The API Evangelist Blog - 2011

This blog is dedicated to understanding the world of APIs and exploring the technology, business, and politics of APIs.


"Government Opened Data via APIs in 2011"

31 December 2011
One of the most important fronts of API development is Government.  All of us API and data guys have all been screaming for city, county, state and federal government to open up their data via APIs for years now.  In 2011 I would say many government officials listened, and opened up almost 100 government APIs, according to ProgrammableWeb: Aadhaar UIDAI Authentication - Online authentication for Indian citizens Alameda County Service Provider - listings for social services in Alameda County (Oakland), CA API.LEIPZIG - Leipzig city data Örebro kommun - Örebro kommun information Baltimore Open311 - Neighborhood public issue reporting tool Berlin Open Data - Berlin data and information Brazil CKAN - Brazil open government data Capitol Words - Track words used by US government representatives Challenge...

"2011 APIs as a Tag Cloud"

31 December 2011
I pulled a list of the 2023 APIs that were added to the ProgrammableWeb API directory in 2011.  I took the description column and used Wordle to generate a tag cloud for 2011.  I think tag clouds can provide a 100K view of where people are focusing their APIs.

"Top 10 API Evangelist Posts for 2011"

31 December 2011
2011 was an interesting year for APIs. I wasn't as good as I wanted to be at covering all major API events, but I got some traction with some posts I didn't anticipate. Here are my top 10 traffic posts on API Evangelist for 2011: Apple iCloud API Considerations When Planning Endpoints for your RESTful API Google Launches OAuth 2.0 Playground iCloud Storage APIs The Need for More Transit APIs You Think There Are a Lot of APIs Now? Wait Until Evrythng Has An API! A Flood of APIs Just Waiting to Happen Open Building Blocks for an API Providing Code Libraries is Not Enough for Your API RESTful Business Architecture I expected Apple related API stories to be big, but the other topics on here like endpoint planning, transit APIs, open building blocks, RESTful business architecture and a flood of APIs were a surprise...

"APIs Can Decouple Business Information and Resources"

25 December 2011
I'm reading The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood right now. So far its a great read. Very thought provoking stuff. I just read this passage on how the first dictionary transformed the way we were able to think about, understand and re-use words: ...the meaning of words come from other words. It implies that all words come from other words, taken together, form an interlocking structure: interlocking, because all the words are defined in terms of other words. This could never have been an issue in an oral culture, where language was barely visible. Only when printing---and the diction---put the language into separate relief, as an object to be scrutinized, could anyone develop a sense of a word meaning as interdependent and even circular...

"API Management Service Provider Roundup for 2011"

23 December 2011
As 2011 comes to an end, I’d like to take another look at what I learned about the API management service provider space in 2011. I started the year engaging 3Scale, Apigee and Mashery, trying to find a platform to build the Mimeo Connect API platform on. Then spent the entire year getting to know each of the API management service providers, and the products they offer. At the end of the year, we are discussing the relevancy of API service providers, so I think a year-end API service provider post is due. The First DimensionTo make sense of the API management space, I’m looking at it in five separate dimensions. As of December 2011, I would set the first dimension and primary API management playing field as: 3Scale Alcatel Lucent Apigee SOA Software Intel Layer 7 Technologies Mashery Vordel These companies are going to provide a gateway, proxy or a connector for your APIs either on-premise or in the cloud...

"Facebook Mobile Hack Coming To Boston and New York"

22 December 2011
Facebook just announced that they are hosting Mobile Hacks in Boston and New York: Facebook Mobile Hack - New York on January 18th Facebook Mobile Hack - Boston on January 20th The event is centered around both native and HTML5 mobile web. Its an all day event, with each project presenting to a panel of expers, and prizes awarded to the best apps.

Quick Walk Through the World of Location & Places APIs

22 December 2011
Photo Credits I took a walk through what I am calling the locations and places API landscape today. Most of these APIs I’m familiar with, but as the CityGrid API Evangelist, I’m getting an opportunity to immerse myself into this new local, social mobile world. As I immerse myself in this semi-new world I want to share my findings with everyone else.  If you have any suggestions make sure and let me know in comments below. First I started with CityGrid APIs, which provide several key location and places APIs: The Places API - Provides functionality for information on local businesses, including search, detail, user content submission, and predictive text The Offers API - Provides coupons and special offers from businesses based on geography and category The Reviews API - Provides access to customer reviews for businesses selected by id or by geography or category Then I wanted to see what Google was doing, and of course started with the Google Maps APIs: Maps JavaScript API - The Google Maps Javascript API lets you embed Google Maps in your own web pages Maps Image API - The Google Maps Image APIs make it easy to embed a static Google Maps image or Street View panorama into your web page, with no need for JavaScript Along with Google Maps they offer a set of Geo Web Services that contain several location and places based APIs: Directions API - The Google Directions API is a service that calculates directions between locations Distance Matrix API - The Google Distance Matrix API is a service that provides travel distance and time for a matrix of origins and destinations...

Business of Google APIs 2011

21 December 2011
ProgrammableWeb says Google has 94 APIs. I roughly count about 75 going through Google Code. I’m more concerned with public web APIs, and Google has Android, Chrome and other non-web APIs, so its hard to tell. In any case I would consider Google to the largest public web API owner around. I don’t think any other single provider, owns the number of, as well as size of public APIs, that Google does. As with any leading API providers I think there is a lot to learn in studying their approach to API deployment and management. With this in mind I wanted to take a look at the Business of Google APIs in 2011 as one of my year-end, API reflection posts. I think there are some important lessons to be learned from the work Google did over 2011, to get their API business in order...

The FCC Lanches API Curation Platform Called MyFCC

20 December 2011
The FCC just launched a new platform that allows anyone to create, save and manage a customized page, built from widgets that pull content from FCC APIs, called MyFCC.  At first glance MyFCC might look like just another dashboard or start page, but it goes much further, as an API curation platform. To understand, you have to go back to the beginning and see the scope of the problem being solved. To deliver on its promise for a more open government, the FCC didn't just want a new website, they needed a platform. To do this the FCC embraced an API-driven methodology while building their web site, meant to standardize the way they deliver information between internal groups, government agencies and with the public...

Google Affiliate Network API

17 December 2011
Google just launched their new Google Affiliate Network API, which allows publishers and advertisers to automate various tasks related to the Google Affiliate Network. The Google Affiliate Network is the affiliate network, formerly known as Doubleclick Performics, which was part of Google’s Doublick acquisition in April of 2007. Using the new Google Affiliate Network APIs, developers can programmaticaly manage: Advertiser Lookup - Publishers can now use the Google Affiliate Network API to access data that advertisers have chosen to share with them. Event and Order Details - Developers can easily integrate data from events that occur in Google Affiliate Network into their own website's workflow and internal systems...

Google Deploys a Single, Centralized Terms of Use for APIs

12 December 2011
Google has made another step towards a more common API infrastructure in line with their API Discovery Service, API Explorer, and API Console by launching a single terms of service for all Google APIs. Google has rewritten their terms from the ground up with the goal of making them easier to understand for application developers. At the moment it seems as though most of the APIs that use the central terms of service are content and data related APIs, like Google Tasks, Google Moderator, Google Charts and Blogger. While more complex APIs like Youtube, Google Analytics, Google Adwords and Google Latitude still use their own terms of service. Over time, more APIs will be migrated to the new, centralized terms of service format...

