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Date: Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 21:00

MapBoxMapbox adds a new navigation service for apps. Cloudwords releases APIs and new machine translation capability. Plus: Convergence Innovation competition winners, CA Technologies simplifies enterprise cloud and mobile delivery, and 3 new APIs.

Mapbox Launches Smart Directions to Compete with Google Maps

Mapbox has just released Smart Directions, a tool for developers to add detail to maps like terrain, places of interest and traffic congestion reporting. It’s the first tool for the company on top of its map platform, with more to come no doubt.

As Ingrid Lunden reports in Techcrunch, she was told by CEO Eric Gundersen how Mapbox competes with Google Maps in a crowded competitive space:

“Google has built amazing maps and routing,” [Gundersen] says, “but they are designing those for Google,” he says, referring to the very standard view you get of a Google map when it appears in a different app. “We think every app maker or map maker should have the same control of design as Google does. Think of us as a more customizable Google Maps.”

Will it carve a niche in the map business? Right now it is focused on building its platform, much to the delight of over 3,000 developers who use its APIs, including Evernote, Foursquare, and Pinterest.

Cloudwords Adds Machine Translation APIs

Cloudworks is the first cloud based global marketing platform. Successful global marketing is, paradoxically, about localizing the message, which in turn means speaking the language–literally. And in a marketing environment, the translation of content has to be done fast. To facilitate their services, Cloudwords is releasing two new robust APIs: the Change Order API and Project Workflow API.

As Scott Yancey, CEO and Co-founder of Cloudwords commented,

“Cloudwords is focused on delivering the most powerful end-to-end platform created specifically with the entire globalization process of the marketer in mind. By delivering Machine Translation, Cloudwords enables customers to use any localization model that best fits their content needs, timelines, and budget to engage more global audiences more successfully, and ultimately drive more global revenue,” said Scott Yancey, CEO and Co-founder of Cloudwords.

Machine translation is ideal for cost effective fast translations of short form content that has a limited shelf life. Examples include social media and material to be burnished by internal reviewers.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

3 New APIs

Today we had 3 new APIs added to our API directory including a virtual machine service, a cryptocurrency price information widget, and a historical currency exchange rate service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

Bytemark BigVBytemark BigV API: Bytemark BigV provides virtual machines on which users can host their websites or projects. Its virtual machines can have a maximum of 180 gigabytes of RAM, 16 cores, and 16TiB of storage. Using the Bytemark BigV API, users can issue REST calls to manage their users, accounts, groups, privileges, definitions, discs, IPs, NICs, and virtual machines.

Coinfinance WidgetsCoinfinance Widgets API: Coinfinance provides users with a Price Ticker widget that allows them to embed price information for a given cryptocurrency on their websites or blogs. Users can set prices to appear in Bitcoins, U.S. Dollars, Euros, or Chinese Yuan. The widget can display current price information, daily highs and lows, and price movements over the last 24 hours.

Xignite GetHistoricalRatesXignite GetHistoricalRates API: Xignite GetHistoricalRates allows users to get the historical exchange rates for currency pairs. For a given date range and currency pair, the API returns the opening and closing rate quotes, the highest and lowest rate quotes, and the arithmetic average for all rate quotes. GetHistoricalRates can provide historical exchange rates from as far back as January 4, 2010.

Related ProgrammableWeb Resources

MapBox MapBox API Profile, 4 mashups

Author: "Greg Bates" Tags: "Daily"
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 18:00

So far more than 650 APIs have been added to the ProgrammableWeb directory in 2014 and some new trends are starting to emerge. Some recent popular categories remain near the top of the charts. The financial APIs that put APIs in the mainstream continue to expand, adding about 50 new APIs in the first quarter. A few other categories were less consistent and had extreme rises or falls in popularity.

Top 10 Categories of 2014

Rank Vs Overall Category 2014 Count
1 +5 Messaging 106
2 -1 Tools 54
3 Financial 51
4 +20 Shipping 30
5 +19 Database 23
6 -1 Enterprise 19
7 +6 Advertising 19
8 +2 Science 16
9 -5 Social 16
10 +13 Sports 16

Messaging APIs lead the way, with 106 added just in the first few months of 2014. While already a popular category (#6 overall), it’s notable that more than 25% of all messaging API were added in 2014. One of the most recent, the Apperian Push Notifications API, provides mobile developers the means to send messages to both iOS and Android devices.

Shipping APIs have had a similar breakout, adding 30 to the directory, which accounts for over 23% of all shipping APIs. Prior to 2014, the category had not been particularly popular. However, the bulk of the new shipping APIs were due to multiple API additions from UPS and USPS. For example, the UPS Tracking API provides access to the popular package tracking service from the delivery company.

Two categories previously in the top 10 are notably absent among the recently popular categories. A stable of the mashup days of yore, mapping APIs slipped out of the top 10, adding only 13 APIs in 2014. Similarly, government APIs (#9 overall) only added 12 APIs. The category seemed destined to take off with open data initiatives pushing governments to create APIs. Now the growth appears to be decelerating.

Of course, these are trends from just a few short months of 2014. With a quickly growing directory of APIs, we’ll have to wait and see what the rest of the year brings.

Adam DuVander is Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and Contributing Editor at ProgrammableWeb. Previously he edited this site and wrote for Wired. You can follow him on Twitter.

Related ProgrammableWeb Resources

Apperian Push Notifications Apperian Push Notifications API Profile

UPS Tracking UPS Tracking API Profile

Author: "Adam DuVander" Tags: "API Updates, Directory Highlights, Gov, ..."
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 17:00

The National Institue of Standards and Technology (NIST), has created created AppVet. AppVet is an open-source tool that IT groups can use to test applications for use on government networks. AppVet was designed to easily integrate with third party apps and tools (e.g. antivirus software, analyzers, vulnerability repositories, etc.) through simple APIs.

Steve Quirolgico, NIST Computer Scientist, explained:

“AppVet improves the app-vetting process by providing a framework for managing the app-vetting workflow, which involves uploading apps, forwarding apps to tools, receiving reports and risk assessments from tools and generating an overall risk assessment.”

AppVet 1.0 was released this month. 1.0 lays out a framework for how the app vetting system works and integrates with third party tools. The system starts vetting an application when a user submits an app to the system. AppVet then tests the submitted application against the submitting agency’s requirements. AppVet doesn’t accept or reject an application; rather, it provides analyses and reports that decision makers can then use to accept or reject the app.

AppVet communicates with third party tools through REST APIs. Each tool for which AppVet needs integration must use REST in order for communication. The AppVet source code distribution can be downloaded at AppVet’s GitHub site. Also see the AppVet site for more information.

As app proliferation continues to spread across business and consumer environments, app developers and IT departments must be cognizant of the fact that not all apps are created equal. Government networks have always been subject to higher scrutiny, and AppVet provides an easy validation tool for those looking to deploy an app in a government environment.

Author: "Eric Carter" Tags: "Gov, Tools, apps, government, testing, W..."
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 16:00

Dell wants to reduce the number of common integration errors, the time it takes to fix them, and add new analytics capabilities to the Dell Boomi AtomSphere integration service. Dell Boomi AtomSphere CTO Michael Morton says that when it comes to integration many organizations not only continue to make the same errors over again; they encounter many of the same problems that other organizations have already experienced.

A new Boomi Resolve capability that is being included in the spring 2014 release of Dell Boomi AtomSphere leverages analytics tools created by Dell to proactively identify potential sources of integration problems. The service, says Morton, then alerts developers that either a particular issue is a recurring problem or that based on similar attempts made by other organizations there is likely to be a problem with a particular type of integration being attempted.

Morton says that the Dell Boomi AtomSphere service has kept track of over 18 million error messages in its repository to identify patterns associated with potential problems. Boomi Resolve analyzes that data in real time to give developers feedback about their own integration efforts. Interesting enough, Morton says the 100 most common errors account for 80 percent of all error messages.

The near-real-time customer usage metrics, such as amount of data flowing through integrations and active updates to integrations, that Dell gathers are then fed into Dell Boomi’s customer relationship management (CRM) system. Once Dell identifies a particular set of error patterns the Dell Boomi Client Services team proactively reaches out to customers whose usage metrics indicate they might need some additional assistance. An SOA Dashboard also provides customers with a status report of the performance of an organization’s integration process services.

With this release, Morton says Dell has also enhanced support for bidirectional conversion between XML and JSON data formats to better accelerate application integration across these formats. In addition, while Dell Boomi Atomsphere does not have a specific API management feature, Morton notes that the capability is essentially already baked into the service.

Morton says a big part of the reason that Dell can deliver this capability is that Dell Boomi AtomSphere is based on single instance, multi-tenant architecture that enables Dell to correlate activity across a service that now supports 450 million integrations a month; up from 35 million integrations this time last year.

Since acquiring Boomi in 2010, Dell has increased the scope of the service to the point where nine million mappings have been indexed on behalf of over 2,000 customers. In fact, as part of the move to going private, Dell CEO Michael Dell specifically identifies Dell Boomi AtomSphere as one of the key technologies that would drive the company’s overall expansion into IT services. In the meantime, as demand of integration services increase in the cloud, the general expectation is that the number of mappings indexed by the Dell Boomi AtomSphere service will increase by several orders of magnitude in the years ahead.

Author: "Michael Vizard" Tags: "Enterprise, Mapping, News, cloud, analyt..."
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 15:04

ReliefWebReliefWeb, a specialized digital service of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has announced the release of ReliefWeb API, which provides access to disaster-related data and humanitarian information collected by the UN.

Disaster Tracker prototype application

The Disaster Tracker prototype application uses the ReliefWeb API.

ReliefWeb provides disaster-related data and humanitarian information going back more than 17 years. ReliefWeb editors collect data around the clock from more than 4,000 global information sources. ProgrammableWeb reached out to Andrew Kobylinski, product marketing and communications officer at ReliefWeb, who explained how ReliefWeb content is curated and reviewed:

ReliefWeb is made up of over 550,000 pieces of humanitarian information dating back to 1971. This includes items such as reports, research, maps, news, analysis, assessments, manuals, and guidelines. What we do is search the web for humanitarian information and republish it in one location. We have a team of about 30 editors, who are located across the globe and work 24/7 to find, assess, review and post humanitarian content onto ReliefWeb.

