Impact of new optional-login accounts on the AdWords API

Monday, May 16, 2011

We recently changed the workflow for creating a new client account within an MCC. Until now, all new accounts were required to have a unique email address and password from the onset, but going forward that step will be optional. For AdWords users that rely on an MCC account to access their clients, this provides a more secure, scalable experience. However, API developers will need to consider how this impacts the way they access and manage accounts in their custom applications.

All AdWords accounts will continue to have a unique numerical customer ID, as well as a “descriptive name” field. Any account that already has a login email will continue to function normally, and you can invite a new unique login email to any account (regardless of how it was created) if necessary.

Here are some ways that your API application might rely on login emails:
  • If you use login emails as unique identifiers in your database or UI
  • If you use the <clientEmail> header instead of the <clientCustomerId> header
  • If you request Auth tokens at the client level as opposed to the MCC level
  • If you filter calls to the InfoService by login email; it does not yet support filtering by customer ID
  • If you use v13’s AccountService.getClientAccounts() call, which returns an array of login emails, you should explore switching to v201101’s ServicedAccountService.get() call, which includes the customer ID in the return value.
In short, the safest thing is to make sure your application does not assume the existence of a login email for any client accounts that you manage via MCC. For more information on optional-login accounts, visit the AdWords Help Center on this topic.

-Aaron Karp, AdWords API Team