RESTful Business Architecture

12 December 2011
In my quest to fully understand the underlying principles of Representational State Transfer (REST), i'm re-reading Roy Thomas Fielding original dissertation, Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures, where he first introduced the REST architectural style. His dissertation explored the junction of two disciplines in computer science: software and networking. He identifies that software research: ...has long been concerned with the categorization of software designs and the development of design methodologies, but has rarely been able to objectively evaluate the impact of various design choices on system behavior. While networking research: ...is focused on the details of generic communication behavior between systems and improving the performance of particular communication techniques, often ignoring the fact that changing the interaction style of an application can have more impact on performance than the communication protocols used for that interaction...

"What Does a World with 100K Open APIs Look Like?"

02 December 2011
I recently pulled the title, description and tags for all the APIs in the ProgramableWeb directory into a local MySQL database. At the time of this writing there are 4,480 public APIs in the directory. My goal is build a better search and discovery interface, so I can get a handle on all these APIs. Which ones I should be paying attention to, recommending to developers and generally just have an awareness of what types of APIs are available. Where do I start? First I start with a keyword search on the title, description and tags associated with each API. I will build a bunch of custom search queries, but no matter how good my queries are, I’m still limited by whatever descriptions are associated with the APIs and whatever tags were applied...

"Zappos Opens Up Their Internal Hackathon to Public"

01 December 2011
Hackathons are growing into a popular way to spark innovation around hardware, data and APIs within developer and hacker communities. I count over 40 hackathons going on in December alone, and this is just what I can discover and keep up with in my research. Hackathons are also being used by many companies to drive innovation internally between departments. Businesses like LinkedIn and Zappos employ Hackathons and Hack Days internally to get recreate this same hackathon phenomenon within their own companies, in a much more controlled, safe environment. Now Zappos is going even further and opening up their Internal Hackathon to the public. December 12th through the 16th of 2011 they are holding the Zappos API Hackathon Hack-a-long, which in the past, has been an event open only to Zappos employees, but this year, they want the public to hack alongside of Zappos employees...

"The Mainstream New York Times Audience is Ready for APIs"

29 November 2011
There was a post a couple weeks back in the New York Times Bits Blog called, "TaskRabbit Looks to Expand Cities and Offer an A.P.I." Its a pretty straightforward post about the San Francisco based start-up, that gets you in touch with friendly, reliable people who can help you get just about anything you need done. At first glance, it is a pretty standard post. However I feel there are two things very notable about this post and more specifically, it’s title: TaskRabbit Looks to Expand Cities and Offer an A.P.I. One, the launching of an API is tied directly to the startups expansion into other cities. Those of us in the know, understand the important role an API plays in scaling your company, but explaining this to mainstream audiences is so important...

Are API Service Providers Relevant?

28 November 2011
"Are API service providers relevant? Will they remain relevant?" Thats the question asked by Ben Kepes at this years Defrag Conference, while moderating a panel with Apigee's Sam Ramji and Mashery's Neil Mansilla. It was a bold question to ask, perhaps, in front of an audience comprised of people from 3Scale, Apigee, Mashery and Alcatel Lucent -- all API service providers. And Sam's response was to dismiss Ben's question was “stupid”, steering the conversation elsewhere. Sam seemed to interpret Ben’s question as an affront -- not just to Apigee but arguably to all the API providers in the room. But in light of Sam's own arguments about the importance of thinking about apps as intermediaries, I thought Ben's question was particularly interesting...

"Twitter Advertising Will Push the Boundaries of Online Advertising"

28 November 2011
There was a post in the Atlantic about Twitter’s advertising network called, No One's Noticing Twitter's New Ad Experiment, Which Is a Good Thing. Twitter is dropping what they call “promoted tweets” into users timelines. Adam Clark Estes of the Atlantic states: Despite months of hemming and hawing over the danger of polluting the sacred Twitter feed, the few people that have taken notice seem reasonably pleased by the hands-off approach. A user, also cited in the article, Ellis Hamburger at Business Insider thinks the approach is awesome: I realized that Promoted Tweets really aren't that much different from TV commercials—brief interruptions from your content...

"Can Swagger Deliver a RESTful API Discovery Service?"

09 November 2011
Swagger is now Open API Definition Format (OADF) -- READ MORE There is a lot of discussion around the growth of APIs, and what the future will look like. How will we discover and make sense of the number of available APIs, and quickly get to work integrating with the APIs that bring the most value to our apps and businesses. One technology that comes up in every conversation I’ve had is Swagger. What is Swagger? Swagger is a specification and complete framework implementation for describing, producing, consuming, and visualizing RESTful web services. The goal of Swagger is to enable client and documentation systems to update at the same pace as the server...

"Google Launches OAuth 2.0 Playground"

08 November 2011
Last March Google started support OAuth 2.0 for all of their APIs, and has been pushing all developers to switch to using OAuth 2.0 in all applications. Today they announced the OAuth 2.0 Playground which allows developers to experiment with APIs using the OAuth 2.0 protocol, and understand how the protocol functions and will make your life easier. The OAuth 2.0 Playground enables developers to walk through each step of the OAuth 2.0 flow for server-side web applications: Authorizing API scopes Exchanging authorization tokens Refreshing access tokens Sending authorized requests to API endpoints At each step, the Playground displays the full HTTP requests and responses for each API...

Zypr API Provides Siri-Like Voice Tasking for Any Developer

07 November 2011
Pioneer Corporation just announced the availability of Zypr™, a new voice-powered API that provides a conversational, voice-control command API allowing developers to integrate Siri like functionality into their own applications. The Zypr API provides a single RESTful API for developers to access voice UI, maps and routing, local search, social networking, music and radio, contacts, calendars and weather from multiple service providers, including: Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yelp, AccuWeather, INRIX real-time and predictive traffic information, Slacker Radio, Tuner2 Radio, Wcities, xAd and VoiceBox. I’ve covered unified and aggregate APIs in the past, where within maturing industries like social and cloud computing, service providers are stepping up with a single API to work with multiple providers...

New Enterprise API Management Solution Called Atmos.phe.re

07 November 2011
I first reported on service oriented architecture (SOA) pioneer SOA Software’s entry into the API management arena back in June, today at the Cloud Computing Expo in Santa Clara, CA they are announcing the beta release of their enterprise API management solution called Atmos.phe.re. SOA has taken their enterprise API management solution, and bundled it with many of the features we are growing accustomed to within open API ecosystems, and deployed as a new solution with a focus on community. The new platform intends to bring together API owners and application developers into a community, providing a central place where an ecosystem can grow around each of your APIs, whether its a private or public initiative...

Can API Platforms Ensure Access to Federally Funded Research?