The ReliefWeb API was created specifically for humanitarian developers, who can use the API to build innovative third-party applications for disaster relief organizations and the humanitarian community around the world.

The API provides programmatic access to the entire ReliefWeb database which includes reports, research, maps, news, analysis, etc. UN reports on major disasters that occurred in the 1980s can be accessed using the API. Jobs and training data is also available; however, the data that can be accessed starts at the year 2011. The ReliefWeb API also provides access to real-time humanitarian and disaster-related data for use in next-generation applications.

ReliefWeb, Development Seed and Phase2 were all involved in the development of the new ReliefWeb API. Phase2, a digital content strategy, design and technology firm, was charged with ensuring the ReliefWeb API’s functionality. Phase2’s responsibilities included adding automation in both testing and deployment, improving scalability and infrastructure, improving the API documentation, and other items related to developer experience. Adam Ross, software architect at Phase2, told ProgrammableWeb:

The ReliefWeb API is a thin application layer built on top of an ElasticSearch datastore. ElasticSearch provides amazing capabilities in complex data mining and exploration. The application layer on top provides a layer of glossy, positive user experience achieved by creating an intuitive, easy-to-use system that enables innovation. That “Developer Experience” is created with strong documentation, resource-oriented URIs, hypermedia flavor, JSON payloads, browser support and caching guidance.

Phase2 describes in detail the technological features of the new ReliefWeb API in a recent blog post.

Development Seed is a creative data visualization and mapping team that helps organizations use data to explain complex issues and make better decisions. Development Seed worked with ReliefWeb and Phase2 to help strategize development priorities and build a public rollout plan for promoting and priming usage of the ReliefWeb API. Development Seed also used the ReliefWeb API, along with filtered data from Twitter, to create an application that tracks the Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Guinea. The application is a simple disaster-tracking dashboard which is open source and can be forked on GitHub.

The Disaster Tracker application is listed on the ReliefWeb Labs site which provides tools and applications to help the humanitarian community. In addition to the Disaster Tracker application, ReliefWeb Labs features applications such as Content Trends, Interactive Maps, and Humanitarian Data Exchange.

Related searches from ProgrammableWeb’s
directory of more than 10,000 APIs

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Earlier this month, the new ReliefWeb API was introduced to developers at the Drupal NYC Camp. Developers learned about the tactics used in designing and documenting the API, viewed an example application powered by the API, learned why Elastic Search was used over SOLR, and much more. Kobylinski says developers expressed a keen interest in the ReliefWeb API and “were impressed that they can access quality tagged content that is continuously updated and maintained.” He also told ProgrammableWeb:

Developers also expressed keen interest in exploring trends from individual humanitarian topics such as gender. They were also keen on the opportunity to explore key word searches within content. These are endeavors which we have not yet attempted, so we are very delighted that the humanitarian developer community is interested in exploring these approaches and possibly building applications that could assist the humanitarian community.”

For more information about ReliefWeb and the ReliefWeb API, visit ReliefWeb.int.

By Janet Wagner. Janet is a data journalist and full stack developer based in Toledo, Ohio. Her focus revolves around APIs, open data, data visualization and data-driven journalism. Follow her on Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Author: "Janet Wagner" Tags: "API Overviews, News, humanitarian data"
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Date: Monday, 21 Apr 2014 21:00

Digital Public Library of AmericaDigital Public Library of America adds millions of items that can be accessed through its API. Appy Pie releases API for Kindle Fire. Plus: How Apple dodged the Heartbleed virus with the help of an API, GoogolPlex hack for using voice control, and 12 new APIs.

DPLA Expands Archives by Millions of Records, Available via API

We last covered the Digital Public Library of America almost exactly a year ago when it began building an innovative search portal and offered a platform with an API that to date has received 9 million hits. It connects the databases of many libraries to make them searchable as one. Apps can be developed using its API. Apps developed include OpenPics, Culture Collage (somewhat modeled after Pinterest), and FindDPLA which is designed for wikipedia writers looking for sources to cite in articles.

Now the DPLA is beefing up its offerings.


As Megan Geuss reports in arstechnica, they have now surpassed 7 million records in their archives:

The New York Public Library agreed to expand access to its digital collections in the coming year. It will increase from the initial 14,000 digitized items it lent the DPLA catalog to over 1 million such records.

In addition, the DPLA announced partnerships with the California Digital Library, the Connecticut Digital Archive, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the US Government Printing Office, Indiana Memory, and the Montana Memory Project.

The US Government Printing Office is perhaps the most prominent of these: it’s set to provide its growing collection of documents from budgets to legislation to the DPLA. The Digital Library has received over $2 million in grants its first year.

Mobile App Builder Appy Pie Offers API for Kindle Fire HD

Appy Pie, a company that offers software for mobile app builders, has released an API that allows users to create highly customized apps with no development experience. Kindle Fire HDs support android apps running on HTML5.

As Appy Pie CEO Abhinav Girdhar commented,

Appy Pie already allows Users to build apps for all the major platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows 8 & Blackberry 10, so adding support for Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD was a natural step.

With more than 5,000 apps being produced per month, Appy Pie has climbed to the number 1 spot in the mobile App software space.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

12 New APIs

Today we had 12 new APIs added to our API directory including a content performance analysis service, an open source project information service, a data file conversion and sharing service, a nigerian sms service and a social networking website consolidation service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

BuzzSumoBuzzSumo API: BuzzSumo is a service for identifying which content performs best for a given topic or competitor. It also helps identify key influencers who are good at promoting specific kinds of content. The BuzzSumo API allows users to programmatically retrieve data on top content, top influencers, article sharers, and links shared.

Collaboration TodayCollaboration Today API: OpenNTF provides a framework for developing and hosting open source projects. The Collaboration Today API can retrieve information from OpenNTF, including the URLs for projects, the names of projects, short project descriptions, a project’s creation date, the date of the last release, project owners and contributors, a project’s GitHub name and URL, the person who uploaded a given release, and more.

FlatMergeFlatMerge API: FlatMerge is an API that helps users share Excel and flat file data. Users can upload their data files to FlatMerge, which analyzes and transforms them into OData. From there, users can query the data or metadata for an uploaded file. API users can also get a listing of their files and delete files from FlatMerge.

KEID SMSKEID SMS API: KEID SMS provides online SMS solutions for businesses, organizations, and individuals. It is designed primarily to reach people in Nigeria, but also covers 650 networks in 210 countries. KEID SMS processes 1,500 SMS per second and offers real-time delivery reports. Transactional SMS is available for banks and other such institutions. Users get their SMS units back if the SMS does not deliver successfully.

Lkd.toLkd.to API: Lkd.to is a service for consolidating the user’s social networking services. It generates websites that are similar to vCards, electronic business cards that can be used to share personal contact information along with photographs, audio clips, and other digital information. Lkd.to comes with a read-only API for retrieving a user’s available sites and exporting user details as a vCard.

MailTrackerMailTracker API: MailTracker provides real-time email tracking services that let users know when, where, on what devices, for how long, and how many times their emails have been viewed. MailTracker can provide such information for Gmail, Yahoo!, Google Apps Business, Hotmail, and custom SMTP accounts. Users can integrate with MailTracker via API.

Nimblevox Click-2-DialNimblevox Click-2-Dial API: Nimblevox is a cloud communications service with Hosted IVR, Automatic Speech Recognition, Text-to-Speech, Answering Machine Detection, Outbound Dialing, SMS Solution, Service Creation Tool, and Out of the box API’s.

The Click-2-Dial API enables calling directly into your website. You can monitor agent call volumes, track call traffic, and integrate into your CRM. The API dials the agent, when they answer or accept, the connection is made.

Nimblevox Fast LaneNimblevox Fast Lane API: Nimblevox is a cloud communications service with Hosted IVR, Automatic Speech Recognition, Text-to-Speech, Answering Machine Detection, Outbound Dialing, SMS Solution, Service Creation Tool, and Out of the box API’s.

The Fast Lane API allows companies to give their customers access to portions of their IVR or Call Center from a web page selection. When invoked, the API dials the phone number, including any additional needed digits. A message informing the agent of the caller is played and requests call acceptance. When the agent accepts, the system calls the customer back. This decreases customer hold time and reduces communication costs.

Nimblevox serviceStartNimblevox serviceStart API: Nimblevox is a cloud communications service with Hosted IVR, Automatic Speech Recognition, Text-to-Speech, Answering Machine Detection, Outbound Dialing, SMS Solution, Service Creation Tool, and Out of the box API’s.

The serviceStart API is used to invoke your custom applications. It receives the request, starts phone line, and passes request data to your application.

Nimblevox SMS ReceiveNimblevox SMS Receive API: Nimblevox is a cloud communications service with Hosted IVR, Automatic Speech Recognition, Text-to-Speech, Answering Machine Detection, Outbound Dialing, SMS Solution, Service Creation Tool, and Out of the box API’s.

The SMS Receive API enables a callback to a URL you define in my.nimblevox.com. The URL is defined by configuring the SMS Receive URL for the phone number, and the callback is initiated from nimblevox. When a caller sends a text message to your nimblevox phone number, nimblebox sends the info to your url.

Nimblevox SMS SendNimblevox SMS Send API: Nimblevox is a cloud communications service with Hosted IVR, Automatic Speech Recognition, Text-to-Speech, Answering Machine Detection, Outbound Dialing, SMS Solution, Service Creation Tool, and Out of the box API’s.

The SMS Send API enables using an HTTP POST request to send text messages.

Nimblevox Voice AnnouncementNimblevox Voice Announcement API: Nimblevox is a cloud communications service with Hosted IVR, Automatic Speech Recognition, Text-to-Speech, Answering Machine Detection, Outbound Dialing, SMS Solution, Service Creation Tool, and Out of the box API’s.

With the Voice Announcement API you can place a phone call and play a message. This can be used to send alerts, broadcast messages to customers, or to send reminders.

Related ProgrammableWeb Resources

Digital Public Library of America Digital Public Library of America API Profile

Author: "Greg Bates" Tags: "Daily"
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Date: Monday, 21 Apr 2014 19:41

While there’s no doubt that the influence of developers has never been greater, a debate is starting to emerge concerning how much power developers now wield across the enterprise. At the Red Hat 2014 Summit last week, Deepak Advani, IBM general manager for cloud and smarter infrastructure, told attendees that developers are now the kingmakers of enterprise IT. To back up that claim Advani noted that not only do developers today decide what APIs will be published, but increasingly they determine what technologies are actually deployed.

