Conductor, a leading search and SEO technology company, has announced the official launch of the Searchlight Search Marketing API which allows developers to integrate the Conductor Searchlight platform with applications and marketing systems.
Conductor Searchlight is a cloud-based search technology platform designed to help marketing executives, agencies and search marketers monitor and manage natural search marketing campaigns. The Searchlight Platform provides comprehensive SEO metrics based on billions of keywords, URLs, social signals, web pages, backlinks and search results.
Although the use of social media sites has risen exponentially in recent years, search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo handle billions of searches every day. People also use social media sites and search engines for different purposes; If a person wants to chat with friends or socialize with people online, he or she goes to a preferred social networking site. If a person wants to find something like the answer to the question “What is the capital of Switzerland?” the first stop is going to be a search engine.
It should be noted that Facebook entered the search engine market at beginning of this year with the introduction of Graph Search. Seth Dotterer, vice president of marketing at Conductor, spoke with ProgrammableWeb about Searchlight and the new API:
“For all the buzz and news about social media – modern businesses realize that there are 3-4 billion searches every day, where consumers are directly typing their desires into a box, and looking for businesses or people who can help answer their questions or solve their problems. We launched the Conductor API so that our customers could take the search visibility data in Searchlight, and integrate it with other marketing channels and other reports.”
The Conductor Searchlight API makes it possible for “custom search intelligence environments” to be created and for third-party applications to programmatically access the vast amount of natural search and other search related data provided by the Searchlight platform. The API endpoints currently include (but aren’t limited to):
- Keywords List – Returns a list of all the active keywords in the specified domain.
- Rank Updates List – Returns the publish periods which can be used in the asof parameter to access historical information.
- Engine Details – Returns name, country, language, url and uri for a given engine.
- Keyword Ranks List – This resource method will return ranking data for all keywords under the domain.
- Competitor Keyword Ranks List – This resource method will return ranking data for all keywords under the domain.
Another interesting trend Dotterer mentioned was the rapidly increasing number of SEO professionals (those with “SEO” in their job title or description) as shown on LinkedIn. He recently wrote a blog post that included a chart showing that the number of SEO professionals listed on LinkedIn increased from 249,595 in 2011, to 963,219 in 2013, a 286% increase.
Considering the rise in SEO professionals, the Conductor Searchlight API was designed for marketers with varying degrees of development skills and knowledge and can link to systems without the need for code changes. Dotterer told ProgrammableWeb:
“Modern marketing organizations make their decisions based on numbers – but it’s shocking how many companies ignore optimizing the single greatest driver of traffic to their websites, natural search traffic. The Conductor API makes it easy for organizations to integrate search visibility into their reporting and business making decisions.”
For more information about the Conductor Searchlight Platform and the new API, visit the official company website.
Our API directory now includes 62 blogging APIs. The newest is the Jux API. The most popular, in terms of mashups, is the Feedburner API. We list 34 FeedBurner mashups . Below you’ll find some more stats from the directory, including the entire list of blogging APIs.
For reference, here is a list of all 62 blogging APIs.
activeRenderer API: Outline publishing for Radio UserLand
Adocu API: Single word microblogging service
Bentio API: Microblogging Service
Blake.lt API: Lithuanian microblogging service
Blipea API: Hispanic micro-blogging service
BlogPingr API: Blog ping service
BlogSpam.net API: Detection for Blog & Forum SPAM
BloXoo API: Blogging platform
Bordom RPC (BRAX) API: Crowd-sourced strange news service
Carbonite Blog Importer API: Online blog backup service
Chictopia API: Online fashion community
Cirip API: Microblogging service
cnFOL API: Chinese microblogging service
Compendium API: Content marketing service
CoveritLive API: Live event publishing platform
Epistlee API: Blogging service
FeedBurner API: Blog promotion tracking service
feedly API: Blog and RSS feed reader
HubSpot Blog API: HubSpot Blog Management Service
java.blogs API: Java-related blog agreggation service
Jux API: Personal multimedia showcasing service
KBCafe PaSS API: Blog syndication and editing service
LetsProve API: Lifestreaming services
My Opera API: Opera web browser community site
Nature.com Blogs API: Nature Publishing Group blog tracking and indexing service
Netalive API: Blogging Service
Newsinapp API: News add-in for applications and blogs
OnSugar API: Blogging service
Open Places API: Web content about locations provider
Pagely Partner API: WordPress hosting and management service
Plurk API: Microblogging service
Poodz API: Microblogging service
Pownce API: Social networking and micro-blogging service
Publisheer Text Rewrite API: Automated text rewriter
Publr API: Blogging Service
Qaiku API: Micro-blogging and social network service
Sapo Social API: Social media management tools
ScienceSeeker API: Science blog article aggregator
Scribe API: SEO improvement service
Scripted API: Blog content provider
Skyrock API: Blog Management Tool
Slug.ch API: Swiss blog search engine
Sni.ps API: Bookmarking and attribution service
SpamWipe API: Comment spam prevention service
SpinChimp API: Article spinning software
Tapir API: Blog search service
Teidu Mikroblog API: Micro Blogging Service
ThoughtStreams API: Microblogging service
Tweet Press API: Long tweet blogging service
Twick.it API: Social Explanation Engine
TypePad AntiSpam API: Anti-spam service for blogs
Wassr API: Twitter for SecondLife microblogging service
WhatsNew? API: Blog user tracking and updating service
Wikidot API: Wiki hosting service
Wishpot Publisher API: Add product pages and ads to blogs
WordPress.com API: Blogging platform
WordPress.org API: Blogging platform
WP Remote API: WordPress site updates management service
Yahoo Status API: Yahoo account status
Yahoo Wretch API: Photo and blog hosting services
Yammer API: Microblogging for business
YoolinkPro API: Corporate social networking platform
Related ProgrammableWeb Resources
MYOB Adds New API for EXO Business Platform
MYOB, Australia’s largest provider of business management solutions, has launched an API for its mid-sized ERP platform, EXO Business.
As Andrew Birch, the General Manager for the Enterprise Division put it in the press release, this new API follows on the heels of another API, AccountRight Live, released earlier this year:
“The launch of EXO Business API is a significant milestone in the tier 3 ERP solution space and greatly enhances MYOB’s ability to assist mid-sized clients in managing their businesses. Importantly, the best-practice API design enables third-party developer partners to achieve stable integration and extend their reach to include our many thousands of EXO Business clients. Developers can also connect to the API directly on premise or via the cloud.”
What’s driving this are more and more businesses that require integration of best of breed modules, a process that is vastly simplified by the API. For example, integrating a website and a warehouse management system would previously have been a difficult task; the API makes it easier and faster. Additional tools to integrate online services–such as customisable reports and analysis–are now possible with the API.
Australian Dating Service Tinder Gets Caught in API Security Breach, Issues Quick Fix
For the second time in a year, the Australian dating service Tinder (no, this isn’t a special Aussie news day; just worked out that way) has been caught with serious security flaws. First, it exposed its users’ location information for weeks, perhaps months. Tinder is part of IAC, owner of dating sites Match.com and OkCupid.
Now that that first problem has been fixed, a new issue has popped up. Zachary M. Seward writing in Quartz, reports how one hacker could manipulate the API from the service to violate privacy safeguards:
“Shaked Klein Orbach, a web developer in the Netherlands, has just documented a few other privacy holes in Tinder. Most alarmingly, it appears possible to fool Tinder into making a match with someone who hasn’t expressed interest—and in doing so, reveal that user’s email address.”
Fortunately, Tinder jumped on it and fixed the flaw. The CEO, Sean Rad wrote in part, “We want to thank Mr. Orbach for pointing out a way to create a match with another user through manipulating certain API calls…” That response is a lot more cordial to hackers uncovering security breaches than many companies offer. But then, it’s their job to encourage warm and fuzzy.
API News Your Shouldn’t Miss
- Hack dating app Tinder and date someone who rejected you
- MYOB launches API for best-selling mid-sized ERP solution, EXO Business
- SpeakLike Announces Human Translation API with Rules-Based Workflow
- NYC Looks to Reinvent 311 for Mobile with New Challenge
Related ProgrammableWeb Resources
New York City has teamed up with Code for America and Stack Exchange for the Reinvent 311 Mobile Content Challenge. The hackathon lasts from November 26th through January 14th and focuses on mobile apps that utilize the NYC 311 API. 311’s content is widely available through its API; however, mobile apps have yet to capitalize on the data available. NYC looks to change that trend with its latest hackathon.
Submissions are due January 6th, when 15 prototypes will be selected for demos. The prototypes will be judged on mobile experience, creativity, visual design, functionality and integration. A panel of judges from Open311, Beta NYC, NYC 311, Stack Exchange, and HUGE will evaluate the prototypes. NYC 311 has already offered a list of potential application ideas, to get the developer community’s creative juices flowing.
NYC 311 is New York City’s main source of government information. From services to rules, developers can access an expansive set of data through the 311 API. For more information on the hackathon, visit the Hackerleague site.
New York is aimed at reaching one of the most populous cities on earth with pertinent government data that will empower, enable, and inform its citizens and visitors as they trek around the city. Those interested in changing the way New York interacts with its mobile inhabitants, fill out the application form and join the Reinvent 311 Mobile Content Challenge.