07 November 2011
I came across this on the White House blog today, “Request for Information on Public Access to Digital Data and Scientific Publications”. The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, signed by President Obama earlier this year, calls upon OSTP to coordinate with agencies to develop policies that assure widespread public access to and long-term stewardship of the results of federally funded unclassified research. Towards that goal, OSTP last week released two Requests for Information (RFI) soliciting public input on long term preservation of and public access to the results of federally funded research, including digital data and peer-reviewed scholarly publications. The White House is now seeking additional insight from "non-Federal stakeholders, including the public, universities, nonprofit and for-profit publishers, libraries, federally funded and non-federally funded research scientists, and other organizations and institutions with an interest in long- term stewardship and improved public access to the results of federally funded research"...

An API Driven Government Regulatory Framework

03 November 2011
I wrote a piece yesterday on the FCC Open Commission recent proposal to require that television stations make their “public inspection file” available online called, “Opening Up Information is Not Enough, Its Needs to be Accessible”. Since writing I’ve been thinking about how APIs can become a self-service tool in government regulation. Here are my rough thoughts on the subject, completely un-polished. When a government agency mandates that an industry provide some information, along with that request should come with a mandate on a standard for the data format and making it accessible via an API.  Of course this could come with some sort of security layer, so not everything is immediately open, but the more open the better...

"Verizon API Delivers Faster Internet for Those Who Pay"

02 November 2011
According to PCMag.com, Verizon will publish an API that could allow consumers to "turbocharge" the network bandwidth on their smartphone, for a small fee. Developers could give users the option to pay for the extra bandwidth using a separate micro-transaction API, that Verizon Wireless is developing and hopes to have in place by the end of 2012. I understand that wireless networks are often congested. But isn’t allowing someone to pay money and circumvent that congestion, creating two separate Internets? A faster one for those that can afford it and a slower one for those that cannot? Would certain companies be able to offer users “turbocharge credits” when using their apps? So the Internet was faster, only when using the apps that could afford to buy its users attention...

"Opening Up Information is Not Enough, Its Needs to be Accessible"

02 November 2011
The FCC Open Commission recently proposed to require that television stations make their “public inspection file” available online. The public inspection file is a traditional hallmark of broadcast regulation--a collection of documents that all radio and television stations must maintain and make publicly accessible. But as the Technology Liberation Front points out, “availability is not accessibility”, stating: "If the FCC follows its usual practice of having filers submit PDFs (many of which are often scanned from printed documents), this data may be nearly useless to the small number of researchers who would really benefit from having a large set of public inspection files available online...

"Open and Freemium API Access and Rate Limits"

02 November 2011
I’m spending some time getting to know the Topsy Labs API today. Topsy Labs offers access to its proprietary metrics, social content, and influence data via a RESTful API. As I was reviewing, their API access and rates limit page caught my eye. Here is their intro paragraph: We provide limited, free API access so that you can quickly and easily test the service and confirm the value it will provide to your business. We have three different tiers to match your implementation. What is interesting, is they not only provide a freemium level they have one better, a free and open tier, provider two introductory API access levels: No API Key - 3,000 queries/day – API calls that do not carry an API key will be limited to 3,000 queries/day...

"Tru.ly Launches Age Verification API"

02 November 2011
Tru.ly just launched an age verification API that authenticates the age of an online user based by cross-referencing user-submitted personal information with data points from Tru.ly verification partners. Verification is done by matching user-submitted information with that in a national database of government and public data. In order to become verified, specific pieces of information must match. Tru.ly also uses a proprietary technology to flag users who may be trying to game the system. Using Tru.ly, websites with restricted content such as movies, alcohol and video games can programmatically verify its user’s ages, going beyond using just asking for a birth date...

"Researching 166 APIs for My Development Team"

01 November 2011
I try to pay attention to how APIs are transforming as many industries as I can. I usually carve out at least an hour each day, to evalute a specific industry, the APIs in it, trying to understand what each API delivers and how the industry works, while also identifying where the opportunities lie. Right now I am looking at two areas or industries of APIs: Cloud Storage APIs Image and Photo APIs Even though I want to be familiar with both these areas, and will write stories on everything I find, my primary goal is to provide the Mimeo development team with as much information, about the best document and photo storage APIs available for integrating into our systems...

"Twilio Rolling Out Twilio Voice API Into Europe"

26 October 2011
Twilio just made their first move into Europe by offering Twilio Voice service in the United Kingdom. The Twilio Voice API is now available in the UK, allowing developers to launch local phone numbers in the country.  Along with the release Twilio has announced the opening of their first international office based in East London. The UK launch is the first to go live of five countries currently in Beta including France, Poland, Austria, Denmark and Portugal with several more countries on the way. Twilio's APIs have proven a favorite of developers, and fast becoming an essential cloud computing service for applications. The move into Europe will only grow their developer base and the number of applications using the cloud telephony API...

Mashery Now Runs On-Premise or in the Cloud

26 October 2011
Last week Mashery rolled out a new on-premise version of their API management proxy.  A solution meant to address a common concern of IT and API owners, that when using Mashery, all of their data and resources run through the Mashery proxy in the cloud.  This concern can be a show stopper for many companies. Until this last week, Mashery had four API management solutions that all ran in the cloud. Now Mashery has separated the proxy portion of their traffic manager into two offerings, one for the cloud and one for on-premise. Mashery has bundled the new Mashery Cloud and Mashery Local with their existing API Traffic, API Analytics & Reporting and API Portal and are calling it, the Mashery API control center...

A Walk Through Data.gov with Some Thoughts on Whats Next

25 October 2011
Data.gov for me is like being a kid in a candy store. My experience with data goes back to High School when I got my first programming job right out of Mr. Smiths computer class. I built Cobol database for use by school districts in the State of Oregon, jump-starting my career as a programmer. Ever since I’ve had an obsession with data, and specifically with government data, and trying to make sense of how our government operates. I have been playing with various data-sets at Data.gov since they launched, but today I finally spent some time evaluating their approach to delivering the Data.gov ecosystem. It is a pretty robust approach to opening up our government, agency by agency...

"How Do I Convince My Managers of the Importance of Having Internal APIs?"

25 October 2011
One of the ways I develop content for this site is by talking through my day to day experiences as an API Evangelist. I feel that talking through what I’m learning in real-time, is the best way to make it stick, while also sharing with the public. There is a lot of value that comes out of my daily learning, and it would be wrong to not share this. I had someone approach me on LinkedIn today and ask: I'm trying to convince my colleagues and managers on the importance of having internal API, not just as a prologue to public API, but also as a way to have cleaner, better-understood interfaces internally for our developers. Do you have any thoughts or tips on the subject? Internal evangelism is a big part of my role, and I know its something that other API advocates face as they are trying to sell the concept of APIs to decision makers within their company...

The API Service Provider I Missed, Vordel

25 October 2011
I have done a lot of research lately on the API service provider landscape. My goal is to understand who provides API delivery and management services, what they offer and help API owners understand the differences. I wrote a roundup of 11 of the API service providers on ProgrammableWeb last week. I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of all the providers, but of course a new one came out of the woodwork. It wasn't a new API service provider like Mashape or Apiary.io, it is a veteran player in the space, Vordel. Vordel has been around for almost 10 years and I would consider them part of the old guard of service oriented architecture (SOA) and web services providers, that existed before web APIs were cool...