Because developers are increasingly invoking IT resources directly in the cloud, Advani says developers are essentially deciding what technologies will be used by any given organization. With 85 percent of new applications being developed in the cloud, Advani says it is little wonder vendors are battling for the hearts and minds of developers.

In the case of IBM, competition for developers in the cloud was one of the primary reasons they spent $2 billion to acquire SoftLayer, which in addition to supporting OpenStack exposes over 2,000 APIs to developers.

Rather than developing applications from the ground up, Advani says developers will increasingly be composing applications using APIs. Driving that shift, says Advani, is the need to respond to rapidly changing business conditions that are creating more demand than ever for innovative applications. Where developers once had months to build an application, Advani says they are now being routinely asked to compose new applications in days and months. Most of those applications, says Advani, will be invoking application patterns defined in the cloud that will be exposed via APIs. The end result, says Advani, is a once in a generation opportunity to create economic value around dynamic cloud services that are truly open.

There is, of course, a fine line between being the kingmaker and wielding actual power. As enterprise IT evolves in the cloud, developers will clearly specify what software and hardware resources will be used across the enterprise. Of course, the decision of what resources are made available to the developer is likely to be made by either the CIO or provider of the cloud service. Naturally, developers can vote with their feet by opting to go to work on another platform, which essentially would force builders and providers of cloud computing services to bend to their collective will.

Having power is one thing; learning to effectively wield power is quite another. Historically many developers have indirectly influenced decisions simply by the way they write or compose an application. Many of them may continue to indirectly exercise that influence in the age of the cloud. However, no matter how enterprise IT evolves, going forward the one thing that is for certain is that not much is likely to be accomplished without at least the consent of the developer community.

Author: "Michael Vizard" Tags: "Enterprise, General, News, Strategy, clo..."
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Date: Monday, 21 Apr 2014 15:00

This guest post comes from Marc Mezzacca, founder of NextGen Shopping, a company dedicated to creating innovative shopping mashups.  Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Two TapI’m an online shopper who loves efficiency and hates filling out forms, so TwoTap’s solution that automates the checkout process across top e-commerce websites immediately grabbed my attention. Not only does TwoTap help automate checkout, but the TwoTap API gives developers a new way to handle referral-based e-commerce. With just a few calls to the API, developers can complete a purchase on a customer’s behalf.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re a developer with a fashion discovery app. You have product data coming from a variety of retailers (Gap, Nordstrom, Banana Republic, Macy’s, etc.) and one of your users finds a nice spring dress from Nordstrom. She decides to purchase it. Normally, at this point, you’d send her off to the Nordstrom.com website. But suppose you could keep her in your app to fully complete the purchase. You can do just that if you’ve integrated with the TwoTap API.

Capturing the sale in-app is incredibly important in mobile apps, where window shopping is high and conversion rates are still very low. The merchant still handles the transaction, and TwoTap doesn’t handle any of the credit card processing. In fact, TwoTap is built on top of the merchant’s existing e-commerce system, so no integration is required by the merchant. This differentiates it from other systems like Google Wallet, which offers a two-click checkout process through its Instant Buy APIs, but requires a bit of integration by the merchant.

Continuing from the previous example, the revenue model of choice is likely affiliate-based. In the affiliate model, the website or app passes the user to a retail website to make a purchase, and referring party is rewarded a commission when a purchase is made. There are two things at play that are currently a concern in this type of referral-based e-commerce: abandonment and attribution.

Abandonment in the shopping cycle (i.e., shopping cart abandonment) is a huge problem. When you send your user out of your app or website, you lose control of the environment. If the retailer’s site isn’t mobile-optimized, problems instantly arise. If it’s the user’s first time shopping on that website, it means forms to fill out. The more actions (clicks, typing, etc.) a user must execute to make a purchase, the higher the likelihood that user will abandon the purchase. Customers want things done instantly and effortlessly (which is one reason Amazon has been so successful with its Prime shipping and One-Click checkout).

The other concern, specifically for an affiliate marketer, is that of losing the commission. The widely accepted affiliate attribution model is known as the “last-click attribution.” In this model, the last website or app to send the user to the retailer’s website gets 100% of the referral commission on the sale. So a product discovery app which comes at the beginning of a consumer’s shopping cycle has a much higher probability of losing out to something farther down the line, such as a price alert, price comparison, or coupon/loyalty app or website.

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TwoTap helps eliminate both of these concerns by allowing the developer to have complete control of the purchase cycle. A digital wallet provided by TwoTap cuts down on the number of actions required of the end-user. And since the entire transaction can happen in-app, the chance of a completed sale increases and the appropriate affiliate attribution credit is guaranteed.

Of course, building directly on top of the existing shopping cart has its own issues. If a retailer changes its site, this could potentially cause the TwoTap system to fail. However, TwoTap has taken the necessary precautions to set up an alert system which allows it to fix these types of issues within minutes.

From a technology standpoint, integration with TwoTap seems pretty straightforward. A pre-built HTML5 widget-based implementation exists for developers who want quick integration. There’s  RESTful API for those who want a fully customizable experience.

A few mobile apps have already integrated with TwoTap, such as Shopsy, and many more existing apps could benefit from this technology—fashion discovery app Kaleidoscope and decor recommendation app RoomHints come to mind.

It’ll be interesting see how retailers, developers and affiliate marketers react to this type of evolution in e-commerce technology. Anything that makes the process more efficient seems like a strong move in the right direction to me.

Related ProgrammableWeb Resources

Two Tap Two Tap API Profile

Author: "Guest Author" Tags: "API Overviews, Shopping, ecommerce"
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Date: Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 15:00

This week, we had 37 new APIs added to our API directory including a service that enables medication adherence for prescription drugs, an eCommerce companion application to convert sales, and an interactive music and entertainment platform. We also covered Twitter’s acquisition of Gnip.

AdhereTechAdhereTech API: AdhereTech makes medication bottles that are enabled with technology to improve prescription medication adherence. The AdhereTech API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of AdhereTech with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact AdhereTech for API information.

Apperian ApplicationsApperian Applications API: Apperian is a mobile app management platform with a set of open APIs that handle the key elements to extend, integrate, and create additional functionality and value. The Applications API enables the request of statistical data and metadata for the Android, Blackberry, and native OS applications that are stored in the EASE database. Data can be requested for all native applications in your organization and those available to a specific user. Data can also be requested for a specific application and for all the app catalogs in your organization.

Apperian GroupsApperian Groups API: Apperian is a mobile app management platform with a set of open APIs that handle the key elements to extend, integrate, and create additional functionality and value. The Groups API is used to add, edit, list, and delete groups in EASE. Users must be a member of the group to which an application belongs in order to view and run the application. This API enables the ability to control and organize application access through group creation.

Apperian UsersApperian Users API: Apperian is a mobile app management platform with a set of open APIs that handle the key elements to extend, integrate, and create additional functionality and value. The Users API is used to authenticate with the EASE server. It provides the unique token that is needed in the HTTPS requests sent to EASE web services. The API is also used to add users, list user details, update user attributes, and delete users.

AtomJump Javascript 3D EarthAtomJump Javascript 3D Earth API: AtomJump has created a JavaScript 3D global map that developers can embed on their websites to mark global locations, and that end users can click to spin the globe and find those locations. It is compatible with most browsers, tablets, and mobile devices, and the look of the globe is also customizable.

CoddressCoddress API: Coddress is an address platform that allows users to simplify their address for input. It has custom input solutions for distinct areas, converting accordingly for different websites. The Coddress API can provide registered address information to company websites or blogs. It returns CDR search results in XML, JSON format.

ConvExtraConvExtra API: ConvExtra is a web extraction tool. Data can be extracted from sources such as catalogs, online stores, and news feeds. The information is formatted and structured in CVS format, enabling further processing such as price comparisons, product comparisons, or data analyzation. You can also subscribe to receive alerts about the extracted data. The ConvExtra API is activated by url request and parameters can be transmitted by GET or POST.

Eat24Eat24 API: Eat24 is an online food delivery service. They include over 25,000 restaurants in over 1,000 cities. With the Eat24 iOS SDK, developers can embed Eat24’s online food ordering into their existing iOS applications. This allows users to store their purchasing information as well as access their order history, and enables easy re-ordering.

getBiblegetBible API: The getBible API allows users to retrieve Bible verses for their websites in the version and translation that they want. If no version is specified, the English-language King James Version of the Bible is used by default. Some of the other languages available include French, German, Hebrew, Greek, Afrikaans, Finnish, Swahili, Arabic, and Esperanto.

GranifyGranify API: Granify is an eCommerce companion application. Granify works with eCommerce sites to predict which customers will and won’t purchase goods and tries to convert them into sales. The Granify API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Granify with other applications. Public documentation is not available; API access comes with account service.

GreenButton IncusGreenButton Incus API: GreenButton is a New Zealand based company that helps software vendors transition applications to the cloud. With their platform, developers can scale our their compute-intensive applications to the cloud. The InCus Search API is a new search optimization solution, providing a way for customers to access the media indexing service. It enables optimized searching of content from a variety of sources – meeting content, conference calls, presentations, online lectures, voice mails, internet videos. For example, users can index audio from digitized content archives, creating optimized search and discovery.

HonbuHonbu API: Honbu is designed to help people working at the same company communicate and collaborate on projects. Because Honbu provides a secure online environment, users can safely share business information and develop new content. Honbu allows users to create and join groups specific to their projects or roles, helping keep everyone in the loop and build a company culture.

LivewelloLivewello API: LiveWello is a social health management platform. Patients can manage their health using the support of family, friends, and health practitioners. The LiveWello API allows developers to communicate with the LiveWello servers. Service providers, medical device manufacturers, and health-related websites can utilize the LiveWello personal health management tools. The API provides connection to registration and access, profiles, care teams, journal comments, health records, and documents.