Related ProgrammableWeb Resources
Demand for Big Data applications is clearly skyrocketing. However, the challenge facing many developers is that the data needed to create those applications exists in structured, unstructured and semi-structured formats. Looking to make it easier to build these kinds of applications, Hewlett-Packard has added support for both a Java SDK and semi-structured data to the HP Vertica columnar database.
According to Luis Maldonado, director of product management for HP Vertica, version 7.0 of the HP Vertica Analytic Platform makes it possible to store structured and semi-structured data. While at the same time taking advantage of enhanced integration with Hadoop that gives developers access to unstructured data.
Rather than constantly calling out to Hadoop in batch mode, Maldonado says this version of Vertica makes it easier to store semi-structured data, that is pulled from Hadoop within Vertica, using a new HP Vertica Flex Zone capability. That means that semi-structured data that is likely to be repeatedly invoked by multiple applications is always readily available.
For all the hype surround Hadoop, Maldonado notes that organizations have invested billions of dollars housing structured data in a data warehouse that runs on top of a columnar or relational database. While Hadoop makes it feasible to work with massive amounts of raw data, Maldonado says IT organizations want to be able to leverage their investments in existing data warehouses that contain customer information collected over multiple decades alongside Hadoop.
The HP Vertica Analytic Platform facilitates that process by providing support for auto-schematization, which HP says eliminates the need for schemas that normally would have to be defined or applied before the data is loaded. This “one-click” schema capability allows for schemas to be created and applied as needed.
There’s no doubt that Hadoop is transforming the data warehouse as we know it today. But rather than seeing Hadoop as a replacement for other types of databases, Maldonado says the data warehouse of the future is going to be a more federated entity that spans relational, columnar and Hadoop data formats.
HP already provides SDKs that support C/C++ and R programming languages. But with the addition of Java support, HP is opening up Vertica as a platform to a much broader range of developers, many of which do not want to have to master arcane interfaces such as MapReduce to work with semi-structured and unstructured data.
There’s no doubt that Hadoop is transforming the way data is accessed and managed within the enterprise. The temptation that needs to be resisted is the tendency to want to throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water.This is a concern in a world where structured, semi-structured and unstructured data will going forward often need to be invoked with the same application.
At NordicAPIs yesterday, Andreas Krohn (Dopter SE) and Anna Mirsch (Mannheimer Swartling) launched the Swedish API Licensing site on behalf of their project partners Samtrafiken and Viktoria Swedish ICT. The project – funded by Vinnova, the Swedish government agency for innovation – aims to remove legal barriers for Swedish businesses and speed up time-to-market for their API products and services. It is hoped that the resource will also give greater clarity to developers looking at integrating available APIs. ProgrammableWeb spoke with Andreas Krohn after the launch.
“The main hope is that it will be easier in Sweden to publish APIs. The license is for the API provider, but we have also taken the developer’s needs into consideration”, Krohn told ProgrammableWeb.
At the launch, Anna Mirsch from Swedish law firm Mannheimer Swartling walked a predominantly business audience through the interactive online resource. A template API licensing contract is provided online with standard boiler plate provisions for API providers to choose from in order to quickly create an API licensing agreement suited to their particular business model.
“When we have a text that needs to be usable for everyone, at first we started out thinking we have to write one text, but then we realized that the text will become useless unless we have a few choices for different instances, for example, whether data can be commercialized or not,” Mirsch said.
“This is why we structured the license with different texts. At first, the website may look a little confusing because we offer several alternative texts. The reason for this is to make it as customizable as possible. Depending on how you want to structure it for your API, you choose one and delete the other.”
The Swedish API Licensing site follows on the heels of other international initiatives – most notably the API Commons – that are aimed at reducing duplicative efforts amongst businesses and other API providers who want to enter the market quickly.
And while the Swedish API Licensing site is suited to the Swedish legal context, Krohn hopes that the bilingual contracts – which are available in English as well as Swedish – can also be used as template texts in other international jurisdictions where contract law has a similar context. “With the licensing being available in English, we wanted to publish the reasoning behind each provision. This might not be useful somewhere like the US where contracts tend to be much longer, but they could be useful in legal environments all around the world – even as far from Sweden as Australia – that are similar.”
As pharmacy retail giant Walgreens has announced a new revenue sharing program that rewards in-app developers using its QuickPrints API with a bigger slice of the customer pie, we take a closer look at the business model behind the API.
The Walgreens QuickPrints API will now provide up to 20% to app developers whose end customers use Walgreens’ photo printing services via the API. Explaining the motives behind the increased revenue share, Joe Rago, product manager at Walgreens, told ProgrammableWeb:
“We have been keeping a close eye on the competitive landscape of photo print APIs that have come into the fold since we launched our API program. And while we know our API has significant benefits over other photo printing APIs available for developers to use, we want to reward both our existing integrated app developers, as well as encourage further integrations by modifying our baseline revenue share program.”
Walgreens has provided APIs as part of its business services since 2012 and is set to release more API products in early 2014. How does a brick-and-mortar business—currently listed at number 37 on the Fortune 500, with a revenue base of $77.6 billion in 2012—use APIs to generate new business and enter new markets? What business model is Walgreens applying to its APIs? In this case study, we look at how Walgreens developed the QuickPrints API and how it uses the API to build new market entry points and generate (or preserve) customer revenue.
The business case
Walgreens uses a “Developer Gets Paid via Revenue Share” business model for its QuickPrints API.
This API allows third-party developers to provide an in-app photo printing service, for home delivery of prints or collection at a Walgreens store location. Originally, Walgreens offered 15% of the revenue collected for photo printing with the third-party app developers, but has just enhanced the program to offer a sliding scale of percentage share depending on the total amount and type of service sold in-app. Walgreens also frequently offers app creators additional discount coupons and codes to help them increase their initial revenue base and to encourage an app’s new customers to try the service.
Walgreens by the numbers: QuickPrints API
Launched: July 2012 (16 months)
Revenue share provided to developers:
- 15% for photo print orders under $10
- 20% for photo print orders over $10
- 15% on photo creative gift products
Time to hello, world: Less than 30 minutes
Israel Derdik, CTO with photo app Aviary, which uses the QuickPrints API, told ProgrammableWeb: “A simple standard implementation took us less than 30 minutes to implement. Walgreens has made it very easy for developers to get started. Our final implementation is highly customized and therefore took considerably longer (understandably so), but the Walgreens API team were very helpful during that process.”
Level of developer interest: According to ProgrammableWeb API catalog data, details about this API match average levels of interest for any API in the PW database
Growth rate (as of November 2013): 15x growth rate for live integrations since July 2012 program launch
API Business Model characteristics
(This case study uses the business model template approach described in the Business Model Generation.)
Type of business model
Developer Paid via Revenue Share (as categorized in John Musser’s 20 API business models in 20 minutes presentation)
Main customer segment: Mass market
Walgreens stores service an estimated 45 million customers every week, with 14 million of these making purchases online. Walgreens estimate 10% of its online customers access Walgreens via tablet devices, and 40% on mobile.
As Walgreens continue to expand its API strategy, it hopes to scale some services (such as photo printing) into a global business market, according to Tim McCauley, Senior Director of Mobile Commerce at Walgreens.
Recent presentations by McCauley and Rago have highlighted how the API helps Walgreens demonstrate its core business goal. Walgreens wants to be known in the U.S. consumer market for “creating wellness experiences” that help customers “get, stay and live well.” This is reinforced by the Walgreen’s slogan “At the corner of happy and healthy.”
To communicate and create market-entry pathways for customers using mobile devices, Walgreens has relied principally on building a motivated developer community around its API. (Walgreens also dogfoods its own APIs by using them to power its own photo printing app product.) When customers access services like photo printing, Walgreens’ goal is to ensure they’re seamlessly funnelled along to their store location or home delivery services because of the relationships and access points Walgreens has built with developers.
Walgreens’ strategy is built on a sophisticated model that links self-service customer empowerment with automated service delivery in order to manifest the sort of wellness and happy experiences it promises in its value proposition. Via the third-party app partnerships that Walgreens has developed via its QuickPrints API, the retailer has encouraged a co-creation customer relationship that, in addition to making photo-printing more convenient, enables customers to create greeting cards, calendars and custom gifts based on their own photos and memories.
By working with third-party app developers, Walgreens is able to communicate its value proposition to potential new customers, while also partnering with apps that have complementary value propositions for the same target market. Aviary’s Derdik explained the partnership:
“Photos are an integral part of the mobile experience today and will become more and more so in the future. It’s fun to play with apps like Snapchat and Instagram that focus on the digital medium, but at the end of the day, some people like holding a physical photo album and leafing through it with their family and friends. Walgreens and its photo API make this very easy for us to do without having to divert resources from our core mission of improving photos.”
The revenue Walgreens generates through providing the API aims to win back some of the market share it lost in a disrupted photo printing market. Like Blockbuster’s loss to Netflix, coming into a store to print photos from film was largely replaced with image manipulation apps that can route an app user’s photos direct to a printing service and even include home delivery. To win back market share, Walgreens provided the API to these image manipulation apps so it could become (again) the preferred photo printing service and leverage its 8,200 stores so collecting the photo prints is convenient for the end customer.
But it’s not just about re-creating a revenue stream that the business already had. For Walgreens, providing access to store services via APIs has a multiplier effect on sales revenue. Mobile customers spend four times as much as store-only visitors, and omni-channel customers who access Walgreens across touchpoints, including the internet, mobile and in-store, spend six times as much as store-only customers.