Incentivize Your API Developers to Contribute with Lower Pricing

24 October 2011
As the number of APIs grow, the number of ways in which API owners control and incentivize their developers ecosystems evolves. APIs are your business development 2.0 platform, and it is up to you to tailor your services to incentivize your developers as well as control API usage to meet your business goals. One emerging way to control API consumption to meet your business goals is through a balance between pricing and terms of service (TOS). By offering branding opportunities to developers that they can deploy alongside the content and resources they consume via your API, you can easily turn your developer community into an extension of your marketing department. Price breaks can be offered to developers who extend your brand, encouraging them to build a business around your API content and resources as long as it adds value to your brand...

"Bringing Awareness to Data.Gov with Grassroots Evangelism"

24 October 2011
I just finished a four week roadshow that included three Startup Weekend EDU events -- one in Seattle, one in San Francisco and one in Washington DC -- as well as two versions of the Business of APIs conferences -- one in San Francisco and one in New York City. It might not seem at first glance that these events had much in common. During the Startup Weekends, business people, teachers and developers rallied to build startups that focused on solving problems in education, while the Business of APIs conferences showcased businesses telling their stories about how opening up data and APIs have transformed them and made them more competitive within their respective industries...

"Open Access to Your Drupal Site with a Content API"

22 October 2011
Last spring when I started writing for ProgrammableWeb, my first post was "Everything Should Be an API," Says FCC. The story was about the new FCC web site, that was built entirely on top of RESTful APIs using the Drupal platform. Since that post, I met the company behind the FCC website redesign, Seabourne Inc., which builds some pretty innovative solutions using Drupal, employing APIs in everything they do. As part of the FCC.gov website project, Seabourne Inc. built a module for Drupal that leverages the platform for content publishing, powered by APIs. I spoke with Mike Reich, the CEO of Seabourne Inc. about APIs, he is as passionate about APIs as I am, but has identified the best place to start when it comes to opening up the government, is with content APIs instead of just focusing on data APIs...

"Self-Service and Freemium Are Important to the Success of APIs"

20 October 2011
At a recent presentation at the Business of API conference in San Francisco, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson argued that two of the ways APIs can be successful in courting new developers are by being self-service and by having a "freemium" option. Both of these features empower developers to start using an API right away, without entering a credit card, talking to customer service, sales or having to wait for budget approval. They can just sign-up, get a key and start hacking! This shouldn't just be a model for APIs targeting the public developers; it can work with the enterprise as well. This model would allow enterprise developers to get up and running using an API quickly, building their own working prototypes, and in turn, using this prototype to make a case for why a company should use an API -- all without talking to their boss or getting approval...

"Business of APIs Conference in New York"

18 October 2011
I am getting ready for the Mashery, Business of APIs Conference in New York tomorrow. BAPI is in its 5th year of bringing together the big players in the API space, to talk about their companies API strategies, and their efforts to reinvent their businesses using APIs. The Business of APIs San Francisco two weeks ago was a very rewarding experience, you can checkout my wrap-up of the event for more details. There are 18 speakers at the New York event: Andrew Nicklin - Director Enterprise Architecture at New York City Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications Matt Thomson - VP of Platform at Klout Brian Fife - Director of Technology Alliances at Rovi Corporation Arjun Moorthy - VP of Business Development at Hubspot Kence Anderson - Director of Ad Products at Flite Frank Denbow - Founder at Startup Threads, Songsicle Jesse Emery - Co-founder at YourTrove  Andrew Mager - Developer Community Manager at Spotify Reeve Thompson - Co-CEO at Cabana Jean-Luc David - Senior Product Manager at YellowAPI Erik Bursch - Director Operations and Content Systems at USA Today John Donovan - Founder at Daylife Ryan Bloom - Senior Director Engineering at Lulu...

"Considerations When Planning Endpoints for your RESTful API"

18 October 2011
Someone asked me recently for some advice regarding what they should consider when constructing the URL and endpoints for their RESTful API.  I thought I’d share the advice I passed along. I don't intend this to be a comprehensive guide to building URLs for a true REST API, just some things to consider for the newbie API product manager who may not have a hardcore REST developer on their team. When planning your endpoints for a RESTful API, there are 3 things I tell people to consider: Domain - Put your API at a separate domain or sub-domain than your website.  It will make it easier to migrate and scale, and your IT team will thank you.  For example:  https://api...

"New Data API Around NASA Data Sets"

14 October 2011
NASA just launched a new Data API around its online archive of NASA data sets, that they launched back in August. The data.nasa.gov API provides a RESTful interface, with responses in JSON for the NASA data archives. The new NASA Data API is part of the ongoing NASA Open Government Plan, providing access to data sets in a variety of categories including aeronautics, climate, earth science, engineering, institutional, life sciences, operations and space sciences. There is a wealth of data available at data.nasa.gov. The APIs make it easier to access this data, but they are just data APIs. There is a huge opportunity for someone to abstract more meaningful, focused APIs delivering just photos of the moon, weather or climate change related data...

"USA Today Announces Commercial Terms of Use for Its API"

14 October 2011
USA Today has announced that they now support the commercial access of articles, reviews and census data through their content APIs. Any developer can request a key, and start making calls for free, with initial calls being restricted at a default rate. But as applications prove successful they are now willing to increase usage caps on a case-by-case basis. USA Today doesn’t describe what its commercial pricing will be, but they state in their terms and conditions: If USAT decides to charge a fee for use of or access to the USAT APIs, such fees will be disclosed to you prior to USAT charging such fees to you. Every couple of months USA Today rolls out a new API or evolution in their business model, as they get more comfortable with their API...

"Getting Ready for the X.Commerce Innovate Developer Conference in San Francisco"

09 October 2011
I'm getting ready for the X.Commerce Innovate Developer Conference 2011, at Moscone Center in San Francisco this week. X.Commerce is the merging of Paypal, eBay and Magento's developer ecosystems into a single developer community empowering the next generation of merchants who need to operate in the world of global, multi-channel commerce. The APIs that make up X.Commerce are: Paypal - Website Payment Pro, Express Checkout and Adaptive Payments are a a couple of Paypals Payment APIs that X.Commerce developers can take advantage of. eBay - The hardened suite of search, trading and buying APIs from the popular auction platform that was one of the early pioneers in the web API space...

Unlocking Government Data with Socrata

08 October 2011
I was introduced to the API service provider Socrata last week. Socrata has a government data platform that exceeds anything I’ve envisioned. In the past, I have said that every state should have an API. Socrata looks like that platform. Socrata says it best: “Social Data Discovery Solution Promotes Civic Engagement, Improves Decision and Policy Making, and Achieves Government Transparency.” Socrata defines "Social Data Discovery" as a solution for public and private institutions to transform raw data, contained in large departmental databases, and deploy using the latest web and API technologies.  According to Socrata:  “Social Data Discovery promotes civic engagement, enabling an online community of journalists, policy makers, scientists/domain experts, and citizens to visualize data and engage in discussion with one another...