Lleida ENUMLleida ENUM API: Lleida is a service for turning email and SMS communications into legally binding contracts, but it also provides an ENUM service, which uses DNS queries to map phone numbers to the internet communication servers responsible for servicing them. The Lleida ENUM API allows users to find out which operator owns a given telephone number, check a number’s status on the network, see how many times a number has been ported from one operator to another, and more.

Lumo BodyTechLumo BodyTech API: Lumo BodyTech are wearable technologies to help people with their posture, standing tall and straight, and lifting correctly. The Lumo BodyTech API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Lumo BodyTech with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should email developers@lumobodytech.com for more information.

meQuilibriummeQuilibrium API: meQuilibrium is a stress monitoring and management service. Users can use meQuilibrium to monitor their cognitive and stress indicators to manage their stress levels. Employers can offer it to their employees to reduce stress in employees. The meQuilibrium API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of meQuilibrium with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact meQuilibrium for more information.

OpenAuraOpenAura API: OpenAura is a platform for artists to control their digital identity, curating with photos, artwork, information, etc. The OpenAura API can be used to create visual music experiences. The visual content can be aggregated and used to build music apps and other experiences. This API is currently in Beta.

PennockPennock API: Pennock Floral is a wholesale supplier of flowers, floral containers, and other specialty items that sells exclusively to retail outlets. They have locations all along the east coast of the U.S. The Pennock API allows users to retrieve information on the availability of specific products, including their cost, quantity, and description.

Prelude by MoolahPrelude by Moolah API: Prelude is a product of Moolah, a cryptographic payments platform. Prelude’s Public API allows users to retrieve ticker information for trades made in U.S. Dollars (USD) or Bitcoins (BTC). The information available for such trades includes the highest and lowest trades made in the last 24 hours, the 24 hour volume, all buy and sell orders for a pairing, the last executed trade prices, the last 10 executed trade values, and the last executed trades for all pairings.

RoostRoost API: Roost is a service that allows users to send Safari push notifications to their subscribers. From their dashboard, users can send notifications, invite new subscribers, and track their current subscribers. The Roost API allows developers to send push notifications, get registration data, and get information on recently disabled registrations.

RxREVURxREVU API: RxREVU is a medication cost savings database. RxREVU offers datasets on prescription medication costs. Resellers can integrate the RxREVU datasets into their applications to offer users prescription drug cost savings. The RxREVU API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of RxREVU with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact RxREVU for more information.

Scoresight.ioScoresight.io API: Scoresight.io is a football prediction API that uses crowd predictions, social sentiment, and historical results to predict scores of soccer (football) matches. The Scoresight.io API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Scoresight.io with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should sign up at http://www.scoresight.io.

StrikeIron Canada Geocode InformationStrikeIron Canada Geocode Information API: Pinpoint the exact location of customers, prospects or competitors with geocode data. The Canada Address Geocode Information Web Service uses geocode technology from DataFlux to provide a powerful enhancement solution that transforms ordinary addresses into robust information that can support improved logistics and refined demographic reporting.

StrikeIron Contact Record Verification SuiteStrikeIron Contact Record Verification Suite API: Validate, verify, correct and enhance your customers’ contact information in real-time with the Contact Record verification Suite. The suite provides instant access to email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers and more. The end result is cost- and time-efficiency for your organization.

StrikeIron Geo IP LocationStrikeIron Geo IP Location API: The StrikeIron Geo IP Location Web service allows high precision localization of website visitors. The Web service provides geographic information such as IP Address ranges, IP Address Owner, latitude, longitude, time zone, and a map representing the location, for a given IP Address.

StrikeIron Mobile IDStrikeIron Mobile ID API: Identify U.S. mobile numbers quickly and easily to effectively reach your customers and prospects. New regulations require organizations to be diligent with their mobile marketing practices. StrikeIron’s Mobile ID solution gives you the ability to improve sales and marketing efforts by ensuring that mobile phone numbers you are using are accurate. The Mobile ID solution is available in both batch and real-time modes. This provides you with the ability to – Clean up your legacy phone data – Instantly detect whether a number is a landline or mobile number at the point of data capture.

StrikeIron Phone Number ValidationStrikeIron Phone Number Validation API: Save time and money by ensuring your customers’ phone numbers are correct with StrikeIron’s Phone Number Validation solution. You can easily integrate this cloud based solution into any website, web form, or other business application to improve customer contactability by 90% or more. This solution verifies the NPA and the NXX (area code and prefix) of all North American Numbering Plan (NANP) phone numbers in the US and Canada. In addition this solution will return each zip code where this NPA/NXX combination exists. It will also give you the number of phone numbers in each of these ZIP codes. We update our data at least every 30 days to ensure we provide the most accurate solution.

StrikeIron Real Time Telephone VerificationStrikeIron Real Time Telephone Verification API: This technology guarantees that your customers provide you with a working, traceable telephone number. An automated telephone call is placed to the web user, who is told a unique security code. The user then enters that code into their computer, which completes verification. TeleSign authenticates your customer’s telephone number and effectively ensures that “bad apple” web users are routed out before they can ever inflict damage to your online business.

StrikeIron US Geocode InformationStrikeIron US Geocode Information API: Pinpoint the exact location of customers, prospects or competitors with geocode data. The US Address Geocode Information Web Service uses geocode technology from DataFlux to provide a powerful enhancement solution that transforms ordinary addresses into robust information that can support improved logistics and refined demographic reporting.”

TelecashTelecash API: TeleCash is a mobile money service from Telecel. Subscribers can conduct money transactions with their mobile phone. The TeleCash API enables the validation of credit cards, the storing of credit card data in the TeleCash DataStorage, and the creation of credit card payments.

ThinkEcoThinkEco API: ThinkEco is a green technology company that creates cost-effective energy efficiency solutions. They have a modlet, self-installable solution that enables device-level energy management to the home and office. Their cloud based software, that is accessed through the modlet, allows users to view energy use, costs, and savings. Additionally, the have a SmartAC dashboard to control electronics from any computer. The ThinkEco API allows developers to integrate the modlet data with a building or energy management system. The API also allows for pulling of energy data and controlling modlets from your own system.

TouchTunes JukeboxTouchTunes Jukebox API: TouchTunes is an interactive music and entertainment platform. The network supports a portfolio of location-based digital solutions and is featured in over 60,000 bars and restaurants in North America. The TouchTunes Jukebox API provides access to TouchTunes out-of-home digital music network and allows developers use of this music data for apps and services. This could be used to find a local TouchTunes Jukebox, view recent activity, and to browse the catalog.

Triptelligent Shore ExcursionsTriptelligent Shore Excursions API: Triptelligent is a shore excursion marketplace for travelers on cruise ships. Cruise guests are connected with tour operators, local guides, and personalized services. The Shore Excursions API enables integrating shore excursion content on partner websites. Content can include full descriptions, pictures, and client reviews. The API provides a full booking engine that has integrated handling of credit cards.

UnisonUnison API: Unison is a collaboration service that allows users to create “rooms” as workspaces for each of their teams or projects. Rooms allow users to store and share their files, questions, and ideas all in one place. Unison’s rooms instantly sync across all devices and can be used to track team member’s activities and see what posts they’ve read. Users can turn a room into an audio conference instantly by clicking a button. One-on-one audio and video calls are also available.

VoxSci VAPIVoxSci VAPI API: Voxsciences is a voice recognition technology solutions company that offers Voice-to-Text services. The VoxSci API, VAPI, allows existing systems to integrate voice to text conversions transparently. Audio files are sent to VAPI, where their system handles the transcriptions, and then sends them back to the originating system.

WattTime ImpactWattTime Impact API: WattTime collects power grid energy usage information from many sources and puts it in one place in a standardized format. Users can retrieve this data and use it to shift their energy consumption to when the grid is using greener energy sources. The WattTime Impact API allows users to integrate real-time energy cleanliness data from the website into their projects or applications.

You Don't Need a CRM!You Don’t Need a CRM! API: You Don’t Need a CRM! helps sales team members track and close deals. The process of creating new leads is simplified so that team members can spend less time filling out paperwork and more time pursuing leads. The You Don’t Need a CRM! API allows users to create, update, and retrieve data from their accounts. It also allows users to receive notifications via webhooks. You Don’t Need a CRM! is designed to serve small businesses with fewer than 200 employees.

Author: "Melody Clark" Tags: "Examples, WeeklySummary, Company::Adhere..."
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 21:00

WSO2 is set to host three workshops on integrated ecosystems across three Asia-Pacific cities throughout the month of May. Plus, the role of APIs in cross-border currency transfer and 11 new APIs.

WSO2 to Host Integrated Ecosystem Workshops

WSO2 will be hosting three Asia-Pacific workshops next month on integrated ecosystems. An integrated ecosystem, in the eyes of WSO2, constitutes a connected business that integrates people, processes, and data across an extended value chain. In three different cities (Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, and Auckland), WSO2 will conduct workshops that teach attendees how to build a connected business through the use of cloud, mobile, API, big data, social, and open source technologies.

The workshops are designed for enterprise architects, IT managers, CIOs, and SOA experts. More on the “Integrated Ecosystem” series can be found at the individual registration sites (Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Auckland).

APIs You Shouldn’t Miss

11 New APIs

Today we had 11 new APIs added to our API directory including an application inspection tool, a crowdsourcing ideas tool, an application download install tool, a user notification tool and a restful application builder and http services tool. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

Apperian App Inspections Apperian App Inspections API: Apperian is a mobile app management platform with a set of open APIs that handle the key elements to extend, integrate, and create additional functionality and value.

The App Inspections API is used to request inspection of an application. It can also be used to acquire a previously generated inspection report. Inspections are used to screen apps for risky behavior and vulnerabilities. The inspections are performed with Appthority Platform™.

Apperian Crowdsourcing IdeasApperian Crowdsourcing Ideas API: Apperian is a mobile app management platform with a set of open APIs that handle the key elements to extend, integrate, and create additional functionality and value.

The Crowdsourcing Ideas API enables users of the App Catalog to submit ideas. They can submit ideas about new apps as well as ideas for other improvements for the organization.

Apperian Downloads and InstallsApperian Downloads and Installs API: Apperian is a mobile app management platform with a set of open APIs that handle the key elements to extend, integrate, and create additional functionality and value.

The Downloads and Installs API enables the download and install of native applications to a user’s device from the EASE server. The user must be assigned to the applicable group to have access to the application.