The key resources that enable Walgreens to use the APIs as a revenue generator include:
- API developer portal and coding resources
- Terms and conditions of the API/revenue-sharing agreements with third-party app developers
- The ability to leverage the more than 8,200 Walgreens store locations
After creating the API, Walgreen’s activities to build its developer community have included:
- Participation in four hackathons and more than 10 industry-related conferences
- Multiple competitions to encourage developers to create specific resources using the APIs (for example, last year)
- Participation and developer evangelism at events including local meetups and API industry conferences
The major partnership harnessed by Walgreens has centered on working with third-party app developers. This includes revenue sharing, providing co-marketing support for third-party apps by way of promotional content on the blog and in press releases, and provision of discount coupons to help third-party apps onboard new customers.
Major cost centers involved in the QuickPrints API include:
- Product development resources
- Technical development and testing resources
- API platform management and maintenance fees (with Apigee)
- Event sponsorship and marketing (inclusive of travel-related expenses).
Aviary: A third-party app developer using the QuickPrints API
Aviary—which raised $6 million in venture round funding in July 2012—uses the QuickPrints API within its app as one of the features that allows its customers to move seamlessly from image manipulation direct to printing services. The in-app service is “among the most requested and loved features in our applications. A meaningful percentage of our users print to Walgreens and we expect that to increase during the holiday season, as seasonality would suggest,” said Derdik.
Related ProgrammableWeb Resources
Google has opened its Glass Mirror API. Di-Ware announces App competition, initial deadline December 20. Plus: Salesforce CEO Benioff promises full review of hackathon after cries of unfair judging, API vendor and consumer positions on robots.json are explored, and 11 new APIs.
Google Glass Mirror API Now Open for Developers
The Google Glass Mirror API has dropped the whitelist requirement for developers. It supports five resources: Timeline, Timeline.attachments, Contacts, Subscription and Location.
According to Juan Carlos Torres, writing in Android Community, the API does some neat tricks but carries some difficult restrictions:
“The Mirror API basically lets developers create web apps that run on Google’s server and push content to users’ Glass devices that get displayed as timeline cards. This makes apps easy to distribute to users and also lightweight, as no code actually runs on the device itself. The price that has to be paid, however, is versatility and power, as the Mirror API is quite limited in the resources and features that it gives developers access to.”
The other big leap for programmers will undoubtedly be the Glassware Developers Kit. According to Techcrunch, that launched last week.
Fi-Ware Announces 800k Euro Contest for Best Apps
Fi-Ware, whose goal is to create a “sustainable innovation ecosystem,” has announced a series of contests with the first deadline December 20. Prizes during the competition, with some contests lasting into February, total 800,000 Euros.
“For both challenges the process is divided into two stages. The first stage is a “call for ideas” on a global level and invites participants to submit innovative application ideas based on the two themes that can be developed using the FI-WARE platform technology. During the second phase, candidates must develop their ideas in FI-Lab, FI-WARE’s online environment to experiment with all the tools and generic enablers that its large library provides.”
Then, 40 finalists will be invited to work on their prototype at the Campus Party Brazil 2014 (from January 27 to February 1), with later presentation to the public in July. Those getting an evaluation of 7 or higher early in the spring will be eligible to participate in the subsequent rounds of competition. For the first phase, the top three prizes are First Prize: €75,000; Second Prize: €40,000; Third Prize: €20,000. Sign up at this link.
API News Your Shouldn’t Miss
- Salesforce.com will do ‘full review’ of hackathon after controversy, Benioff says
- Appy Pie Adds APIs Of Flickr, Facebook, Pinterest, Picassa, Instagram to its App Maker
- Introducing HTML5stac for Developers: Build Responsive Websites & Hybrid Mobile Apps in a Day
- Early Thoughts on Robots.json
- 800.000 euros worth of prizes for the best Apps in the world
- Google Glass Mirror API now open to all developers
11 New APIs
Today we had 11 new APIs added to our API directory including an affiliate marketing service, a restaurant point of sale integration platform, an application backend services, an address verification and geocoding service, a web-based game analytics platform and an employee recruitment platform. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.
Datafeedr API: Datafeedr is a system that enables users to create and embed affiliate shops into word press blogs. The Datafeedr API allows users to access sales feed information on over 250,000,000 products and 10,000 merchants to build custom shops as part of an affiliate network. An account is required with service.
eThor API: eThor connects Point of Sale (POS) systems to the cloud, enabling services such as real-time ordering through Facebook, mobile devices, or 3rd party websites and applications. The eThor API is designed to allow developers to build native menu display and ordering experiences into websites and mobile applications. The API is able to retrieve menu information, retrieve or POST orders, and access information describing chains and stores.
Everlive API: Everlive is a set of cloud-based backend services for building and managing mobile apps. These primarily include data storage, user management, and server-code execution functions. Everlive can also send push notifications to Apple, Android, and Windows mobile devices. Social sharing features enable end users to share Everlive-based apps on Facebook, Google+, and other popular social networks. The Everlive REST API allows developers to access most of Everlive’s services programmatically.
Everything Location API: Everything Location is a web-based service for address verification and geocoding. It can be used to correct, complete, validate, and geocode addresses for locations around the world. The Everything Location REST and SOAP APIs allow developers to integrate the ability to process addresses at low or high volumes into their apps or websites.
GameAnalytics API: GameAnalytics is a service that helps game developers learn about their players, improve how their games are monetized, and make their games more enjoyable. It monitors a wide range of metrics, including how long people play at a stretch, what parts of the game players spend the most time on, which items players are buying, and how many people are playing at a given time. Game developers can customize their GameAnalytics dashboard so that it shows them the metrics they find most important. Developers can integrate GameAnalytics with their game development platform using an SDK or via REST API.
iCIMS API: iCIMS is a robust, scalable talent recruitment platform for HR professionals. It allows sourcing specialists, recruiters, hiring managers, and onboarding coordinators to manage employee recruitment and hiring in order to streamline the process and reduce the cost per hire. The iCIMS API allows users to search the platform for a person, job, company, recruiting workflow, or iForm matching a set of criteria.
Jux API: Jux is a service designed to help users showcase their digital media – such as text, photos, and videos – without the ads or clutter of other media sharing sites. Users can extensively customize the media they wish to share and then present it to viewers in fullscreen on any desktop computer, iPad, or iPhone. Jux allows developers to retrieve information on users, posts, and galleries from Jux in JSON, JSONP, or CORS formats.
NBN Gateway API: The National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Gateway enables users to explore UK biodiversity data. The gateway brings together data from many organizations, including the Botanical Society of the British Isles, the British Trust for Ornithology, EnviroCentre, Natural England, the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, to name a few. The NBN Gateway REST API allows developers to integrate the NBN Gateway’s biological data into their websites and applications.
REST Countries API: REST Countries provides a simple API for getting information about the world’s nations via REST calls. These calls allow users to retrieve all available countries or to retrieve a given country’s currency, capital city, calling code, region, sub-region, ISO 639-1 language, name, or country code.
TimeStation API: TimeStation is a cloud-based time and attendance system that runs on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The TimeStation API allows customer applications to retrieve a variety of attendance and employee reports. The REST API returns CSV or XLS formatted data.
Firebase, a realtime backend that lets you build entire apps with just front-end code, announced Monday it is partnering with Zapier. The partnership will allow developers to easily integrate a host of backend services (like Twilio, Sendgrid, Mailchimp and many, many others) into their apps with just a few simple clicks.
Firebase works well, but up until now, a piece had been missing. If you wanted to connect to another web app, you had to spin up a separate server on the backend. The reason being is that all these other web apps make you store secret keys for authentication.
But now, thanks to a partnership with Zapier, you don’t have to do that anymore. Zapier lets you set up triggers in Firebase that set off actions in any one of 250 web apps with a few simple clicks. (In case you haven’t heard of Zapier, it is a web app integration service similar to IFTTT, but with more apps, and more of a focus on business and productivity.)
With Zapier, developers who use Firebase can now do things like send an SMS alert via Twilio when someone adds a new record, send a welcome email via Sendgrid if someone new signs up for your service. Or, if someone purchases something on your site, you can automatically send them an invoice. The possibilities are endless.
Anyone can try out the service. After you create an account in Zapier, you simply log-in to set up a trigger (an event that occurs in Firebase) and link it to an action in another service.
The whole thing might look something like this:
In addition to integrating with other APIs, you can also use Zapier to pull in data sources, including AngelList (lists of new startups) or Hipchat (for viewing your team’s chat history). Now you can easily build a host of new apps with data coming in and out of these services.
In order to use the integrated Zapier service, you will need a Zapier account. Pricing goes from free for five “zaps” a month up to $99 for 125 zaps/month.
At today’s NordicAPIs, Mark Cheshire, COO of API Management Platform 3scale, urged participants to act now to introduce APIs into their business. Not only is software eating the world, said Cheshire quoting Marc Andreessen, but, as his CEO Steve Willmott has rephrased, APIs are eating software.
Cheshire suggested businesses focus on one of three strategies when considering the role of APIs in achieving their business goals:
- APIs as product
- APIs to drive strategic initiatives
- APIs to support core competencies.
API as product
While this is the simplest and most direct business model, Cheshire noted that less than a quarter of all 3scale’s API business customers have an API-as-product model. As Tom Burnell from Axway reiterated in the afternoon session, businesses wanting to apply this model need to find a niche, but a niche where they can be a world leader. Niche leaders need to be in an industry sector where you can reuse data in multiple ways. When monetizing an API-as-product business model, simple pricing plans work best and the developer portal is the business’ shop window. Cheshire told conference attendees that they must give as much care and attention to their API documentation if they are an API-as-a-product as they would put into a website front page if they were a news site.
