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I’ve been doing lots of research into the future of web APIs lately, and one area that is definitely gaining more traction is the ability to automate tasks, by defining triggers and actions on top of web APIs.

If you’ve heard about API automation, it’s probably due to the attention If This Then That (IFTTT) and Zapier have been getting. While these are two of the most popular platforms currently, I wanted to dive in and understand the entire landscape.

Currently I’ve found 8 API automation platforms:

Cloudwork - Cloudwork is a service that allows users to automate tasks between Google Apps, Salesforce, Evernote, Zoho, Twitter, Freshbooks, MailChimp, Zendesk, Dropbox, WordPress and others.
Elastic.io - Elastic.io is an API integration and orchestration platform for non programmers, offering a simple tool for users to create and run data/API mashups directly from the browser, to automating simple tasks between API platforms.
FoxWeave - FoxWeave enables enterprises that are building or using Cloud based Services (SaaS, DBaaS etc) to connect those Services to each other and to external Cloud and On-Premise Apps and Databases.
If This Then That (IFTTT) - IFTT is a service that allows anyone to built connections driven from APIs by building channels made up of triggers and actions, bundled into whats IFTT calls recipes, which are triggered every 15 minutes.
MashableLogic - MashableLogic is a mashup development platform that provides a system for leveraging API's by turning them into re-usable components that can be combined to compose software solutions.
Tarpipe - Tarpipe provides a platform for automate tasks, creating workflows between apps to automate low value tasks, generate activity streams from multiple apps in one place, sync data from one app to another as a background task, and publishing of content to multiple API locations.
Wappwolf - Wappwolf is focused on deconstructing the barriers of the Cloud, by connecting your Evernote, Facebook, Flickr, and other web services / apps to Dropbox, allowing users to drag & drop files into a predefined folder on Dropbox and automatically convert and sync to your favorite places.
We-Wired Web - We-Wired Web enables users to define automated tasks using over 50 popular web services using APIs that execute periodically.
Yahoo Pipes - Pipes is a composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web. Like Unix pipes, simple commands can be combined together to create output that meets your needs.
Zapier - Zapier uses what they call a zap to deliver a combination of a trigger and an action using APIs, allowing users to drag and drop to build new zaps and run in background or manually from a dashboard.

API automation platforms provide a new way for developers and non-developers to put API resources to use for business or personal tasks. These automation platforms provide a new opportunity for companies looking to deploy APIs, providing additional channels for distribution and user acquisition.

If you know of any API automation platforms I missed, let me know.

  • UPDATE 9/5/2012 - I added Foxweave to the list.
  • UPDATE 9/1/2012 - I added Cloudwork to the list.



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