Apperian Push Notifications Apperian Push Notifications API: Apperian is a mobile app management platform with a set of open APIs that handle the key elements to extend, integrate, and create additional functionality and value.

The Push Notifications API is used to send users push notifications on their devices that are running native iOS and Android App Catalogs. You can send Application Update Notifications, Group Messages, and Application Messages.

ASP.NET WebASP.NET Web API: ASP.NET is a web framework for building standard-based websites. The framework supports HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

With the ASP.NET Web API you can build HTTP services for browsers and mobile devices. It provides a platform for building RESTful applications on the .NET Framework. They can return any kind of content that the web supports, including JSON and XML.

CodenvyCodenvy API: Codenvy provides cloud-based services that include public cloud-based workspaces and private enterprise clouds. It provides facilities for quickly launching projects and for embedding and distributing environments. The Codenvy API gives developers extensive access to the platform’s features. These include the ability to create, manage, and retrieve information on instances, projects, organizations, factories, and users.

HTC Common ControlsHTC Common Controls API: HTVdev provides resources to develop ideas and applications within HTC devices. It also enables connection with HTC and other developers.

The HTC Common Controls API extends the existing set of Android widgets with a suite of customized general purpose controls. By reusing these common controls, application and widget developers can create an HTC look and feel to applications.

HTC Scribe PenHTC Scribe Pen API: HTVdev provides resources to develop ideas and applications within HTC devices. It also enables connection with HTC and other developers.

Providing HTC Scribe technology with HTC tables, the HTC Scribe Pen API is a framework for drawing applications. The framework provides pen controls, settings, and properties that are available to the native applications, as well as the ability to interact with the pen’s buttons.

HTC Sound EnhancerHTC Sound Enhancer API: HTVdev provides resources to develop ideas and applications within HTC devices. It also enables connection with HTC and other developers.

The HTC Sound Enhancer API provides access to the Sound Enhancer configuration settings within your application. With this access you can customize the audio experience and optimize sound with special settings for different media.

HTC Stereoscopic 3DHTC Stereoscopic 3D API: HTVdev provides resources to develop ideas and applications within HTC devices. It also enables connection with HTC and other developers.

The Stereoscopic 3D API implements stereoscopy technology on the EVO 3D to create glasses free 3D imagery. The screen resolution is halved by blocking the stereo pair of images from the opposite eye’s field of vision. This accommodates both left and right images in the display.

RealFaviconGeneratorRealFaviconGenerator API: RealFaviconGenerator is a service for creating favicons that will work across multiple platforms. Favicons are provided for use with desktop PCs and Macs as well as for iOS, Android, and other mobile devices. The RealFaviconGenerator API allows users to integrate the favicon generator into their own CMS or web page editing services.

Author: "Eric Carter" Tags: "Daily"
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Date: Friday, 18 Apr 2014 15:17

Last week MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) provided developers with a signal that it may be emerging as a de facto protocol for the IoT. This validation comes in the light of positive MQTT Interoperability Test Day results that were published by the host of the event: The Eclipse Foundation and the Eclipse IoT Working Group.

The Eclipse Foundation and the Eclipse IoT Working Group announced the results of a MQTT Interoperability Test Day held in March during which 15 companies, including large software vendors like IBM, Software AG and RedHat, tested how well various implementations of MQTT adhere to the draft specification and how interoperable they are with each other.

Players in the IoT space have been moving slowly on standards but The Eclipse Foundation’s Ian Skerrett, expects the recent developments with MQTT will help change that. “I think we are already seeing more adoption of MQTT. Developers want and need some of the basic building blocks for creating IoT applications. They are tired of reinventing it themselves. Demonstrating that MQTT is indeed interoperable will help with future adoption,” Skerrett explains.

Leading the Drive for Interoperability: MQTT

According to Skerrett, interoperability is crucial to the burgeoning IoT market. “The current state of the IoT industry has resulted in a lot of siloed, proprietary solutions,” he told me. “Many of these solutions will offer an ‘open’ API but that API only works for the proprietary solutions. This makes it very difficult for the users to integrate solutions from different providers. If we really want an ‘Internet of Things’ it needs to be easy to integrate like we can with the real Internet.”

One of the early protocols is Message Queuing Telemetry Transport, or MQTT, developed by IBM and Eurotech and designed to provide publish/subscribe messaging transport. While still early, the test results paint an encouraging picture for developers looking for standards to emerge.

“Overall, more than 50% of the test pairs were considered successful. At this stage of the standardization process, this demonstrates a good level of interoperability between MQTT implementations and points to the ease of creating interoperable IoT solutions based on MQTT,” the Eclipse Foundation stated in a press release.

Another test day is planned for later this year and Skerrett believes that even more progress will be evident then: “The next test day will be focused on the final specification for MQTT. Right now it is still in draft form so not all the providers have updated their implementation. I will expect at the next test day we would see a lot more participants and more instances of successful testing.”

Future Development

The Internet of Things (IoT) is booming, and as more and more companies look to connect the world using sensors and smart devices, establishing protocols that will serve as the backbone of the IoT is one of the most important steps in ensuring the IoT realizes its trillion-dollar potential.

HTTP is the foundation of the web we use on a daily basis, but the IoT has different needs. For one, the IoT will be home to a lot more devices. Billions of smart devices, including sensors, will be a part of the IoT network. Additionally, many of them will need to communicate with each other and operate in environments where bandwidth and computing resources are constrained, which is one of MQTT’s sweet spots.

There is still work to be done, both on MQTT and other protocols that are being adopted. As Holger Reinhardt of Layer 7 Technologies has noted, “each protocol has weaknesses.” MQTT, he suggests, “appears to be weak in security.”

Skerrett acknowledges that security is an important subject and believes it is one of the biggest issues facing the IoT industry as a whole. For many of standards developing around protocols, finding a balance between usability and security could be key.

“I think the challenge for MQTT will be to retain its simplicity and ease of use. All too often you see ‘feature-creep’ emerge in successful standards. Right now it does a very good job with a simple specification,” Skerrett says.

Ultimately, a number of key standards and protocols, such as MQTT, will be broadly adopted across various IoT applications, says Skerrett, but because the IoT is so diverse and there are so many varied applications, there is also room for application-specific protocols, many of which will likely be built on top of open standards like MQTT.

Author: "Patricio Robles" Tags: "Enterprise, Hardware, Infrastructure, In..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 21:06

Aplos releases an API for nonprofit management and raises $2 million. Right Brain Media’s ReadyCast APIs and app uses iPhone, iPod and iPad cameras to live stream events. Plus: the implications of Google Adword changes, securing digital channels and mobile apps against hacks, and 6 new APIs.

Aplos Software Releases API, Raises $2M

Alpos Software creates offers SaaS for nonprofits. Now it’s launching an API with the help of $2 million in funding just raised.

As the company commented,

The new financing from private investors brings the company’s total funding to $3.4 million. Aplos Software plans to use the new financing to accelerate the development schedule for new features in its existing nonprofit accounting and donor management software. This includes the release of an API to integrate with other popular web-based software used by churches and nonprofits. Since the release of its web-based software in 2011, Aplos Software has served over 10,000 organizations with its nonprofit software suite.

The idea of creating an integrated software solution targeted at nonprofits isn’t unique to Aplos. But most packages are targeted at large nonprofits. As the company notes, most nonprofits have expenses under $500,000, suggesting that the SaaS can be scaled appropriately for the large number of smaller organizations.

ReadyCast Uses APIs to Streamline Streaming from iPhones, iPads, iPods

The age of mobile broadcasting has arrived. Right Brain Media’s ReadyCast App makes it possible to live stream from any iOS device. Available as an App from the iTunes store, it’s ideal for streaming from business seminars, trade shows, sporting events, church services, and so on.

As the company comments, ReadyCast works  so that the incoming stream is correctly formatted for an iOS, desktop or Android device:

“ReadyCast makes mobile broadcasting easy,” said Deke Hooper, CIO at Right Brain Media. “It makes streaming really convenient – for anyone – because of the automated provisioning that our system offers. All of the API calls that are available help to streamline the process for users.”
The available API calls make it quick and easy for the average user to log in to ReadyCast on their mobile device and begin live streaming in minutes.

Use of the app requires an approved ReadyCast provider, available by emailing sales@rightbrainmedia.com.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

6 New APIs

Today we had 6 new APIs added to our API directory including an application data request tool, a user application access management tool, an authentication and user detail management service and a search optimization service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

Apperian ApplicationsApperian Applications API: Apperian is a mobile app management platform with a set of open APIs that handle the key elements to extend, integrate, and create additional functionality and value.

The Applications API enables the request of statistical data and metadata for the Android, Blackberry, and native OS applications that are stored in the EASE database. Data can be requested for all native applications in your organization and those available to a specific user. Data can also be requested for a specific application and for all the app catalogs in your organization.

Apperian GroupsApperian Groups API: Apperian is a mobile app management platform with a set of open APIs that handle the key elements to extend, integrate, and create additional functionality and value.

The Groups API is used to add, edit, list, and delete groups in EASE. Users must be a member of the group to which an application belongs in order to view and run the application. This API enables the ability to control and organize application access through group creation.

Apperian UsersApperian Users API: Apperian is a mobile app management platform with a set of open APIs that handle the key elements to extend, integrate, and create additional functionality and value.

The Users API is used to authenticate with the EASE server. It provides the unique token that is needed in the HTTPS requests sent to EASE web services. The API is also used to add users, list user details, update user attributes, and delete users.

GreenButton IncusGreenButton Incus API: GreenButton is a New Zealand based company that helps software vendors transition applications to the cloud. With their platform, developers can scale our their compute-intensive applications to the cloud.

The InCus Search API is a new search optimization solution, providing a way for customers to access the media indexing service. It enables optimized searching of content from a variety of sources – meeting content, conference calls, presentations, online lectures, voice mails, internet videos. For example, users can index audio from digitized content archives, creating optimized search and discovery.

TelecashTelecash API: TeleCash is a mobile money service from Telecel. Subscribers can conduct money transactions with their mobile phone.

The TeleCash API enables the validation of credit cards, the storing of credit card data in the TeleCash DataStorage, and the creation of credit card payments.