5 strategic initiatives
But the API-as-product model doesn’t fit most established businesses, who Cheshire thinks are best off thinking about what business model will work first, then identifying the API that will power that model’s goals. This requires businesses to think about what is the key strategic initiative of deploying a business API:
- Mobile enablement
- Customer and partner ecosystem growth
- Digital distribution
- Powering new business models
- Internal efficiency and innovation.
Supporting core competencies
A third approach to identifying where APIs can create business value is to create an API strategy centered around supporting a core competency of the business.
“First break it down: is the valuable core asset of your business the data, the logic level, or the presentation of data?” Cheshire asked.
“Once you know this, you can identify the stakeholders in the other two arenas that would help you complete your virtuous circle. That is, define the API strategy to capture value the most effectively,” Cheshire said. Cheshire told ProgrammableWeb that this is the approach that FlightStats used successfully: “Their business model is based on acknowledging that flight data is their core competency, and they work with complementary partners to get that data into mobile applications and any application that needs arrival and departure flight information.”
With the delivery of the latest service pack for the SAP HANA in-memory computing platform, SAP has begun putting the tools in place that developers need to build applications on top of the HANA API.
Service pack 7 of SAP HANA includes a Web-based integrated development environment that SAP expects will become a critical component of its campaign to recruit developers to the platform. SAP claims to already have more than 1,000 startup companies building applications on top of HANA.
HANA is based on a columnar database that SAP HANA can use to run both transactional and analytics applications. That capability dramatically reduces the amount of IT infrastructure needed to run transactional and analytics applications that previously ran on separate platforms.
Vishal Sikka, a member of the SAP executive board that also oversees technology and innovation for SAP, says the power of HANA platform comes first from the fact that it doesn’t matter whether it’s operational or analytic data. The end result, says Sikka, is “computer revolution” where applications run orders of magnitude faster than platforms that rely on magnetic disks for primary storage. The second reason is that SAP HANA compresses data in a way that dramatically reduces the amount of infrastructure needed to support any given application. Competitors that focus only the in-memory computing part of that paradigm, says Sikka, are missing the point of the extreme simplification enabled by HANA.
For developers, the implications of converging transactional and analytics workloads within the same application could be profound. For the first time, analytic applications will be informed of changes to transaction processing patterns in real time, which in turn will allow them to change attributes of the business process in prescriptive manner, also in real time. The end result is a cycle of constant tuning of a business process.
Better still, because HANA allows each application to work against raw data stored in the columnar database, Sikka says there is no need to duplicate data across multiple applications. That winds up eliminating 30 to 40 percent of the data stored across distinct applications, and shrinking the size of the database by almost 50 percent, he says.
Right now HANA can process 3.5 billion scans per second per core using the latest generation of Intel Xeon processors. SAP expects to be able to achieve 5 billion scans per second per core across 16 cores per processor. Further on, Sikka says SAP is also working with Intel on next generation non-volatile memory technologies to boost that performance in the future even higher.
The success of a platform such as HANA ultimately rides on developer acceptance, which is one of the primary reasons that SAP is building out an API management platform. While the platform itself has been around for a while, SAP only now is putting the tools in the hands of developers that will ultimately determine whether HANA acceptance will expand beyond the applications that SAP itself develops for it.
Appy Pie, cloud based mobile apps builder, continues to add to its list of supported APIs. Its latest additions include some of the most prevalent names in image sharing: Facebook, Flickr, Pinterest, Picassa and Instagram. The image newcomers to the Appy Pie portfolio allow developers to share images in realtime with users.
Abhinav Girdhar, Appy Pie CEO, commented:
“Every day we receive many requests for adding new API’s so it becomes imperative for us to continuously add them to our platform. This time we have updated our app maker with APIs of Flickr, Facebook, Pinterest, Picassa and Instagram which are widely used image sharing platforms. The addition of APIs is about minimizing development complexity, while still allowing for plenty of extensibility to our frameworks and customization of the application.”
As DIY-everything continues to blossom across the connected world, Appy Pie continues to drive forward the DIY-mobile app builder community. Images represent a critical aspect to many apps and adding the image sharing leaders to the Appy Pie portfolio encompasses a good chunk of the image pools from which developers would desire to pull. Appy Pie has increased its app creation rate to over 5,000 new apps created on the platform per month. The image APIs should only continue to drive that number.
Although programming may be one of the few uniting languages across the globe, many aspiring app developers lack the time or the interest to get into the weeds with the necessary programming tools to build a desired app. Appy Pie can fill gaps when programming skills lack, or completely fill in for the budding entrepreneur with no programming capabilities. Its API toolkit continues to grow; and thus, so does its appeal.
In one of the opening sessions at today’s NordicAPIs, co-organizer of the event and CEO of Twobo Technologies, Travis Spencer, urged businesses to not only adopt an API strategy, but to reorient their businesses towards becoming an API platform. It is a bold assertion that previously has only been taken up by large players (US telco AT&T speak about reorienting as a platform for example), yet Spencer is saying that in order to succeed, all businesses will need to reorient – and the sooner the better.
Arguing that “adopters of mega trends in cloud, social, mobile and big data will become the new market leaders”, Spencer explained that businesses must become an API platform to be able to gain strategic advantage.
Spencer is calling this the “Platformification Effect”. The explosion of mobile devices in the workplace, for example, is necessitating access to data by custom and packaged apps, while enterprises require access-from-anywhere to corporate data. Spencer quoted Eve Maler from Forrester: “APIs can create and unlock the value of business data.”
And while APIs will power this new value flow, end customers are likely to be none the wiser. Reiterating Andreas Krohn’s opening discussion on the disruptive impact of APIs, Spencer warns that end customers aren’t going to mention APIs per se: while end customers may be upset they can no longer share their Instagrammed photos via Twitter, they probably have no idea this was a change in the API supply chain.
Ben Nunney, in a talk on Twilio’s experience in working with developers backed this up in his presentation immediately following: “If you build a service, you have an API. The end result [of providing an API should be] a greater experience for end users.”
Spencer explained: “We need to connect the dots for customers, so we need to be thinking about how we put data out there and how we consume it from other businesses. Most future products and services will be apps that consume APIs of platformified companies.”
Spencer points to an example from Pearson, a publishing company specializing in travel guides. They have a wealth of travel data collected in order to publish travel guides. Pearson recognized that the data behind their travel guides could be amalgamated with other data to create new products and services. In this way, they leveraged the sunk cost (of guidebook data) to create new revenue streams. “Pearson started with one API and have now created a whole platform,” Spencer said, urging incremental change for businesses unfamiliar with an API strategic approach.
How do businesses get started?
Spencer argued that identity is at the center of the new business mega trends of cloud, mobile, social and big data. To access data assets, confirming identity is the essential first step. A neo-security stack that manages federation, provisioning, identity, delegated access and authorization allows businesses to make use of international standards, industry adopted norms and secure infrastructure.
Spencer demonstrated how underlying technologies including SCIM, OAuth and SAML can create a neo-security stack that underpins identity, API, and entitlement management platforms. Here, security becomes an enabler for business: helping companies maintain control where needed, but fostering the innovation inherent in a connected platform.
NordicAPIs continues for the rest of today with talks by Mark Cheshire from 3scale, Andy Jones from SOA Software, the launch of a Swedish API licencing platform, and a presentation from creative agency Deportivo on how APIs are part of the creative pallet they use in their digital PR client work. This afternoon, ProgrammableWeb will be moderating a panel on how businesses can adapt to an API-enabled world.
Check back later today for more coverage of NordicAPIs. Videos of the days proceedings can be viewed online.
The opportunities for European startups to access government open data via APIs to create innovative business models are yet to materialize. That’s the read-between-the-lines message from a panel session hosted today at Internetdagarna, a two-day Swedish cloud industry event that will tomorrow see a full day’s program hosted by NordicAPIs.
The panel, with speakers working either in or alongside ministries in Denmark, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands and the European Union presented current progress reports on open data infrastructure. None of the country progress reports demonstrated strong engagement with entrepreneurs, innovators, or citizen groups to make use of open data, once it is available. Many governments are still grappling with internal agency reluctance to open data, lack basic consensus on provisioning, and have not yet identified many positive impacts from their current open data efforts.
On the plus side, key policies are now in place that could be leveraged by individual European governments to push ahead with an open data agenda, and low-hanging fruit is becoming clearer for entrepreneurs wanting to commercialize around open data. Unfortunately, many of these opportunities are at this stage based around infrastructure and business development of the associated open data ecosystem, and, as yet, not directly related to using government open data APIs as components to create an innovative business product or service that could solve industry or community problems.
Panelists included Dr Malte Beyer-Katzenberger (Policy Officer at the European Commission), Cathrine Lippert (Special Advisor on Digitization in the Danish Ministry of Finance), Ton Ziljstra (a consultant working on open data projects in the Netherlands), Daniel Dietrich (from Open Knowledge Foundation’s German office), and Richard Stirling (UK’s Open Data Institute).
While each of the panelists showed a strong knowledge of the open data frameworks in their European areas, and all had an obvious passion for the benefits of government open data, the actual progress they were reporting showed a muddied, lackluster level of progress that is hopefully set to improve in 2014. Two of the biggest issues that most of the panelists shared included:
- An inconsistent focus on infrastructure
- Lack of focus on private sector partnerships.