Distributed and Seamless API Management Using 3Scale APIs

08 October 2011
I just added four new API to my API stack series. I’m considering breaking the API Stack series into a separate feed, they kind of clutter the main feed. Anyways, the four new APIs are from 3Scale: Service Management API Account Management API Analytics API Billing API These four APIs offer the essential building blocks to control, manage and monetize the distribution of data, content and services via a web API.  3Scale has had their Service Management API for a while, but recently added the account, analytics and billing services, making a complete set of API management APIs. 3Scale already has two significant differentiors from other API managerment service providers: Proxy-Less - 3Scale is different than the other service providers in that they don't proxy your APIs...

API Stack - API Account Management with 3Scale Account Management API

08 October 2011

API Stack - API Billing with 3Scale Billing API

08 October 2011

"API Stack - API Analytics with 3Scale Analytics API "

08 October 2011

Factual Launches App Gallery to Showcase Data Apps

08 October 2011
Factual has launch a new application gallery to showcase the diverse number of applications built using data provided by Factual. You can search for apps, browse by category, and filter by open source, paid or free apps.  Looks like there are about 18 apps in the directory currently ranging from augmented reality to daily deals. The Factual App Gallery isn’t a particularly unique launch, we are seeing app showcases popup within many APIs, but it shows that Factual is gaining steam, and I think it shows the appetite for building apps around datasets is growing.

API Stack - API Service Management with 3Scale Service Management API

08 October 2011
3scale provides scalable API Infrastructure as a Service to control, manage and monetize the distribution of data, content or services for devices, mobile and web applications. The 3Scale Service Management API allows you to authorize access to your API, monitor calls and report traffic seamlessly in your applications. The 3Scale Service Management API provides a RESTful API, using a key for authentication, and responses in an XML format. 3Scale provides a freemium account with 50K calls per day, and other packages for higher volume calls. The 3Scale Service Management API for API service management is a perfect tool for the API Stack.

"Learning Management Systems (LMS) Integration with Instructure Canvas API"

08 October 2011
I had a great response to my Learning Management System (LMS) APIs round-up last week after Startup Weekend Seattle EDU. After posting I quickly updated with another LMS suggestion I got for Sakai. Then a couple days ago the PR director for Instructure introduced me to their LMS platform, Canvas. Canvas is a open-source LMS created by Instructure and released under the AGPLv3 license. Instructure also provides a cloud version, with all the features of the open source version of Canvas, but comes with hosting, mobile apps, services integration, and automated provisioning. The Canvas LMS includes a REST API, using OAuth for authentication, enforces SSL, with all API responses in JSON...

The Business of Klout's API

07 October 2011
I attended Mashery's Business of APIs Conference in San Francisco last week. There were a lot of great API presentations, but I thought one really told a great story in-line with the focus of the event, which is the Business of APIs. Tyler Singletary(@harmophone), Developer Evangelist at Klout, told a story around how they are continuing to grow, control and monetize Klout, while also ensuring Klout continues to have meaning and deliver value. Klout's value lies in brand awareness, integrity and the meaning, usefulness and value of the Klout Score to consumers and businesses. To continue offering value and maintaing the integrity of the brand, they are creating a dynamic way to manage their API community, incentivize postive usage of the API, while controlling negative usage...

Easy API Development with apiary.io

07 October 2011
I'm spending a lot of time lately evaluating the various API management service providers like 3Scale, Apigee, Mashery,and Mashape. One thing that I have to explain a lot to people about these API management services…is they are API management services. Not API deployment services. The only one provider that has a solution to deploy your API is Mashape, but now there is a new provider gearing up, called Apiary.io. Apiary.io wants to make developing and implementing APIs a quicker process. Apiary.io site says they will also help you describe, test, manage and share your API with developers. I feel that API deployment services is a huge opportunity in this space, its good to see a provider step up that will help API owners deploy their APIs, as well as manage them...

Internal API Evangelism - Demo Fridays

07 October 2011
At Mimeo we have demo Fridays where anyone can demo what they’re working on. For demo Fridays I tend to build prototypes showing different ways to integrate with the Mimeo Document Printing APIs. As my schedule has gotten busier this fall, with more developer support, and attending hackathons and conferences, I don’t always have time to polish a prototype for Friday demos. So this Fridays demo I started showcasing some of the ideas I’m brainstorming with other developers, and the potential ways they might use our APIs. Here are the four I demoed today: Cabana - Very sexy, GUI mobile application development environment I saw demo at BAPI. I want to understand more about how they will integrate APIs into the mobile building environment...

"Business of APIs Conference in San Francisco - Wrapup"

06 October 2011
I finished up the Mashery, Business of APIs Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.  After a days rest and reflection on the event I wanted to capture my thoughts on BAPI - SF.   The turnout was impressive.  I got to see a lot of familiar faces, was introduced to some new APIs and met a few new folks looking to transform their businesses using APIs.   On the 16 presentations I saw, here are some of my thoughts: Daniel Jacobson - I have seen Daniel talk several times, so I'm familiar with his talk, but he adds new slides each time.  Always love seeing how they are solving internal and partner needs with their APIs, as well helping them achieve world domination using APIs and the Amazon cloud...

Ryan Sarver at the Mashery Business of APIs Conference

06 October 2011
A video of the fireside chat with Twitter Director of Platform Ryan Sarver at the Mashery Business of APIs conference in San Francisco this month. Some interesting insight into Twitters approach to managing their API and its 750K developers, 1.1 M registered apps and 15 Billion API requests per day.  

"Business of APIs Conference in San Francisco"

03 October 2011
I am getting ready for the Mashery, Business of APIs Conference in San Francisco tomorrow. BAPI is in its 5th year of bringing together the big players in the API space, to talk about their companies API strategies, and their efforts to reinvent their businesses using APIs. There are 16 speakers this year: Victoria Barret - Associate Editor at Forbes Daniel Jacobson - Director of Engineering at Netflix Adam Trachtenberg - Director of Developer Network at LinkedIn Steve Citron-Poust - Technology Evangelist at deCarta John Musser - Founder at Programmable Web Anne Driscoll - VP Business Operations at Nin Neel Ketkar - Senior Director Product Management at Cloud Services Platform Rovi Corp Tyler Singletary - Developer Evangelist at Klout Marie Alexander - President and CEO at Quova Ben Metcalfe - Founder & Lead Consultant at Swordfish Corp Abraham Williams - Unicorn Herder at InboxQ Seth Blank - Founder and CEO at YourTrove Dave Carroll - Director of Developer Evangelism at salesforce...

What Does It Mean To Be A Google Developer?

02 October 2011
With over 100 APIs, and an army of developer advocates, Google is one of the top API ecosystems in the world, alongside Twitter and Facebook. Google is stepping back and rethinking how they interact and support their developer community and are looking for feedback from the developer community. They want to know what inspires you as a developer, what does being a Google developer mean to you, and how Google can make your experience as a developer better. Facebook has made a tremendous effort to better engage their developer community with Operation Facebook Love, and its really good to see Google make a similar attempt. We’ll see what comes from it, to voice your opinion, you can submit a video or write to Google...