Triptelligent Shore ExcursionsTriptelligent Shore Excursions API: Triptelligent is a shore excursion marketplace for travelers on cruise ships. Cruise guests are connected with tour operators, local guides, and personalized services.

The Shore Excursions API enables integrating shore excursion content on partner websites. Content can include full descriptions, pictures, and client reviews. The API provides a full booking engine that has integrated handling of credit cards.

Author: "Greg Bates" Tags: "Daily"
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 20:00

On Tuesday, social media giant Twitter announced that it is buying Data as a Service (DaaS) provider Gnip for an undisclosed amount. Gnip, which is one of several companies that sell access to the firehose of the content posted on Twitter, was founded in 2008 and today offers data from a number of popular user-generated services in addition to Twitter.

As Twitter VP of Global Business Development & Platform Jana Messerschmidt explains, “We want to make our data even more accessible, and the best way to do that is to work directly with our customers to get a better understanding of their needs.” For Twitter, flush with cash from its 2013 IPO, buying one of the companies it has partnered with to sell real-time firehose access was an obvious way to gain direct access to the growing number of companies using its data.

According to Messerschmidt, the acquisition will give the company the ability to develop more useful offerings. “We believe Gnip has only begun to scratch the surface. Together we plan to offer more sophisticated data sets and better data enrichments, so that even more developers and businesses big and small around the world can drive innovation using the unique content that is shared on Twitter,” she says.

DaaS: Aggregation crucial to success?

The rise of the DaaS market reflects the insatiable demand businesses have for data. Data from the social web, in particular, has been particularly appealing to companies and is increasingly used in a variety of applications, such as brand monitoring and sentiment analysis. Companies like Gnip and DataSift, which ProgrammableWeb’s Janet Wagner recently profiled, have taken advantage of the demand by aggregating data from a variety of sources, including Facebook, Instagram and Foursquare, and making them available via API.

Interestingly, a number of data providers have chosen to offer their data firehoses exclusively through Gnip instead of selling access to their APIs directly. This raises an important question: might it become increasingly difficult for some data providers to succeed with a homegrown DaaS strategy?

It’s logical that companies hungry for data will prefer to acquire access to new data sources quickly and without unnecessary one-off integrations. DaaS providers like Gnip can offer access to a growing portfolio of data sets through a single relationship and unified, consistent API, potentially making them more attractive than competing data offerings that are sold individually by a company that can only offer its own data and API.

While Twitter ostensibly purchased Gnip with a focus on improving the delivery of its own data, if the aggregation trend continues to gain momentum, the microblogging company’s purchase of Gnip could put Twitter in an ideal position in the booming data economy.

Author: "Patricio Robles" Tags: "Enterprise, Facebook, Social, Strategy, ..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 17:20

Samsung isn’t making it easy for developers. The company may have released a handful of SDKs for its latest devices, but Samsung’s non-committal approach to its Tizen platform is probably going to cost it developer support.

Samsung’s first smartwatch, released in October last year, ran a modified version of Google’s Android platform. The device had access to about 80 apps at launch, all of which were managed by a central smartphone app. Samsung offered developers an SDK for the Galaxy Gear so they could create more apps. Developers obliged. Then Samsung changed direction.

Samsung announced a new series of smartwatches in February: the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit. Unlike the first device, these three run Samsung’s Tizen platform. Tizen is based on Linux and other open-source standards. Samsung has been working on Tizen with Intel for years. It is supposed to be used for smartphones, but why not throw it into a watch? This way Samsung can say it relies on Google for one less thing. Though the user interface of the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo looks nearly identical to that of the first smartwatch, all the underlying code is different. Samsung also released a brand new set of SDKs for its Tizen-based watches, but the devices launched with only a couple dozen apps and developers haven’t been as quick to add more. (Granted, it is still early days for the Tizen watches.)

This week, Samsung made things even more interesting. Speaking to Reuters, Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung’s product strategy team, said the company is working on a watch that will use Google’s Android Wear platform. In other words, Samsung will bring three different watches to market with three different operating systems in under a year. At this point, developers might be best off if they ignore the first- and second-generation smartwatches from Samsung and wait for the third. Here’s why.

Android Wear is Google’s new platform for wearable devices. It is based on Android, but will be modified for smaller screens and varying form factors. The first such devices will be smartwatches. Motorola and LG have already committed to bringing smartwatches to market. They showed off early builds of their stuff last month (Motorola’s watch looks hot!) Samsung has thrown its hat in this ring, too. Why? Because it has to. Samsung can’t take the chance of ignoring this new Google-backed platform for wearables. Android Wear is probably going to become the default platform for most wearables moving forward. With a number of major companies supporting the platform, it has the best chance of succeeding in this still-nascent market. Google is naturally offering developers an SDK for Android Wear so they can create apps for the platform.

Since Android Wear is on the horizon, it really raises questions about just how much effort developers should put into Samsung’s Tizen smartwatches. Samsung sold about 3.5 million Galaxy Gear devices in 2013. The improved devices will likely sell in similar or somewhat higher numbers thanks to expanded smartphone support. Android Wear-based hardware, however, is on deck to clobber those numbers. Supporting Tizen won’t be an entirely wasted effort, but the bigger numbers down the road could be more enticing to developers and cause some to skip Tizen for the time being.

Author: "Eric Zeman" Tags: "Examples, General, Google, Internet of T..."
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Date: Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 16:06

Open data startup Enigma has released its platform to the public and now provides the open Enigma API so that developers can begin drawing on open data sources and feeding them into their applications. Co-founder Marc DaCosta spoke with ProgrammableWeb about the importance of encouraging developer involvement, and why Enigma can succeed when other open data platforms have had difficulties building a sustainable model.

Enigma is an open data platform with current access to almost 70,000 datasets, from U.S. and international sources. New datasets are added almost daily, and users can easily request datasets to be added. As a startup that’s already won several industry awards and recently secured $4.5 million in funding, Enigma has focused on supporting its corporate clients in key industries in order to build the platform. Now it’s ready to make the platform available to the public, and anyone can register for a free account or enter a paid plan which provides access to the Enigma API.

“We have relaunched the enigma web app, from an enterprise-scoped product into a public platform that anyone can go to interact with and build apps off of,” DaCosta told ProgrammableWeb.

Open data for the public

DaCosta explains the motivations behind opening up the platform to wider usage:

We started thinking more deeply about what position we want in the open data world. It has been fascinating to watch open data as a concept take shape over the past five years, when it has grown with a lot of different stakeholders involved. But [it's] still a very uncharted, fertile, and unfolding territory to be involved in.

There has been great progress—as was recently demonstrated by the OpenData 500 launch, which showed how companies are using open data sources to feed their product development and business processes across industry. However, there are also many more opportunities that have not even started to be realized.

“It is exciting because we really believe that in five to 10 years down the road, we will be in a world where you will be able to look at a building, and see the data signature (who is it owned by and what else it is involved in), as you would use Wikipedia now to look up Crimea to learn more about its natural resources, for example,” DaCosta says.

API access to open data

Part of opening up the platform has included making an API available. While free account holders can test the API in a sandbox environment, paid subscribers can make up to 50,000 API calls a month.

“The way that the API works is that anyone gets basic sandbox API access to prototype a use for it,” DaCosta explains. “Once it gets to a commercial application stage, we have a basic developer pricing level. Users have these sandbox API keys so developers can use these directly in their app prototypes. Our opening gambit is in terms of building a large community around open data. So the sandbox API is very important to that.”

Several REST APIs are provided, enabling access to dataset metadata, the data itself, a stats API that allows developers to perform analysis such as calculating averages based on variables in the data, and an export API that allows developers to download datasets in CSV format.

Documentation provided includes brief descriptions of each API and the parameters and attributes of each, as well as an interactive screen that shows an example data request or response, and a sandbox tab where users can test API requests themselves.

Opportunities for developers

Da Costa is committed to focusing now on fostering developer communities and encouraging developers to “harness this data to do interesting things.” To that end, Enigma has focused on enabling app developers to immediately begin making use of any data they need from the stores of datasets on the platform:

If you are an app developer and you want to help consumers make more informed choices, you don’t necessarily need to understand all the datasets that might help you do that. Instead, you can start with the manufacturer of a product and find out all the datasets related to that manufacturer and work from there.

You don’t need to worry about data-as-a-service type layer, you don’t have to manage all the datasets that power your apps.

At times the interface can still be confusing for newbies, but Enigma is structured in a way that means you do not need to know what datasets exist that may help you. Users can search via location, keywords or company names to surface all datasets where those attributes are mentioned, then work backwards to drill down into what datasets may be most useful for a query. Once a dataset is filtered to show just the items wanted, it can be saved or exported and then a similar query can be performed on another dataset.

Managing data quality

One of the strengths of the Enigma platform is its focus on cleaning and organizing data before it is imported. Unlike platforms like CKAN, which is used by governments and cities around the world to publish their data, Enigma polishes its data first so all datasets are available in a clear table format, and have been formatted in JSON to be available for request calls via API. CKAN, on the other hand, lets the data publishers decide, which means data is uploaded in multiple formats: from CSV, to PDF, to spreadsheets, to API. It is up to the developer-consumers to wrangle the data into the format they want to use.

Enigma solves this problem by having a highly curated element to its business model. “There is a lot of data quality issues when you are dealing with data.gov for example,” DaCosta says. (Data.gov is built using CKAN.) “It is not always done in a way where the data is in a usable format. To have a platform where the data is easy to surface and to use the data in the first place will help with the velocity of open data, it is much more within people’s reach and ability to discover.”

Enigma also provides a number of features to encourage data accessibility: a roadmap feature lets users identify datasets they want to have added, and a progress status is providing informing of the potential timeframe for the date sets to come online.

A trending feature lets users see what datasets are most popular on the platform, creating an almost social aspect to discovering datasets:

Four use cases for open data using Enigma

1. Investigative journalism

“We have worked with some not-for-profit and investigative journalists to further civic media and public good projects,” says DaCosta, when asked about how developers can gain free access to the API. DaCosta cites examples such as the connection of shell companies, and the “ability to follow supply chains and see where U.S. military uniforms are being manufactured, for example.”