An inconsistent focus on infrastructure
Several of the speakers mentioned inconsistent open data infrastructure efforts in their home region. Denmark, for example, had built an open data catalog in 2009 that has not been maintained since. The complexity in trying to create a shared momentum across government agencies in which there will not be a one-size-fits-all solution is one of the biggest barriers the national government faces in moving forward with open data. However, Cathrine Lippert’s role as an open data evangelist in the Ministry of Finance is an innovation in itself, creating a new type of role within government to encourage open data solutions. Lippert believes “Open data is bound to happen, but it is in our interests to make it available faster and better.” While machine readable (i.e. API-based) open data is recommended, it did not sound like a strong priority amongst current government efforts.
The Netherlands shares several of the same problems, particularly around an initial move towards open data that has resulted in a sense of disillusionment with little impact following open data releases. Ziljstra gave the example of one city government that had created an open data portal several years ago. After the initial investment, the government was disheartened enough by the lack of response that they did not continue funding its operations. Now, advocates push forward with freedom of information (FoI) requests in a community-led drive to get new data added to the portal, as FoI is funded from a different bucket of money than the previous (now non-existent) open data infrastructure source. In the Netherlands, FoI is taken more seriously by government agencies as an impetus to release data. Even when open data is made available, finding how to access it can be a significant barrier. In one test, it took 2 hours to locate an online source for postcode open data: not an uncommon experience for a national data portal made up of up to 90% dead-links.
Germany’s open data problems also centered on a lack of consistent policy frameworks across the country and across various tiers of government. It is hoped that European Council directives will create a new push for an open data agenda, but to date, previous EU policies have had little weight internally in the country. Additionally FoI legislation on releasing data is riddled with exceptions, according to Daniel Dietrich, who has been analyzing the open data policy landscape in Germany for the Open Knowledge Foundation.
Lack of focus on private sector partnerships
The economic impact arguments around leveraging open government data are yet to translate into funding policies that provide incentives to startups to innovate and create new commercial solutions using open data. Despite evidence that open data supplied by the Dutch Meteo weather agency has sparked 100 new jobs and generated 35 million Euros in new tax revenue, or how the Finnish small and medium enterprise sector grow 15% faster than their counterparts when given access to geospatial data, or even how the UK National Health Service could save 200 million British Pounds a year by analyzing open data on prescribing practices, there is little sharing of stories that demonstrate how private partnerships can help make use of government open data to spur new economic activity. Many of the countries represented showed high scores on several measures of open data accessibility (for example, as measured by the Open Data Index), but all scored equally poorly on the Open Data Barometer which calculates civic and business impacts from government open data supply.
When questioned by ProgrammableWeb, few of the panelists could point to any national government funding incentives that empower startups to create new business models based on open data. However, the new G8 Open Data Charter has given European member countries the policy weight now to work towards removing transaction fees when providing open data to potential users. In many countries, open data supply has been charged at the full cost of provision rate, whereas the new G8 Charter and associated directives promote the use of a marginal cost of dissemination. Dietrich says that in Germany, at least, charging for the full cost of making open data available has been “why businesses have not taken up the promises of open data” to date. The marginal cost now means that governments must cap what they charge for making the data available to match the cost of the specific data they are supplying, and not factor in the total costs of production, as has often been the practice in the past.
What was surprising in hearing several of the panelists was the lack of knowledge exchange between government agencies and private sector companies who are dealing with similar problems when implementing API strategies. For example, Lippert and Ziljstra both spoke of the need to match current government planning goals to open data sources in order to better make the argument for open data supply within government circles. It is not unlike comments made by AT&T’s Laura Merling about how, in order to implement an enterprise-wide API strategy, her team needed to locate the subject matter experts in each of the enterprise’s business departments. The lack of engagement between private and public sector around open data limits the sharing of these sort of best/effective practices. It is a bit like how Kin Lane was talking about techniques to wrap government open data into APIs in a workshop at API Strategy and Practice last October, while Jason Lobel was doing the same with businesses in the first wave of data-related products from SwiftIQ. There is plenty that both parties can learn from each other when they are talking in the same room together.
Low hanging fruit
For startups looking for government initiatives that provide seed funding or startup incentives to use government open data via APIs to create a new business opportunity: you probably need to wait a bit longer.
Open data is not considered an industry for government to invest in just yet, beyond the occasional civic hackathon. One interesting model was from a Dutch regional government that tendered out to the private sector seeking open data solutions to traffic congestion problems is an all too rare example at present, it seems.
But there may be room for entrepreneurs with an open data mindset to create new business in Europe loosely related to open data. Dr Malte Beyer-Katzenberger from the European Commission highlighted new efforts to build a Pan European open data portal, which is “strongly in need of visualization tools”. API developers with expertise in web-scraping or in wrapping open data formats into APIs may find there is an increasing amount of work as governments tend to upload open data in any format, mostly not machine readable, to their initial portals and catalog-based sites. MapBox has had success with this sort of business model. They have been able to clean open data, re-build it in more useful ways and then sell it back to government, for example. Those with a keen knowledge of what data is available, or who can help private industry – or even city governments or department agencies – to map open data against policy goals may also be able to hang their shingles a little higher. For now, other potential market opportunities seem to be centered more on providing training on open data.
While on some levels it was disappointing to realize that much of the rhetoric about the new possibilities that open data will create are still some way off, the good news for those with an entrepreneurial zest is that the scope for designing new business models and creating new market opportunities are only just beginning.
Our API directory now includes 47 hotel APIs. The newest is the Outpost.Travel Public API. The most popular, in terms of mashups, is the HotelsCombined API. We list 18 HotelsCombined mashups. Below you’ll find some more stats from the directory, including the entire list of hotel APIs.
For reference, here is a list of all 47 hotel APIs.
Adriagate API: Croatian travel service
Alpharooms Affiliate API: International discount hotel room search service
Booker API: Online booking platform
Carsolize API: Travel booking service
Cleartrip Hotel API: Hotel booking service
Clerk API: Cloud-based hotel management platform
Conferma Booking API: UK travel booking and reconciliation service
DealAngel API: Hotel prices search engine
EasyToBook API: Hotel Search and Booking Service
ebookers API: Travel Booking Service
Escapio API: Hotel selection service
Global Matrix API: Travel information and reservation service
GTA XML API: Travel Booking Service
HotelBeds API: Travel accomodations service
HotelClub API: Hotel booking service
HotelDo API: Latin American hotel booking service
Hotelsbase API: Hotel database
HotelsCombined API: Hotel comparison search / aggregator
Hotelston API: Online hotel and accommodation search and booking service
Hotwire Hotel Shopping API: Hotel shopping service
Hotwire Travel-Ticker Deals API: Travel deals service
Jasons API: Travel information and accommodation-booking service
LEAPIN web-check-in API: Hotel and accommodation check-in service
Majestic International Group API: Travel booking service
Momondo API: Cheap flight and hotel search service
Myallocator.com API: Travel accommodations platform
Nevistas News API: Hotel and Travel News Search Service
OpenJaw Tribe API: Travel Retailing Service
Outpost.Travel Public API: Vacation rental, rideshare, and activity listings service
Planyo API: Online reservation service
Qtravel API: Polish vacation package search engine
Resort Data Processing API: Travel information and reservation service
Rezdy new API: Online booking and reservations platform
sletoh.com API: Hotel price comparison service
TakeABreak API: Australian vacation/holiday property web service
TouricoHolidays API: Travel booking service
TransHotel API: Online hotel and accommodation search and booking service
Travel Booking Network API: Accommodation booking and ticketing platform
Travelisense OpenDistribution API: Consolidated travel information service
Travelocity API: Travel booking service
Traxo API: Digital travel wallet
TripAuthority API: Hotel reservation service
Turkish National Police AKBS API: Temporary accommodations guest reporting system
ValueCommerce Travel API: Travel web service
WEBCONPro API: Portal Management Service
WebHotelier API: Hotel booking engine
WuBook Wired API: Online booking service
Today’s apps are as spread out as they’ve ever been, thanks in part to REST APIs, which make it easy to link to a plethora of backend services. That’s cool, but what if something goes awry? What if one of the APIs breaks? How are you going to find what’s wrong in order to fix it? For starters, begin by keeping things simple when you initially build your app and avoid using SDKs whenever possible.
That’s one bit of advice John Sheehan, CEO of Runscope, offered Friday at the Ultimate Developer Event in Boston. In his talk, “Zen and the Art of API Maintenance,” Sheehan addressed the main challenges modern app developers face.
Sheehan is a “Python guy” who used to work at Twilio and IFTTT before co-founding Runscope, a service that generates data about API traffic. Runscope (built on AWS EC2 and programmed in Python) gives developers visibility into distributed apps. The San Francisco startup launched in March with $1.1 million in seed funding.
Here are the three challenges distributed apps run into, according to Sheehan. (You can view his full slidedeck here.)
Challenge #1: Getting the complete picture of your application
You can’t fix it if you can’t see it. That’s the problem with distributed apps. It is very difficult to get the full picture of what is going on. Traditional performance monitoring tools, geared toward old-style apps, don’t give you the whole story, says Sheehan.
