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Getting started with the Adobe Stock API

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curl -H 'x-api-key:myAPIKey' -H 'x-product:myTestApp1.0' https://stock.adobe.io/Rest/Media/1/Search/Files?locale=en_US%26search_parameters%5Bwords%5D=kittens

* Adobe Developer Console: https://developer.adobe.com/console/
** curl: https://curl.haxx.se/

Read me first!#

Before you begin, be sure to review the Developer Terms of Use. Or better yet, bookmark it. There will be a quiz later :)


The Adobe Stock API provides programmatic access to Adobe Stock content. You can integrate this API into your organization's applications and processes. You can use the API in scripts or programs to search for and retrieve Adobe Stock assets such as photos, videos, and vector files, and to license assets for your users.

Not a developer, but interested in partnering? Please take a look at the Stock API Business FAQ, and then contact us. Please note that it is not required to register as a partner to use the Adobe Stock API, as all usage of the API is governed by the Adobe Developer Terms of Use and the Adobe Stock Terms of Use.

Are you a Fotolia customer and want to convert to Adobe Stock? Please visit the Fotolia API migration resources.

You interact with the Adobe Stock API via HTTP requests instead of a user interface. You can create applications that perform these actions:

  • Search for and retrieve Adobe Stock assets. Your applications can search by keywords, models, contributor, series, and categories, and can also request assets that are similar to other assets or images. You can sort, filter, and page through any results from your searches. Search results contain URLs for thumbnails of the found assets, which you can use to display the thumbnails to your users. Results also can contain metadata about the assets, including information that your applications can use to retrieve the original asset.

  • License assets that your search retrieves. If you have an Authentication token, you can use the API to determine your user's purchasing status, obtain a license for the user for a specific asset, and download the original asset.

  • Get a license history of past purchases. In addition to allowing users to license and download content, your application can retrieve the licensing history for your users or organization, allowing download of previously purchased assets.

API workflow#

API workflow

At its simplest, all Stock API integrations include these steps:

  1. Register your application on Adobe I/O.
  2. Determine the authentication method from your use case and build appropriate headers.
  3. Build and deploy your application using Stock APIs.

Design phase#

This step is implied by the list above and is outside the scope of this documentation, however everything you learn in the Getting Started section should give you sufficient information to design and architect your application.

As you read the documentation, keep some questions in mind. Some of these will be answered by your use case, but some may require a separate business discussion.

  • Is this an internal integration for members of my company, or for external users?
    • If internal, does my company have Adobe Stock Enterprise entitlements, or just Team and Individual entitlements?
    • If external, do I assume that users will have their own Adobe Stock accounts, or will my company use its own entitlements to purchase on their behalf?
  • Do I need to expose search options to the end user?
    • If yes, what kind of search experience do I want to provide: basic search on keywords only, or allow searching on similar images? The power and flexibility of similarity search is a key differentiator for Adobe Stock.
  • Will my application need to handle licensing of Stock assets, or will users be directed to the Adobe Stock website to purchase?
  • What technology/platform will I be using to create my application?
  • What size and how many image thumbnails do I want to display?
  • Do I require localization?

Next steps#

  1. Learn how to register your application on the Adobe Developer Console. You can add as many integrations as you need.
  2. Test how your application will authenticate to the Adobe Stock API.
  3. Finally, start building your app, test and deploy to your users!

More topics#

If you have already performed most of the tasks above or are in the middle of an implementation and need detailed help, check out these resources as well:

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