2. Real estate investment

“We are working with a lab at MIT that is using the public Enigma API to power visualizations to create portraits of cities: with real estate assessment values, hospitalization intake causes, things that assess the safety of local communities, etc., all data sources that together create powerful tools for civic engagement,” says DaCosta.

Some developers are using the data to identify quality building contractors, while others are using building permit data to identify energy-efficient building designs, and therefore property investment opportunities that will have greater value in the longer term: “You can take building permit information filed by building contractors, and then look at who are the good contractors, for example,” suggests DaCosta. “There is a group up in Boston that is using the import data we have to look at the carbon scores of the properties they are buying.”

3. Assessing business risks

In an interview with Riskpulse earlier this year, CEO Matthew Wensing mentioned the need for accurate data sources that may help identify specific business risks such as delays to manufacturing caused by port labor disputes. DaCosta sees a day when Enigma may have those datasets available in the Enigma platform:

Right now, you could look at the raw volume of containers that are being held up. There are also datasets from Federal Highway data that will tell you how many trucks are distributing goods, there is also a dataset called the Warren Act where any employer with more than 200 employees has to report any employee layoffs. Also from local manufacturers, you might be able to look at occupational safety data to see if they have had any labor violations, and you can [look] into government contracts and see if a disruption could impact on a manufacturer’s ability to deliver on government contracts.

4. Identifying food sustainability opportunities


ABOVE IMAGE: Detail from infographic on food waste by A to Z Solutions

In the US, it is estimated that 40% of all food ends up being thrown out due to inefficient distribution across the country. In the future, analyzing datasets on Enigma could help find new opportunities to manage food distribution more effectively. “Corporate registrations identify delis and supermarkets,” DaCosta points out. “You could then mash up that data with city health inspection data” as one avenue. There are still a lot of opportunities to mine public data to identify where food gets wasted or where in the chain it goes off, and how to create alternative distribution pathways to make better use of this oversupply to areas with greater demand for more accessible food options.

Barriers to entry

Although Enigma holds a lot of promise, its current subscription price of $395 per month may still be beyond the reach of many early adopters wanting to draw on the wealth of open data for their business cases. The cost savings from easing data discovery (by reducing the need to research potential available datasets themselves) may still be too steep to make the case for using the Enigma platform unless developers are planning on producing a lot of open data-enabled products or tools, or are working in a highly competitive enterprise market, where deep pockets on early adoption of using open data may have strategic business advantage now.

Developers and businesses will need to have clearly thought through what data they will need to access, analyze and integrate in their end use cases before they commit to a subscription.

Beyond the savings in data discovery that the platform provides, the 50,000 calls a month is a fairly small number of API requests to be able to be made when accessing datasets that will also need to be further analyzed before displaying results in the end user interface. For example, in the use case above of real estate investment, there are 92,900 rows of data for building permit applications in New York in 2013. So if a user is looking at data from a number of years, across a number of locations, it will be fairly easy to hit the 50,000 calls a month quickly. The developer-consumer pays for access to the data and to mining it from Enigma via the subscription price, but then also needs to evoke a number of other tools such as data analytics to ensure that the data is comparable across different jurisdictions with different per capita population rates, for example. The developer-consumer will then need to use visualization and reporting tools to create the end result that is shown to customers or used internally to help make better business decisions.

Enigma’s greatest use for developers may still be amongst those who are thinking several steps ahead and want to play with new ways to discover data sets and practice filtering data into usable chunks. From there, the API may help identify how a developer could automate such data queries. But to move to a commercial application, developer-consumers may need to have a clear business case in mind with good projections as to the value of drawing on open data sources via Enigma before they are willing to pay the subscription fee involved.

By Mark Boyd. Mark is a freelance writer focusing on how we use technology to connect and interact. He writes regularly about API business models, open data, smart cities, Quantified Self and e-commerce. He can be contacted via email, on Twitter or on Google+.

Related ProgrammableWeb Resources

Enigma Enigma API Profile

Author: "Mark Boyd" Tags: "API Updates, Gov, business models, Compa..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 21:00

HTC launches SDK for dual lens API. U.S. Department of Education asks what you can do with an API. Plus: the year of the API consumer, Currency Cloud raises $10M, and 10 new APIs.

Seeing is Believing: HTC Offers SDK for Dual Lens API

HTC has launched its SDK for its HTC One (M8) Duo Camera smartphone that mimics the vision capability of the human eye with a pair of independent lenses. In the photo below you see two choices of what to focus on, for example. Properties are assigned to each pixel, allowing for repurposing to maximize image quality.


As Alexander Maxham reports in Android Headlines,

Back in March, HTC had announced that the SDK for the cameras on the HTC One (M8) would be available soon. The camera module is known as the Duo-Camera, and as most of you know it’s capable of doing all kinds of interesting things. The top camera is there primarily for depth information, so you are able to change the focus points, customize the background and do much more. The SDK is for their Dual Lens API, which is now available from HTCDev.

Features that can be controlled include Ufocus (allowing the focus to land on any object in the photo), ForeGrounder (which emphasizes the subject by shifting color and saturation) and Dimension Plus (that enables a parallax view).

Dept. of Ed: What Can You Do With an API?

The U.S. Department of Education has put out a request for information (RFI) on APIs, asking, what can you do with them? The department seeks to increase innovation and access to data in education, as well as increase efficiency.

As David Soo a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Education, writes on the Department’s blog,

…today, we are asking you – student advocates, designers, developers, and others – to share your ideas on how APIs could spark innovation and enable processes that can serve students better. We need you to weigh in on a Request for Information (RFI) – a formal way the government asks for feedback – on how the Department could use APIs to increase access to higher education data or financial aid programs. There may be ways that Department forms – like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – or information-gathering processes could be made easier for students by incorporating the use of APIs. We invite the best and most creative thinking on specific ways that Department of Education APIs could be used to improve outcomes for students.

Those with ideas/feedback are asked to weigh in via email APIRFI@ed.gov, or by other methods. The deadline is June 2.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

10 New APIs

Today we had 10 new APIs added to our API directory including a prescription medicine bottle technology, an address input simplification service, a web data extraction service and an ecommerce conversion application service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

AdhereTechAdhereTech API: AdhereTech makes medication bottles that are enabled with technology to improve prescription medication adherence.

The AdhereTech API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of AdhereTech with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact AdhereTech for API information.

CoddressCoddress API: Coddress is an address platform that allows users to simplify their address for input. It has custom input solutions for distinct areas, converting accordingly for different websites.

The Coddress API can provide registered address information to company websites or blogs. It returns CDR search results in XML, JSON format.

ConvExtraConvExtra API: ConvExtra is a web extraction tool. Data can be extracted from sources such as catalogs, online stores, and news feeds. The information is formatted and structured in CVS format, enabling further processing such as price comparisons, product comparisons, or data analyzation. You can also subscribe to receive alerts about the extracted data.

The ConvExtra API is activated by url request and parameters can be transmitted by GET or POST.

GranifyGranify API: Granify is an eCommerce companion application. Granify works with eCommerce sites to predict which customers will and won’t purchase goods and tries to convert them into sales.

The Granify API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Granify with other applications. Public documentation is not available; API access comes with account service.

LivewelloLivewello API: LiveWello is a social health management platform. Patients can manage their health using the support of family, friends, and health practitioners.

The LiveWello API allows developers to communicate with the LiveWello servers. Service providers, medical device manufacturers, and health-related websites can utilize the LiveWello personal health management tools. The API provides connection to registration and access, profiles, care teams, journal comments, health records, and documents.

Lumo BodyTechLumo BodyTech API: Lumo BodyTech are wearable technologies to help people with their posture, standing tall and straight, and lifting correctly.

The Lumo BodyTech API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Lumo BodyTech with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should email bizdev@lumobodytech.com for more information.

meQuilibriummeQuilibrium API: meQuilibrium is a stress monitoring and management service. Users can use meQuilibrium to monitor their cognitive and stress indicators to manage their stress levels. Employers can offer it to their employees to reduce stress in employees.

The meQuilibrium API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of meQuilibrium with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact meQuilibrium for more information.

RxREVURxREVU API: RxREVU is a medication cost savings database. RxREVU offers datasets on prescription medication costs. Resellers can integrate the RxREVU datasets into their applications to offer users prescription drug cost savings.

The RxREVU API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of RxREVU with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact RxREVU for more information.

Scoresight.ioScoresight.io API: Scoresight.io is a football prediction API that uses crowd predictions, social sentiment, and historical results to predict scores of soccer (football) matches.

The Scoresight.io API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Scoresight.io with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should sign up at http://www.scoresight.io.

VoxSci VAPIVoxSci VAPI API: Voxsciences is a voice recognition technology solutions company that offers Voice-to-Text services.

The VoxSci API, VAPI, allows existing systems to integrate voice to text conversions transparently. Audio files are sent to VAPI, where their system handles the transcriptions, and then sends them back to the originating system.

Author: "Greg Bates" Tags: "Daily"
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 17:20

Ever since developers discovered the ability to directly manipulate large amounts of data using NoSQL databases, there has been a proliferation of database types across the enterprise. While an increase in the number of database options has been a boon to developers; it creates a level of unprecedented complexity when it comes to managing the overall enterprise IT environment.

Looking to reduce that complexity, AppDynamics, in the spring release of the company’s namesake application performance management service has extended its API support. Support now includes big data stores such as MongoDB, Hadoop, Couchbase and Cassandra. This release also brings support for mobile computing applications.

As leading NoSQL platforms, all four of these database are fundamentally changing. Changes will not only be to how much data developers can easily access, but also how applications are developed and managed. MongoDB, for example, makes it easy for developers to set up an application using a document database without any DBA help at all. Hadoop clusters, meanwhile, usually require IT assistance in terms of setting up the cluster that Hadoop runs on. But once configured most developers simply invoke Hadoop via an existing SQL construct.

AppDynamics CEO Jyoti Bansal says that this release of AppDynamics is trying to provide more visibility into what issues might be affecting the performance of applications. In addition to providing enhanced support for Java, .Net, and PHP applications, the latest version of AppDynamics also includes support for applications written in Node.js and Scala.

In addition, AppDynamics has also made available AppDynamics Mobile Application Monitoring, a version of its performance management software that identifies performance issues with applications running on iOS and Google Android systems.