He gives the example of one company that was building a mobile app. Everything worked fine with in-house testing on Wi-Fi, but as soon as they released the app to their partners, the API immediately went down. After a lot of head scratching and tail chasing, they finally figured out the problem. As it turned out, when the API made a call over the cell network, it waited for the response, but when a response didn’t come fast enough, it would retry the call again and again, essentially creating its own denial-of-service attack.
“You get a lot of these network conditions that can cause some very strange problems we are not used to seeing when all of the pieces of code run on your own service under your control,” said Sheehan.
As a way to spot problems quickly – and sometimes before they even happen – he suggests developers log everything outside of their external control to pick up patterns and monitor issues over time.
“Log everything on your servers. Log every call you make to other servers. Log every response you get back from other servers. If you can, log every client device that is making a call to your backend service on some type of aggregate logging device,” he said.
Log everything, so when you email the originator of the API, you can show them exactly what you are seeing. “Never assume the provider, even if they are in the same company as you, is logging data relevant to your application,” he said.
Challenge #2: Managing change
How do you manage change when you have no control over what changes are made to the third-party APIs you are using? The answer, avoid dependency hell. That means using native APIs whenever possible, says Sheehan. At Runscope, he says, they have a zero SDK rule.
Over the lifetime of an app, you spend far more time maintaining the app then you do in the initial developing and prototyping of it. So, if you want to build something to last, optimize for long-term maintenance. “SDKs introduce a complexity cost over the lifetime of your app that outweigh the gain of not having to rewrite the code,” Sheehan said.
Too often, the originator does not maintain parity between the native API and what’s in the SDK. Even if they don’t break the API in version 1, says Sheehan, they may release new functionality that you want to use but now the SDK doesn’t have it.
But, he says, SDKs are okay in some cases. For instance, if you are building a prototype, and you simply want to find out if the API is going to solve your problem, SDKs are okay. Just be mindful that prototypes tend to live a lot longer than we expect, says Sheehan. “Don’t make an SDK an early bad decision,” he said.
If no good HTTP client is available, you should use an SDK. Go is about the only language with a really great HTTP client out-of-the-box, says Sheehan. If you use Ruby, you’ll likely end up using Httparty, Typhoeus or Faraday. But, in the absence of a good HTTP client, “an SDK may be your only choice for building an actual working implementation,” Sheehan said.
Also, if you are building a full-blown client, you should use an SDK. “If you are building a client for your API and you would tend to use every single method of that API in your app, then an SDK or wrapper might be the best solution for you,” he said.
Finally, if you are working with a complex API, such as Dropbox or Evernote’s Thrift (a technology originally developed by Facebook), you will want to use an SDK. “I’ve never worked with Thrift, therefore, I wouldn’t know how to write a direct connection to that API. So for complex cases, you may want to use an SDK,” said Sheehan.
When you do use SDKs, a few things to look out for: Be mindful of dependencies. They can wreak havoc in your app. Be wary of community contributed SDKs. In such cases, the people who built the SDK may have long moved on to other projects. And finally, watch out for inactive SDKs. If it appears an SDK hasn’t been updated in six months, send a note to the developer asking how actively they maintain it.
Challenge #3: High fidelity testing
When you run automated tests on your application, make sure your tests are as close to real-world calls as possible. Of course, this is difficult when testing APIs. The test environment can be different from the live environment in subtle ways that will alter the nature of API requests or responses, says Sheehan.
Most API integration testing requires you to try to recreate the live environment from scratch, increasing the likelihood that you run into these differences and your tests will be inaccurate. Runscope offers tools that allow you to create tests based on real requests captured from within an app, which helps you build far more accurate tests, says Sheehan.
Slice, the ultimate online shopping assistant, has launched the Slice API. The Slice API allows third party apps to integrate Slice features such as price drop alerts, tracking packages, spending tracking, email receipts and more. Slice is currently recruiting developers to test the API and build apps upon the Slice platform. Slice is dedicated to changing the way online shoppers interact with the products they buy online, and the Slice API sits at the heart of its mission.
Slice was developed after its creators became overwhelmed with the complexity of tracking and managing the expansive options of shopping and purchasing online. After clicking “buy” while shopping, an email is generated to confirm your purchase. Such “buys” add up overtime, and keeping track of the purchases and associated details becomes overwhelming. Slice looks to streamline the process with a single app, or a single API in the case of Slice-platform based apps.
The Slice API is currently in private Beta without public documentation available. Some of the data available through the API includes order details (e.g. amounts, dates, item descriptions, etc.), type of purchase (e.g. in-store, online, digital download, etc.), order confirmations, shipping confirmations, and almost anything you can imagine surrounding a purchase. To receive API access or join the Slice developer community, visit the API site and request a key.
As we move into the holiday season, there is no shortage of online avenues for consumers to shop. The NRF estimates that online purchases this holiday season will top $600 billion. However, with the expansive landscape arrives the potential of massive confusion and disorganization. Slice was created to make sense of the madness and drive a new group of developers aimed at smoothing out the online shopping experience.
Related ProgrammableWeb Resources
Photo APIs have long been a staple of developer applications. There are more than 350 photo APIs in the ProgrammableWeb directory and almost 800 photo mashups. However, most applications integrate with photo sharing services, like the Flickr API and Instagram API, missing the real power of photo APIs. This post identifies four ways that APIs are getting smart by using image recognition technology to find faces, words and more.
Face Detection and Facial Recognition
As humans, we’re programmed to like seeing other humans. With face detection and recognition, our applications can also be programmed to notice humans—or at least their faces.
- Face Detection APIs enable you to locate faces within photos, including the pixel coordinates.
- Face Recognition APIs enable you to train your application to not only detect faces but recognize individuals.
In addition to detecting faces and specific people, some of these APIs also will find specific features (mouth, nose, eyes), orientation (angle of head, whether the mouth is open or smiling), objects like glasses and even guess the individual’s mood.
One popular face recognition API gained 40,000 developers before it was bought and killed by Facebook. A number still exist or have sprung up since, including the Betaface API and LambdaLabs Face API. Three more were added in November alone, most recently Ceeq API.
Recognizing everyday objects within photos is an exciting and expanding area of image recognition. It took a hit earlier this year when Yahoo bought and shuttered IQEngines.
Recognizing things in an image has a lot of applications, most notably wearable computing, as GigaOm wrote in September. AlchemyAPI is known for its textual analysis, but it shared an object recognition demo for the GigaOm story and it’s reasonable to expect that might become a full-fledged product.
A subset of object recognition—and perhaps its largest use case—is brand recognition. For example, snap a picture of a wine label and receive a link to purchase. Labels and logos are the low-hanging fruit, but fashion is a common use case.
Text Recognition / OCR
OCR, or optical character recognition, is perhaps the oldest photo recognition technology. Take a photo of a sign—or often an entire document—and get it converted to text. This helps make editable documents that otherwise aren’t, such as a printed piece of paper.
That’s four ways that image APIs are getting smarter. Have any others to add?
Related ProgrammableWeb Resources
HTML5 and its APIs have gone a long way toward making Web applications compete with native applications. HTML5’s support for media technologies is one area where it’s gotten a lot of attention from developers, who have used HTML5 audio and video APIs in tremendously innovative ways. However, it has not been an easy ride, with developers complaining about the lack of support for complex audio and video functions.
A case in point is HTML5 audio support. The HTML5 audio tag makes it dead simple for any developer to play a sound or an audio stream in a web page, but it falls short if you want to process and synthesize audio. The Web Audio API was crafted with that in mind. In the words of the HTML5Rocks.com tutorial on the Web Audio API, “The goal of this API is to include capabilities found in modern game audio engines and some of the mixing, processing, and filtering tasks that are found in modern desktop audio production applications.”
But what about support for the API? A glance at Can I use Web Audio API? indicates the current support that the Web Audio API has in desktop browsers. Opera recently announced support for the Web Audio API, joining Firefox, Chrome and Safari on the desktop browser front. The only major player missing from this puzzle is Internet Explorer. Given that Microsoft is committed to the HTML5 standard, one hopes that support for the API will be there sooner or later.
Web developers are pushing the envelope with the Web Audio API, with examples in the wild demonstrating things right in the browser that were previously considered impossible to do with existing Web standards (including just using HTML5 audio tags) and which needed external plugins. Check out the following links:
- Drum Box Controller, that uses the Web Audio API.
- A list of demo projects using the Web Audio API.
- For fun, try out “Find the Invisible Cow”
These projects indicate that the Web Audio API and applications based on it have gained some traction, but developers must tread with caution because Microsoft is not yet supporting the standard. Developers were optimistic that Microsoft would support Web Audio in IE 11, but that did not happen. An IE Feedback link indicates that Microsoft in fact didn’t plan for support in IE 11 and has only said that developer feedback will be considered when planning for future IE releases. So there is no clear commitment from Microsoft for supporting Web Audio API. Although IE market share on the desktop has fallen, it is still significant enough for developers to weigh their options before jumping into Web Audio API.
The Web Audio API has come a long way in a relatively short time, and it’s interesting to note the rapid pace at which browser vendors are adopting it and giving it to developers. These are still early days, and while there are not many developers who can claim to have mastery over the Web Audio API, the possibilities are limitless. In the days ahead, the Web Audio API is sure to bring music to Web developers.
This week, we had 62 new APIs added to our API directory including a marketing affiliate tracking platform, an interactive 3D human body tool, and a new shopping cart API. We also featured an exclusive interview with Pinterest’s Head of Developer Relations.