"Learning Management System (LMS) APIs"

02 October 2011
At Mimeo I get approached by a lot of customers who use various learning management systems, and ask if they can print training and classroom materials from their LMS. I ask them the name of their LMS system, then set out to research what is possible. I've researched almost 30 LMS systems so far (according to my notes), and I've come across 3 that have APIs. I'm in talks with a fourth, Schoology, that has an API as a premium feature, but information is limited and they are super busy with the new school year. Here are the three LMS platforms that I've come across that have APIs: BrainHoney – A learning management system providing course authoring, learning objective management, and gradebook management Haiku Learning System – Learning management system providing website design and development, listserve hosting, assignment dropboxes, and more for teachers to take classrooms online Litmos – Litmos is a SCORM-certified, learning management system, that enables developers to connect their applications to the Litmos training engine, providing deeper integration of training data generated in Litmos with any other systems I find it pretty disturbing that only 3% of the learning management systems have APIs...

API Evangelism is Equal Parts Internal, Partner and Public Outreach

29 September 2011
Historically APIs are deployed to provide data and resources to business partners. However, in the last 5 years we have seen a shift in focus to also delivering more open, publicly focused APIs, based upon the success of popular services like Google Maps, Twitter and Twilio. In the last year, many companies are also seeing the benefits of deploying and consuming APIs internally, in addition to partner driven, and open public APIs. 3Scale, Apigee and Mashery all advocate for evaluating the deployment of APIs for internal and partner consumption as well as carefully weighing the value of a public facing API ecosystem. As an API evangelist I aslo have found the need for equal distribution of resources when it comes to evangelizing the benefits of APIs as well...

Advertising Network Dedicated to APIs and Developers

28 September 2011
One of the things I do here at API Evangelist is review APIs for their owners and provide suggestions for how they can improve the technology, ecosystem and better monetize their API. When it comes to monetization many of the API owners seem to have a good grasp of how they are covering the base costs of operating their API, but are looking for ways to expand their revenue, and actually make their API profit engine. Just like with web and mobile applications the first way people think about monetizing their API is using advertising. Though I don’t always agree with employing advertising as part of an API ecosystem, it makes sense that many owners are considering it. Advertising has been a primary revenue generator for web sites and applications, and has become a staple for mobile applications, using mobile advertising platforms like AdMob...

Identify Influencers with the Klout API

28 September 2011
Klout just updated their API area. The Klout API was originally released in 2009, but the new API area has several improvements including faster response times for the API, better documentation and improved terms of service. Using the Klout API developers can pull someones Klout Score, which is the measurement of their overall online influence using social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. It provides a way of essentially high-grading users on your network, and rewarding or engaging users differently based upon their overall network influence. I categorize the Klout API as a “partner API”, meaning that can add value to just about any existing API community and application...

"Tiny Speck is Changing How Games Are Built Using APIs"

27 September 2011
Audrey introduced me to a very cool gaming company the other day called Tiny Speck. The company, the latest project of Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, has released its first game to the public today: Glitch. Glitch is a web-based massively-multiplayer game. The game allows you to choose how to grow and shape the world: building and developing, learning new skills, collaborating or competing with everyone else in one enormous, ever-changing, persistent world. Glitch is a visually stunning game environment, delivered using a flash client (although the startup does state other clients will be available someday). There's a lot that's familiar about the game, particularly to fans of MMOs and social games -- Glitch is a combination of the two, arguably...

"A Single Provider for High Quality Transit Data and APIs"

26 September 2011
I wrote about the need for more Transit APIs a couple weeks ago, and the opportunity for some company or organization to step up and coordinate transit APIs on a global, country, regional and local level. Also the opporunity for developers to provide local resources for building applications, "acquiring" of local data, understanding local constraints, and be the overall contact for a specific locale. To me, there appears to be a hunger for transit data, and there is a major gap in how this "public data" is being made available for developers to build websites, web and mobiles apps, that businesses and commuters can use. The opportunity is so big, that tech savvy commuters are stepping up, scraping data, and building transit APIs and applications themselves...

Twilio Connect is NOT OAuth for API Billing

25 September 2011
During TwilioCon last week I covered the release of Twilio Connect in two posts, starting with, "Twilio Introduces Twilio Connect, Its New In-App Billing Model" on ProgrammableWeb, and on API Evangelist with, "Twilio Connect is OAuth for API Billing". Twilio Connect is a new billing solution that enables developers to offload charges for Twilio API usage to their application users, rather than their own Twilio accounts, and billing customers separately. Twilio Connect is modeled after OAuth in that it uses a “two-legged” process for application users to setup and authenticate a payment relationship with Twilio, that a developer can leverage within their app using a token. I mentioned lightly in my post on API Evangelist: “OAuth 2...

"Making APIs Accessible to Regular Users with Widgets"

25 September 2011
I was reviewing the Recovery API yesterday, which gives you a RESTful API for exploring where all the money went as part of our governments Recovery Act. I have a sort of obsession with this kind of government data, and began playing with, and tracking on where the stimulus money went in my home state of Oregon. I started hacking on the API by manipulating the query string variables to get different types of responses on how stimulus money was spent by city, county and project types like roads, education and the environment. Since I’m a developer I’m very comfortable with hacking on the URL query string like this, but I noticed they also had a tool they called the, “Advanced Recipient Data Search Widget”...

Sorry SalesForce.com, but Database.com is not Open

25 September 2011
I’m working on reviewing various APIs as part of my database industry overview, where I’m trying to understand the different approaches to delivering database platforms using web APIs as the primary interface. One of these database platforms is Database.com. I really like what SalesForce.com is doing with Database.com, but I take issue with their section declaring Database.com as an open platform. SalesForce.com claims because you can access Database.com from any language, any platform, and any device through standards-based APIs, it is "open". I think many folks in the enterprise space truly believe this makes something open. All it means is, if you have the money and approved credentials, you can access...

Google Introduces a Google+ Hangout API

20 September 2011
Not even a week after Google rolled out the long awaited Google+ API, they launched the Google+ Hangouts API, enabling developers to build collaborative apps that run inside of a Google+ Hangout The Google+ Hangout API will provide developers with the ability to manipulate the UI, interact with hangout participants and respond to the different events that occur within a hangout.  The functionality is reminiscent of the way Google Wave gadgets and robots could interact with a wave and its participants.  I wonder if we are seeing some of the Google Wave code being recycled? To use Google+ you have to register your application with Google, and specify any other Google+ users on your team that will be able to load the application into their hangout...

"Twilio Connect is OAuth for API Billing"

20 September 2011
Twilio just announced a new API billing solution called Twilio Connect.  The new billing solution enables developers to offload charges for Twilio API usage to their application users, rather than their own Twilio accounts, and billing customers separately. Twilio Connect is modeled after OAuth in that it uses a “two-legged” process for application users to setup and authenticate a payment relationship with Twilio, that a developer can leverage within their app using a token. To start, developers put a Twilio Connect button in their application.  Application users then click the button and are taken to a secure Twilio page that allows them to setup a new Twilio account, requiring only the minimal needed information:  name, billing info, and email...

What to Include in API Reference Documentation

20 September 2011
This post comes from the SDK Bridge newsletter.  I find so much value from what Peter and Jonathan do over at SDK Bridge, I asked them if I could repost their newsletter here and share with all of you.