Between the rise of mobile applications and the continued domination of the Web as a vehicle for delivering software, Bansal says businesses have more riding on the performance of their applications than ever before. While slow internal facing applications may affect employee productivity, poorly performing external applications have a material impact on both revenue and the brand image of the organization. Most IT organizations, however, are not equipped with the tools needed to identify and remediate those issues, says Bansal.

While there is no shortage of application performance monitoring tools, Bansal says what developers need most is tools that not only monitor performance, but also provide insight into how end users are specifically invoking an application. It’s only when armed with both those metrics that developers are going to be informed enough to make intelligent decisions about how to improve the overall application experience. The challenge, of course, is that with applications today touching so many platforms and data sources it’s become increasingly difficult to figure out exactly where to begin that process.

Author: "Michael Vizard" Tags: "Enterprise, Mobile, News, Tools, cloud, ..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 15:30

With strong roots in the Microsoft ecosystem, Telerik has always been part of the commercial software landscape. But starting today Telerik, a provider of application development tools, is embracing open source. The company today announced Telerik Kendo UI Core, an open source implementation of the JavaScript framework and user interface tools that Telerik created for its cross-platform application development environments.

Brandon Satrom, lead product manager at Telerik, says that by making available an open source version of its Javascript framework Telerik is obviously trying to increase the base of developers familiar with the company’s application development platform. Telerik will continue to offer a commercial version of Kendo UI for building enterprise class applications. But the core JavaScript framework itself can now be used by any developer under an open source license.

Telerik currently has 20,000 to 25,000 customers. Satrom says there are two to three million developers, so by making Telerik Kendo UI Core available, Telerik expects there be over 100,000 developers that eventually will be familiar with its Javascript environment.

Unlike other open source Javascript frameworks, Telerik has a vested interest in continuing to invest in developing a Javascript framework that is a core element of one of its major commercial development environments.

Available via Github or Telerik.com, Telerik Kendo UI Core includes 38 UI widgets, including all of Kendo UI Mobile and core framework features, such as templates, data binding, and input validation; thousands of tests and best practices; and integration with Bootstrap and UI widgets ready for use with libraries like AngularJS.

Satrom says that as an alternative to JQuery UI, the Telerik Kendo UI widgets are intended to provide access to graphical tools that will be regularly updated by major tools vendor.

In general, commercial software was historically perceived to be of higher quality than open source software. But a new report based on the scanning of 750 million lines of code by Coverity, a provider of application testing tools, finds that the quality of open source code now rivals commercial software.

As JavaScript continues to become the defacto standard for building Web applications there is no shortage of frameworks for developers to choose from. The good news is that while there are a lot of well-documented issues with working with JavaScript, the emergence of more frameworks for JavaScript means that the scripting language is finally getting easier to work with from both a performance perspective and the quality of the code generated.

Author: "Michael Vizard" Tags: "Enterprise, JavaScript, News, Tools, git..."
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014 15:00

The US Department of Education has issued a Request for Information (RFI) regarding the use of APIs in higher education data, student aid programs and processes. The goal of the RFI is to gather ideas that will increase the openness of higher education data, processes, and aid to students and families. The RFI is directed towards all interested parties, and submissions will be accepted through June 2, 2014.

David Soo, US Department of Education Senior Policy Advisor, points towards President Obama’s call for innovation in college access and comments:

“So, today, we are asking you – student advocates, designers, developers, and others – to share your ideas on how APIs could spark innovation and enable processes that can serve students better. We need you to weigh in on a Request for Information (RFI) – a formal way the government asks for feedback – on how the Department could use APIs to increase access to higher education data or financial aid programs.”

At this point, the RFI is purely an information gathering exercise. The department would like to hear ideas surrounding a broad range of potential services and applications. For example, the RFI requests suggestions on how third party apps and organizations can use APIs to ease data access to low income families, first generation students, non-English speakers, and students with disabilities. Additionally, the department seeks ideas surrounding access to data that is currently free (e.g. FAFSA) through third parties who currently charge for services. More general questions about securing access, and providing increased openness through new APIs are also proposed.

While the department is dedicated to exploring how it can be more open, it clearly states the substantial need for privacy protection. Thus, it has clear guidelines on keeping confidential information protected throughout the RFI process and encourages entries that address security in a more open environment. Those interested can learn how to submit entries, guidelines, policies, and more at the RFI notice.

Author: "Eric Carter" Tags: "Contests, Gov, api contests, education, ..."
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 21:04

SmartBear teams with Doran Jones to offer the best in testing. Microsoft’s API strategy seeks disunity, but rarely. Plus: mydoorhandle’s new API, Google Maps fans take on the geography of Game of Thrones, and 9 new APIs.

SmartBear and Doran Jones Team Up to Deliver Testing

We covered SmartBear last week when it released its SOAPUI 5.0. Now, SmartBear has teamed with technology consultancy firm Doran Jones to offer software testers the tools to ensure their software releases meet the highest quality.

As the company commented, both companies are strong advocates for disciplined testing:

“As strong advocates for the discipline of software testing, both Doran Jones and SmartBear find mutual benefit for their customers who need testing services and/or tools,” says Keith Klain, COO of Doran Jones. “We continuously look for partners who are thought leaders in the industry and who understand the progressive way we are training testers. SmartBear puts testers in the center of the testing process and provides them with state-of-the-art tools.”

Among the tools is TestComplete, which empowers both beginning and advanced testers to create, manage and run automated tests for mobile, web, and desktop applications. Another tool is SoapUI, which is an API testing tool that has been downloaded 6 million times.

Microsoft at Build: The Case for API Unity (Mostly)

At the recent Microsoft Build conference, the company discussed its strategy for platforms and devices, making a striking point about APIs. Unity ain’t always best. But most of its strategy is driving in that direction, perhaps one day to go so far as to combine app stores for windows and windows phones.

As Steve Guggenheimer “Guggs” told Techcrunch’s Alex Wilhelm, that API harmony between Windows and Windows Phone had reached 90%:

Regarding how much higher the 90% figure could go, Guggs indicated that Microsoft may not want 100% API unity, due to different device use cases: “[D]o you ever put printer drivers into a phone? Maybe. I don’t know yet. Do you ever put high-end camera support into a laptop? Maybe. I don’t know. So some of the things are logically not in the overlap API sets because they don’t make sense.”

With the few exceptions mentioned, API unity is clearly the trend and has been for years. The commercial advantage–that Microsoft can pitch one build to app developers, is a powerful driver of that unity, likely to severely restrict differentiation.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

9 New APIs

Today we had 9 new APIs added to our API directory including a service to instantly pinpoint the exact location of any address in canada, a customer contact information validation service, an obtain geolocation information from website visitors service and an identify mobile phone numbers to remain compliant service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

StrikeIron Canada Geocode InformationStrikeIron Canada Geocode Information API: Pinpoint the exact location of customers, prospects or competitors with geocode data.

The Canada Address Geocode Information Web Service uses geocode technology from DataFlux to provide a powerful enhancement solution that transforms ordinary addresses into robust information that can support improved logistics and refined demographic reporting.

StrikeIron Contact Record Verification SuiteStrikeIron Contact Record Verification Suite API: Validate, verify, correct and enhance your customers’ contact information in real-time with the Contact Record verification Suite.

The suite provides instant access to email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers and more. The end result is cost- and time-efficiency for your organization.

StrikeIron Geo IP LocationStrikeIron Geo IP Location API: The StrikeIron Geo IP Location Web service allows high precision localization of website visitors. The Web service provides geographic information such as IP Address ranges, IP Address Owner, latitude, longitude, time zone, and a map representing the location, for a given IP Address.

StrikeIron Mobile IDStrikeIron Mobile ID API: Identify U.S. mobile numbers quickly and easily to effectively reach your customers and prospects. New regulations require organizations to be diligent with their mobile marketing practices. StrikeIron’s Mobile ID solution gives you the ability to improve sales and marketing efforts by ensuring that mobile phone numbers you are using are accurate.

The Mobile ID solution is available in both batch and real-time modes. This provides you with the ability to
- Clean up your legacy phone data
- Instantly detect whether a number is a landline or mobile number at the point of data capture.

StrikeIron Phone Number ValidationStrikeIron Phone Number Validation API: Save time and money by ensuring your customers’ phone numbers are correct with StrikeIron’s Phone Number Validation solution. You can easily integrate this cloud based solution into any website, web form, or other business application to improve customer contactability by 90% or more.

This solution verifies the NPA and the NXX (area code and prefix) of all North American Numbering Plan (NANP) phone numbers in the US and Canada. In addition this solution will return each zip code where this NPA/NXX combination exists. It will also give you the number of phone numbers in each of these ZIP codes. We update our data at least every 30 days to ensure we provide the most accurate solution.

StrikeIron Real Time Telephone VerificationStrikeIron Real Time Telephone Verification API: This technology guarantees that your customers provide you with a working, traceable telephone number.

An automated telephone call is placed to the web user, who is told a unique security code. The user then enters that code into their computer, which completes verification. TeleSign authenticates your customer’s telephone number and effectively ensures that “bad apple” web users are routed out before they can ever inflict damage to your online business.

StrikeIron US Geocode InformationStrikeIron US Geocode Information API: Pinpoint the exact location of customers, prospects or competitors with geocode data.

The US Address Geocode Information Web Service uses geocode technology from DataFlux to provide a powerful enhancement solution that transforms ordinary addresses into robust information that can support improved logistics and refined demographic reporting.”

WattTime ImpactWattTime Impact API: WattTime collects power grid energy usage information from many sources and puts it in one place in a standardized format. Users can retrieve this data and use it to shift their energy consumption to when the grid is using greener energy sources. The WattTime Impact API allows users to integrate real-time energy cleanliness data from the website into their projects or applications.

You Don't Need a CRM!You Don’t Need a CRM! API: You Don’t Need a CRM! helps sales team members track and close deals. The process of creating new leads is simplified so that team members can spend less time filling out paperwork and more time pursuing leads. The You Don’t Need a CRM! API allows users to create, update, and retrieve data from their accounts. It also allows users to receive notifications via webhooks. You Don’t Need a CRM! is designed to serve small businesses with fewer than 200 employees.

Author: "Greg Bates" Tags: "Daily"
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