A State of Trance API: A State of Trance is a radio show, hosted by Armin van Buuren, which plays trance and progressive rock music. The A State of Trance API allows developers to access information from the radio show and the Unofficial A State of Trance Android app. This includes episodes, tracks, artists, DJs, sets, labels, events, and Top 10s. This API is provided for free, though donations are appreciated.
AchieveMint API: AchieveMint is a rewards platform that integrates with applications already used, such as Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and others. AchieveMint allows users to earn rewards for posting healthy activities to applications. The AchieveMint API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should sign up here: http://www.achievemint.com/developer/join.
Addy API: Addy is an application that allows users to create, save, and share locations using a customized URL link. Addy also allows for map views and visualizations, as well as address book functionality. The Addy API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Addy with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact Addy here for more information: https://addy.co/business.
Affilae API: Affilae is a marketing affiliate tracking platform. Affilae allows brands and companies to keep track of and reward their online marketing affiliates. The Affilae API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Affilae with other applications. Some example API methods include listing advertisers, listing partnerships, and retrieving advertising conversions.
AOL On Network API: AOL On is a large, online library of video content that covers a wide range of topics and includes AOL Original videos. The AOL On Network API allows developers to integrate its video content, displays, and functionality into their websites. Specifically, developers can get information on videos, studios, and categories as well as search the video library, access the videoseed for a specific URL, and access daily or monthly statistics for their account.
APICloud.Me ColorTag API: APICloud.Me is a cloud-based API provider that aims to deliver scalable APIs that are simple to consume, reliable, and well documented. ColorTag is an API capable of detecting colors within an image. The API produces a list of hex RGB values and text labels that can be used as tags for an image or item. Color tags can be returned sorted by relevance or by weight in the image.
APICloud.Me FaceRect API: APICloud.Me is a cloud-based API provider that aims to deliver scalable APIs that are simple to consume, reliable, and well documented. FaceRect is an API capable of detecting faces in images. The API can detect multiple faces within a given image, including both frontal and profile faces, and search for face features (eyes, nose, mouth) within each detected face. FaceRect can handle an image at a specified URL, or a file uploaded via HTTP POST.
Appia API: Appia is a mobile user acquisition network. Appia provides solutions for mobile publishers, advertisers, and developers to draw users and customers. The Appia API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Appia with other applications. Public documentation is not available; API access comes with account service.
Appsee API: Appsee is a platform that allows mobile application developers and publishers to understand their users. Appsee provides in-app visualization and analytics features to measure and improve the application user experience. The Appsee API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Appsee with other applications. The main API method is retrieving application sessions and associated information.
BioDigital Human API: BioDigital Human is an interactive 3D tool for learning about and teaching the human body. BioDigital Human provides information about the human body and anatomy in a 3D, interactive way with visuals, health information, and personalization tools. The BioDigital Human API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of BioDigital Human with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should sign up here: https://developer.biodigitalhuman.com/developer-signin.html?mode=signup.
Bitcasa API: Bitcasa is a platform that allows users to store, share, and access digital content, such as photos, videos, movies, music, and other documents. Bitcasa is a cloud platform that is accessible from any device. The Bitcasa API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Bitcasa with other applications and to create new applications. Some example API methods include listing folders, deleting folders, and managing files and folders.
Bitlove API: Bitlove is a service for creating and seeding torrents for all enclosures of an RSS or Atom feed, especially podcast feeds. The Bitlove API allows developers to use the URL of the original podcast files to obtain torrent and source information. It also allows developers to find the URLs of public feeds that have their enclosures mapped to torrents.
Blimp API: Blimp is an intelligent project management system designed to track data based on the project team’s processes. Users can split projects into goals and goals into tasks, which can then be assigned to team members. Communication on specific projects is facilitated by the “discussion” feature, which can be accessed via the website or by email. Blimp keeps track of all events in a project’s history, including file revisions. Users can share specific versions of files, not just the most recent one. Developers can access all of their data stored with Blimp programmatically via REST API.
Burst SMS API: Burst SMS is a bulk sms messaging service that provides an easy way to send bulk SMS and manage SMS marketing campaigns. Features of the service include message personalization fields; auto bounce management and database cleaning; automatic and manual opt-outs; and SMS templates. Burst SMS offers an REST API that enables developers to integrate the ability to send and receive SMS into their applications. API methods include SMS, Lists, Numbers, Transactions, Email, and Keywords.
CeeQ API: CeeQ is a facial recognition product capable of detecting and recognizing faces in photographs, helping users to find themselves in public photos, manage photos and albums, and more. The CeeQ API provides developers with face detection and recognition through a RESTful interface. The API can be used to create a custom database of photos, faces, and users, and to perform face detection and recognition.
Clearleap API: Clearleap is a video library distribution service that allows users to manage, distribute, control, and interact with video libraries across tvs and multimedia displays. The Clearleap API allows users to access and control resources within the Clearleap platform, as well as automate tasks. An account is required with service.
Conductor Searchlight API: Conductor is a search engine optimization firm that helps users increase site traffic and increase revenue. The API, which uses REST calls and returns JSON, allows users to integrate the Conductor service into third-party apps where users can Integrate Searchlight with data from other marketing channels including paid search. Integrate with web content management systems and provide feedback to content authors and editors in real time as well as Integrate Searchlight with business processes and move away from copy-paste emails and error-prone spreadsheets. An account is required with service.
CourtListener API: CourtListener is a legal database which has collected nearly 2.5M (and growing) legal opinions with rich meta data and citation network. The Opinions in the site’s archives date back to the 1700s, making this a deep, rich source of data for many research projects. The CourtListener API allows users to access the legal data using REST calls. Users can make queries to get opinions, citations, citations by user, cites, jurisdiction, search, and coverage. An account is required with service.
Cryptonit API: Cryptonit is a crypto-currency market place where users can buy, sell, and exchange bitcoins. The site uses SSL for authentication along with user login. The Cryptonit API uses REST calls and returns JSON or XML. Possible calls include indexing, creating, retrieving, and otherwise manipulating the users bitcoins. An account is required with service.
Crysis 3 Stats API: Crysis 3 Stats provides users with access to their statistics for Crysis 3 – a multi-platform, first-person shooter video game. Players can use Crysis 3 Stats to view their progress over time or to share their game stats with others. The Crysis 3 Stats API allows developers to retrieve game statistics from the website for integration into their own applications. It should be noted that commercial use of the API is discouraged.
Fallout: Equestria Resource API: Fallout: Equestria is a crossover fanfiction series derived from the Fallout video game series and the television series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Fallout: Equestria Resource is the hub for the community that creates the thousands of new works of art, literature, and music dedicated to the series. Fallout: Equestria provides an API providing programmatic access to the site’s data. The API delivers media files and metadata through a variety of methods, as well as site information.
FormAssembly API: FormAssembly is a form management service that allows users to create online forms and to manage the data they gather through those forms. People can use FormAssembly to create payment forms, online applications, surveys, and contact forms. In order to create a form that requests credit card or bank information, users must integrate with one of FormAssembly’s secure payment solutions. Forms that request Social Security numbers, passport numbers, or other sensitive information will be disabled unless they first undergo a review process. FormAssembly is available as a downloadable or cloud-hosted service. Developers can use the REST API to manage user accounts and export data from either version of FormAssembly.
FraudLabs Pro Fraud Prevention API: The FraudLabs Pro API is a credit card screening engine that check transactions for online frauds utilizing a wide array of metrics and fraud detection analytics. AN account is required with service, and an API key is required. The API uses REST calls and returns JSON and XML. Developers and merchants can integrate this fraud screening API in any of their e-commerce websites or shopping carts in order to evaluate high risk orders, reduce chargeback, improves operation efficiency and provides business intelligent.
Fuze Network API: Fuze Network is a credit card payment and recharge service. Fuze Network allows users to send money directly to a credit card as a payment, debit card as a deposit or prepaid card as a load. It can be used for online funds disbursement, gifting, shared, me2me and p2p payments or walk-in cash transactions. The Fuze Network API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Fuze Network with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should email firstname.lastname@example.org for API information.
GGTracker API: GGTracker is a tool that allows players of StarCraft 2, a real-time strategy game, to track their stats in the game. It allows players to see their army units, locations, and strength at any point in a game. Users can also measure their win rate, APM (actions per minute), Spending Skill, army composition, and other metrics. The GGTracker API allows players to retrieve information on StarCraft 2 players and matches as well as a player’s APM and Spending Skill. This API is experimental and may shut down without user support.
Help Scout API: Help Scout is a web-based customer service solution. To customers, Help Scout looks like normal email, without any visible ticket numbers or log-in requirements. It includes collaborative features that allow customer service personnel to communicate internally and not accidentally send duplicate replies to a customer. Help Scout comes with reporting features that expose the volume of queries handled, average response times, common customer questions, and more. Several apps and a RESTful API are provided to help users extend Help Scout’s functions. The Help Scout API allows developers to programmatically read and write data hosted with Help Scout.
ImageVision FaceDetection API: ImageVision provides visual search and analytics services that automate the recognition and tagging of user generated media. The ImageVision Face Detection API is a web service able to determine the locations and sizes of faces within images.
ImageVision NuditySearch API: ImageVision provides visual search and analytics services that automate the recognition and tagging of user generated media. ImageVision NuditySearch is an API detects nudity within an image by recognizing anatomical attributes. API users are able to specify a nudity sensitivity value.