Providing Code Libraries is Not Enough for Your API

17 September 2011
Code libraries have been a staple of open API communities for quite a few years now.  API owners provide developers with working samples of code in a variety of programming languages, to get started working with an API.  Sample code helps developer get up and running quicker, and increases the chances a developer will actually adopt an API. I was reviewing how Google approached the release of the Google+ API this week, and noticed their download section not only contained the usual code libraries, but also contain whats called "starter projects".  These starter projects provide a complete framework with everything you need to get start with OAuth, and to start building an application on top of the Google+ API...

Google API a Technology Review

16 September 2011
I was happy to see Google launch an API for Google + this week.  I’m not chomping at the bit to build anything social on it, but I’m glad they made it public.  I wanted to take some time to review the API from a technology standpoint, and look at what possibilities it opens up for developers. The Google + API provides a RESTful interface for the newly launched Google social network, Google +,  and provides access to profile data and activity streams.  The API uses OAuth for authentication and JSON for its request and response formats. That’s it.  Pretty underwhelming from a developers perspective.  I’ll be able to make some badges or widgets, maybe stream my activities in the sidebar of my Wordpress blog...

Can You Build an API Using Scraped Data?

14 September 2011
I’ve come across several APIs lately that rely on getting their data from web scraping.  These API owners have written scripts that spider page(s) on a regular schedule, pull content, parse it and clean it up for storage in a database. Once they’ve scraped or harvested this data from the web page source, they then get to work transforming and normalizing for access via a RESTful API.   With an API they can now offer a standard interface that reliably pulls data from a database and delivers it in XML or JSON to any developer.   These API owners are still at the mercy of the website source that is being scraped.  What if the website changes something?   This is definitely a real problem, and scraping is not the most reliable data source...

"API Automation for the Masses with If This Then That"

13 September 2011
I believe that REST and JSON are breaking up the web, into smaller more understandable, re-usable, mashable pieces that potentially anyone can use, even non-developers. I have written several posts on how tools like API explorers and standards like oEmbed are making APIs accessible by non-developers.  And I’m always on the look out for new ideas, for new ways to arm the masses with tools that take advantage of APIs. Evolving on a piece I wrote a couple a months ago about a Widget Builder Environment for APIs, I was envisioning taking Yahoo Pipes to the next level, add in better API support with OAuth, and make it much more simpler to use.  I did not get much time to think about it before Audrey introduced me to if this then that (ifttt)...

"Unified Data APIs for Geo, Weather and Beyond"

13 September 2011
Last week I covered Centralized Geo Data with New InfoChimps API, and talked about how I felt it was a Look at the Future of Data.  After writing I started thinking about other data that is ready for the same type of treatment that InfoChimps is giving geo data. I was reading Audrey’s post today on O’Reilly today called, A new look for weather data, where she talks with WeatherSpark co-founder Jacob Norda about his company's approach to weather data and visualizations. Norda talks about where the problems with traditional weather information are, how WeatherSpark gets its data, and how weather data can be improved overall. It seems weather data suffers from all the same problems as geo data, such as multiple sources, varying schemas, huge datasets that are not easy linked with other sets of data...

"Printing and Publishing APIs"

13 September 2011
As the API Evangelist for Mimeo, I spend a lot of time looking for other print related APIs. I spent some time today to update my list, and here what I found: Enthusem API - Provides card printing services. Google Cloud Print - Enables printing to any cloud-connected printer. Lulu Publishing API - Provides book publishing services. Mimeo Connect Cloud Print API - Provides printing of common business documents like bound, single sheet, poster, cards, binders and booklets. Mimeo Card Printing API - Provides card printing services...

"OneBusAway as a Model for Other Transit APIs"

12 September 2011
The response to Sundays post about the Need for More Transit APIs was impressive.  I receive quite a few emails and tweets about other APIs, and it started a good discussion on Hacker News. Adding more targets for my public transit API research. While doing my research, I just finished looking at OneBusAway, a provider of real-time transit information for the Puget Sound region.  The API was started by University of Washington students to support research on improving the usability of public transportation. At first look, OneBusAway seems like the start of a great model for other city and regional transit API initiatives to follow.  First they start with a RESTful API providing data about transit agencies, routes, arrivals, stops and tripping planning, using an application key for authentication and all the documentation and tools you need to successfully integrate with the API...

"Weather Underground Launches New API Platform at TechCrunch Disrupt"

12 September 2011
At TechCrunch DISRUPT, this week in San Francisco, the Weather Underground launched a new Weather API platform that provides developers with real-time access to in-depth weather data. The Weather Underground Weather API provides access to data from more than 19,000 users contributing local observations from personal weather stations, providing up-to-the-minute weather conditions for the most finely targeted areas. The Weather API is RESTful with responses available in a JSON format, with access free for developers making 500 requests per day, and paid tiers for requests starting at 5K requests per month up to 1M requests per month. "Weather Underground already distributes its weather data to many of the world’s leading media companies, weather applications and smaller web properties," said Alan Steremberg, President and co-Founder of Weather Underground...

"API Stack - Document Merging with Drawloop API"

12 September 2011
DrawLoop provides a SOAP and REST API for merging data together into a single documents, using a User ID and Password combination for authentication. Using the DrawLoop LOOP API, developers can merge data from multiple links and other documents into a single PDF or other format, before sending, storing or printing. Pricing for API access is available upon request, but they offer a FREE trial for new developers. The Drawloop LOOP API for document merging is a perfect tool for the API stack.

"API Stack - Document Conversion with Drawloop API"

12 September 2011
DrawLoop provides a SOAP and REST API for conversion of documents in various formats, using a User ID and Password combination for authentication. Using the DrawLoop LOOP API, developers can convert documents in the following formats: Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, Adobe PDF, XML, Microsoft Visio, JPEG, PNG, BMP, URLs.  Pricing for API access is available upon request, but they offer a FREE trial for new developers. The Drawloop LOOP API for document conversion is a perfect tool for the API stack.

"Mashery Business of APIs Conference 2011"

12 September 2011
Mashery has announced the 2011 Business of APIs event series in October.  The Business of APIs Conference discusses winning strategies for API businesses, how to grow a successful developer program, and what the future holds for the business of APIs. There are events in three cities October 4th, 2011 - Mashery Business of APIs / San Francisco October 19th, 2011 - Mashery Business of APIs / New York City October 25th, 2011: - Mashery Business of APIs / London You can can register for the events by visiting apiconference.com.  Early bird pricing is $199 and ends September 15th, with regular price at $295.00

"The Need for More Transit APIs"

11 September 2011
I’m working on some more stories around municipal data APIs, based upon two stories I found recently, where developers took it upon themselves to scrape data, launch APIs, and build mobile tools around local municipal transit data: Madison Transit API - Greg Tracy of Madison, WI has a great story on his journey to build a simple SMS app and ended building an entire API.  Greg wanted an SMS app that could deliver real-time arrival estimates, to meet his needs as a commuter.  After much pain scraping the Madison Transit site for data, he felt he should prevent others from having to do the same, and published an API around his data.  But Greg also wanted to find a way to contribute to the larger mission of opening up a public dataset to make it more accessible, opening up opportunities for his communities to operate more efficiently...

