested iterables (list, tuple, set, etc.) are enumerated with a 1-based index, with each index joined to the parent key with ..

  • All nested mappings and iterables are processed recursively, flattening other mappings and iterables along the way.


value = {
    "a": 1,
    "b": "hello",
    "c": [
            "spam": "ham",
            "eggs": [

The above, when passed through flat_param_dict(), produces:

    "a": 1,
    "b": "hello",
    "c.1": "foo",
    "c.2": "bar",
    "c.3.spam": "ham",
    "c.3.eggs.1": 5,
    "c.3.eggs.2": 6,
    "c.3.eggs.3": 7,
  • “a” and “b” keys point to non-dict, non-sequence values (not including strings), so they return their original values.

  • “c” contains an iterable (list), which is enumerated with a 1-based index. Each index is concatenated to “c” with “.”, creating keys “c.1” and “c.2”.

  • At “c.3”, another nested object was found. This is processed recursively, and each key of the resulting dict is concatenated to the parent “c.3” to create multiple keys in the final output.

  • The same occurs for “c.3.eggs”, where an iterable is found and is enumerated.

  • The final output should always be a flat dictionary with key-value pairs.

Using a prefix

flat_param_dict accepts a prefix argument, used mainly when flattening nested objects recursively. When provided, all keys in the resulting output will begin with prefix + '.':

# Using the same `value` as before:
flat_param_dict(value, prefix="example")

# Produces:
    "example.a": 1,
    "example.b": "hello",
    "example.c.1": "foo",
    "example.c.2": "bar",
    "example.c.3.spam": "ham",
    "example.c.3.eggs.1": 5,
    "example.c.3.eggs.2": 6,
    "example.c.3.eggs.3": 7,

Generic request component methods

MWS.generic_request(action, params=None, method='POST', timeout=300, **kwargs)[source]

Builds a generic request with arbitrary parameter arguments. This method should be called from an API subclass (Orders, Feeds, etc.), else the uri attribute of the class instance must be set manually.

This method’s signature matches that of .make_request, as the two methods are similar. However, params is expected to be either the default None or a nested dictionary, that is then passed to flat_param_dict().

mws.utils.params.flat_param_dict(value, prefix='')[source]

Returns a flattened params dictionary by collapsing nested dicts and non-string iterables.

Any arbitrarily-nested dict or iterable will be expanded and flattened.

  • Each key in a child dict will be concatenated to its parent key.

  • Elements of a non-string iterable will be enumerated using a 1-based index, with the index number concatenated to the parent key.

  • In both cases, keys and sub-keys are joined by ..

If prefix is set, all keys in the resulting output will begin with prefix + '.'.

  • value (Union[str,, List]) –

  • prefix (str) –

Return type