Kounta API: Targeted towards retail and hospitality businesses, Kounta is scalable, cloud-based point of sale platform. The Kounta POS service can be securely accessed on any device at anytime across a range of channels including online, in-store and mobile. Kounta offers a RESTful API for the easy integration of Kounta services with third-party applications. Example methods include customers, companies, orders, registers, payments, products, staff, and much more. Both JSON and XML data types are supported.
Mind42 API: Mind42 is a collaborative browser-based online mind mapping tool. The ideas submitted get arranged into a tree or star format to help display connections. The maps can be used for to-do lists, knowledge collects, and many other diagrams. The Mind42 API allows users to integrate the functions of Mind42 with third-party apps and services. The API uses OAuth 2.0 for authentication. Contact Mind42 for full API access and details.
My Mobile API: My Mobile API allows users to send and receive SMS from any website or application using the My Mobile API messaging gateway. My Mobile API provides a wide variety methods for sending SMS, including HTTP Get/POST, SMPP, FTP, web services, SQL, email-to-SMS, and Outlook 2010 SMS. Some of these methods are more suited to low-volume use while others are designed for high-volume messaging campaigns.
MyLittleFaceWhen.com API: MyLittleFaceWhen.com is an online collection of Pony Reactions, a meme in which sprite images of characters from the television series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic are shown making a variety of faces and reactions. MyLittleFaceWhen.com hosts an API providing programmatic access to the image database. The API is able to deliver content and metadata, flag resources, and send feedback to the site’s developers.
National Geographic FieldScope API: FieldScope is an interactive mapping platform provided by National Geographic that allows citizen scientists to share, analyze, and interpret location-based data with other enthusiasts. Using FieldScope, people can join projects, start new ones, or just explore the data that others have gathered. Using and contributing to FieldScope is free and requires no software downloads. Project contributors can simply add observations to the map as they collect them. Developers can retrieve, add, update, and delete observations programmatically via REST API.
Ocean Networks Canada API: Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) supports research on complex Earth processes through its ocean observatories, for the advancement of science and the Benefit of Canada. The Ocean Networks Canada API provides programmatic access to much of ONC’s data and services. Exposed resources include information describing data products, sensor and observation data, station information, and archival data.
omniEffect Universal Platform API: omniEffect is an information management software provider based in Australia. omniEffect’s Universal Platform is a data and information management service for the enterprise. Universal Platform aims to help businesses uncover the landscape of their information; Easily connect disparate systems, no matter where they are; and to easily model, clean and unify data. The omniEffect Universal Platform offers a developer API. Full documentation is available with an account and service.
OpenFace API: OpenFace API is a web service providing facial detection technologies. The API accepts an image and returns a JSON file containing coordinates of facial feature points. Currently able to detect up to 80 points on a given face, the API expects to provide emotion detection, lip reading from video, and other services in the future.
OpenSpending API: OpenSpending is a project that seeks to track all public government and corporate financial transactions made around the world. To do so, it collects budgetary data, transactional data, public procurement data, and other types of data. OpenSpending currently offers hundreds of datasets from countries around the world. The project makes its data available to developers for use in reports and data visualizations via REST API.
OpenStreetMap Taginfo API: Taginfo is a web service for OpenStreetMap (OSM) that collects and shares metadata describing the tags OSM uses to add meaning to geographic objects. The Taginfo API provides developer access to the tag database. All calls to the RESTful API use the HTTP GET request and are read-only.
Parsel API: Parsel is a shipment tracking service. Parsel provides tracking and verification information from multiple shipping carriers, such as FedEx, UPS, Shopify, and more. The Parsel API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Parsel with other applications. Some example API methods include verifying addresses, comparing shipping rates, and creating shipping labels.
Philly Hoods API: The Philly Hoods API is a simple REST service for retrieving information on neighborhoods in Philadelphia. It can provide users with the GeoJSON for a neighborhood when given its name, or it can supply the neighborhood where a lat./long. coordinate pair is located. There is no official neighborhood boundary dataset for Philadelphia; the dataset used in the Philly Hoods API is provided by Azavea, a geospatial analysis company. Additional features are expected to be added to the API in the future.
Prowork API: Prowork is a real-time collaboration service designed for all kinds of projects where team members are spread out. Prowork is available online, on many types of mobile devices, and via API. Users can create projects and tasks, add team members, assign work, share files, chat, send messages, and more. The Prowork API, though still in its early stages, allows developers to access basic Prowork functions programmatically.
Pryv API: Pryv is a platform for collecting personal, time-based data of all kinds to give users a visual overview of their online lives. This data may include health metrics, locations, videos, notes, or anything else with a time attached to it. Pryv unites all of these heterogeneous data streams and sources to allow users to view the data-based aspects of their lives as a complete picture. This data may be kept entirely private or shared with select individuals. The Pryv API allows users to retrieve their personal data from Pryv via REST calls.
Putler API: Putler is a sales analysis and reporting service that can keep track of transactions occurring at multiple payment gateways and shopping carts. Once the data is collected, Putler processes it into charts and statistics for users to reference. Putler comes with integrations and connectors for popular payment gateways and WordPress eCommerce plugins. If users want to connect Putler to a gateway or shopping cart that lacks a ready-made integration, they can use Putler’s REST API to make the connection themselves.
RandomUser API: RandomUser is an API providing developers with randomly generated users to be used as placeholders for testing. The API can return multiple results, as well as specify generated user details such as gender.
Rutgers API: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, provides a collection of APIs that may be useful to students and others who live or work on campus. The Rutgers APIs can be used to retrieve information on university events, dining locations, sports game scores, campus buildings, facilities’ hours of operation, and class schedules. These APIs retrieve data in a variety of formats and all use their own endpoints. (Information on using the Nextbus API in the Rutgers area is also provided, although it is not one of the University’s own APIs.)
ScottyLabs API: ScottyLabs is an interdisciplinary student organization at Carnegie Mellon University dedicated to connecting students with technological tools to encourage innovation. ScottyLabs’ APIs@CMU project was initiated to provide developer access to structured, on-campus data. The API currently allows developers to access course scheduling information. The API is able to filter results by department, semester, or course.
Snipcart API: Snipcart is a service that lets users add a shopping cart to their website. The cart can be customized using HTML and CSS to make it match the site’s design. Snipcart is also capable of adapting to the customer’s screen size, allowing it to work just as well on mobile devices as PCs. Snipcart can perform payment processing, shipping estimates, and order management functions, all without taking the customer away from the user’s website. Developers can manage information on orders, customers, and discounts using the Snipcart API.
SpinnerChief API: SpinnerChief is designed to generate unique articles to provide content for websites and increase site traffic. It does this by spinning one article into multiple versions of itself, replacing certain words, phrases, and sentences with alternate versions of themselves. SpinnerChief can identify parts of speech, correct grammar errors, and use intelligent auto-replace methods until the article is both human-readable and passes Copyscape (a plagiarism checker). The SpinnerChief API allows developers to access SpinnerChief’s functions from within other programs and can spin articles in 27 different languages.
Sprylogics API: Sprylogics is a mobile solutions provider. Sprylogics provides capability of local search for mobile applications through their product, Poynt. The Sprylogics API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Sprylogics with other applications. Some example API methods include searching for events, searching for products, accessing analytics, and sharing search results.
SwiftKey API: SwiftKey is a keyboard application that replaces mobile phone native keyboards. SwiftKey provides keyboard features that allow for typing on mobiles and tablets without using the native keyboard. The SwiftKey API and SDK allow developers to access and integrate the functionality of SwiftKey with other applications and devices. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact SwiftKey here: http://www.swiftkey.net/en/sdk/.
Taskk API: Taskk is a work management service that helps users prioritize tasks in multiple areas of their lives. Based on the user’s prioritization, time estimates, and available work hours, Taskk will automatically build efficient work schedules. The Taskk API allows users to integrate the ability to create, retrieve, edit, delete, and otherwise manage their tasks, lists, and planner into other applications.
Teads API: Teads is a platform for video advertising. Teads provides features and solutions for video advertising for content publishers and networks and advertisers. The Teads API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Teads with other applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should contact Teads for more information: http://teads.tv/#/contact.
Telegram API: Telegram is a mobile messaging platform. Telegram offers highly encrypted messaging services so users can send messages, photos, and videos to selected contacts privately. The Telegram API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Telegram with other applications. Some example API methods include managing contacts, checking phones, and sending and retrieving messages, photos, and videos.
The Cancer Imaging Archive API: The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA) is a public repository of cancer images and related clinical data for the express purpose of enabling open science research. Currently over 26 million radiologic images of cancer are contained in this repository
The Cat API: The Cat API is a free web service providing developer access to random cat pictures. API users can specify the number of returned results, image type, image size, and the category of the cat picture. The API also allows an application to vote on images, retrieve votes, favorite images, list categories, and much more.
UberGlobal Payment Gateway API: UberGlobal Payment Gateway is an Australian ecommerce payment service that allows merchants to securely complete transactions through their online store. The service also offers real-time analytics to help merchants better understand their business and follow transactions in real time. The UberGlobal Payment Gateway provides a REST API for the integration of UberGlobal Payment services into third-party application. API methods include Purchases, Tokenization, and Refunds. Responses are returned in JSON and authentication is provided via HTTP Basic Authentication.
Whomsy API: Whomsy is a free whois lookup service. This means that users can search for who owns a given domain, when it was registered, etc. It will also tell users if the domain is unregistered so that they can register it themselves. Developers can access Whomsy’s functions programmatically via REST API.