Beyond the Social Experiment Jonathans Card is the New Gift Card Economy

10 September 2011
I followed the Jonthan’s Card Socal Experiment closely. The whole time I had an entry on my to do list, to write a story about it. I never successfully found an angle I could get behind, then Audrey said, “Why don’t you just write about he tech behind it?”. Great idea! Jonathan’s Card is interesting as a social or marketing experiment, but I am more interested in the technology that was used to make it happen, not just the social experiment. It all starts with an image of Jonathan’s Starbucks Card. But it took the mobility of the smart phone to be able to display the image of his sard and purchase a coffee at your local Starbucks. An image and your smart phone are essential technology in this experiment, but none of this would be possible without the Starbucks Card program...

"Other API News I Did Not Get a Chance to Write About"

10 September 2011
Here are a couple news stories from the week that I didn't get a chance to write about. Google APIs Client Library for PHP - Google launches a new set of PHP Client LIbraries that work across multiple Google APIs including Buzz, Books, Latitude, Page Speed, Tasks and URL Shortener. Breaking Down E-Commerce APIs- An amazing breakdown of E-Commerce APIs by Marc Mezzecca,, founder of NextGen Shopping, over at ProgrammableWeb. Madison Transit API Homebrew - A great story about hacking together an API for the Madison Transit, by scraping their website site and abstracting an interface that developers can really use.   Google+ API Not Close …Unless You’re “Trusted”, Then It’s Ready - Techcrunch let us know that their is a Google+ API, and if you happen to be what Google considers a “Trusted Tester”, you could be getting access to the API much sooner...

My ProgrammableWeb Roundup for 9/9/2011

09 September 2011
I made time for three posts on ProgrammableWeb this week. I provided some more coverage of Dreamforce, and their latest mobile platform.  Then I covered the US invasion of Viadeo Social Network, and called out the Government software provider TylerTech about their lack of API support for cities across the country.  Check the blog posts out for yourself: APIs Drive the New Touch.Salesforce.com Platform - Last week at the Dreamforce event in San Francisco, Saleforce.com unveiled its new mobile platform called touch.salesforce.com. Built with HTML5, touch.salesforce.com will allow users to access salesforce.com apps on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. At Dreamforce, Saleforce...

"A Flood of APIs Just Waiting to Happen"

09 September 2011
Someone asked me about APIs dealing with water and utilities a couple weeks ago.  So I dove in to see what I could find related to APIs for city, county and state water management. First I came cross, what sees like a pretty good model for city water services with the Wellington NZ City Water Service Pipes.  The Wellington Water Service API provides programmatic access to water and drainage data to assist in planning works that are in proximity to water and drainage infrastructure. Next the Emery Water Conservancy District in central Utah provides sensor data from weather, canal, reservoir, pond and river monitoring sites via the MetriDyne API.  The MetriDyne API provides immediate access to data from these sites, leading to better and timely information leads to better water management...

Every City, County and State Should Have an API

06 September 2011
Have you ever tried to get data from a government agencies website?  Often, when you find what your looking for, its in a PDF format.  Not really a data friendly format.  If your lucky, you will find a spreadsheet, but usually they are laid out in a report format and not meant for actual data portability.I have a personal obsession for finding, crunching and making sense out of local, state, and federal government data.  I'm willing to do a lot of work to derive meaning about how our government works.  I personally feel its my duty to lend a hand, but while doing so, I often get overwhelmed parsing PDF files and often have to rearrange data by hand, or just give up on my project entirely...

API Marketplace Mashape Raises $1.5M Seed Round

06 September 2011
Mashape, the upcoming, self-service marketplace for APIs, which provides a platform to distribute, consume and manage cloud based APIs, has just closed $1.5M in seed funding. The round was led by NEA, with Index Ventures, Charles River Ventures and Ignition Partners participating, and on the angel side of things, Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, as well as Erik Rannala, Russell Siegelman and Rick Webb jumped in.Mashape is one of the most recent additions to the API management space, providing an end to end solution allowing you to deploy, manage and market your API from within the Mashape platform.    Mashape provides API management tools that can be found with other providers like Mashery, Apigee and 3Scale, but where they stand out is they also provide you with a library to deploy your API, auto-generate the code developers will need to integrate with your API, and a social API marketplace to generate attention and drive adoption around your API...

"API Stack - Card Printing with the Mimeo Connect Card Printing API"

05 September 2011
The Mimeo Connect Card Printing API allows developers to submit PDF files, and order commercially printed cards in different sizes, paper and coatings from within your web and mobile applications. The Card Printing Printing API provides a RESTful interface, using application keys for authentication, with responses in XML or JSON.  There are seven API methods for getting proofs, quotes, shipping options, place order and retrieve print order status. The Mimeo Connect Card Printing API for card printing is a perfect tool for the API stack.

"API Stack - Large Format Printing with the Mimeo Connect Poster Printing API"

05 September 2011
The Mimeo Connect Poster Printing API allows developers to submit high resolution PDF files, and order commercially printed posters with different sizes, paper, lamination and mounting from within your web and mobile applications. The Poster Printing API provides a RESTful interface, using application keys for authentication, with responses in XML or JSON.  There are seven API methods for getting proofs, quotes, shipping options, place order and retrieve poster print order status. The Mimeo Connect Poster Printing API for large format printing is a perfect tool for the API stack.

API Stack - Single Sheet Printing with the Mimeo Connect Flyer & Brochure Printing API

05 September 2011
The Mimeo Connect Flyer & Brochure Printing API allows developers to submit PDF files, and order commercially printed flyers and brochures with different folds, color, paper, coating and hole punch from within your web and mobile applications. The Flyer & Brochure Printing API provides a RESTful interface, using application keys for authentication, with responses in XML or JSON.  There are seven API methods for getting proofs, quotes, shipping options, place order and retrieve print order status. The Mimeo Connect Flyer & Brochure API for large format printing is a perfect tool for the API stack.

Virtualized Document Printing APIs

05 September 2011
Even though I cover the entire industry around APIs here on API Evangelist, I also am the API Evangelist for Mimeo Connect.   Mimeo is a printing API that allows you to print a wide variety of business documents, using your Mimeo.com account.  Its pretty powerful stuff, if you think about it, an API that is connected to 3 print facilities.   The API seems pretty straightforward at first glance, but developers seem to be encountering three major obstacles: Mimeo.com Accounts - Users don’t like having to get a developer account as well as sandbox and live Mimeo.com accounts to work with the API Mimeo Documents - Developers don’t really have time to build and define the documents before integration, they just want to print a specific document, and pass some settings to change it up...

API Evangelist 2.0

05 September 2011
Sorry about the flood of 25 API Evangelist posts.  It was due to the fact I switched to a new blogging system today. I was out growing what I could do with Wordpress, and had too much data and other research I need to link together to show the bigger picture of whats going on with APIs.API Evangelist has always been a hybrid Wordpress blog and custom CMS system system I wrote.  Over the last couple months I rewrote my CMS, and re-lauched with 7 new systems: Blog Industries APIs  Building Blocks Service Providers Tools Events These content systems each have their own database, and are linked together by a central tagging system, and I have established relationships between each of the databases as necessary...

Deploy and Manage a RESTful API with CodeIngiter and 3Scale

05 September 2011
At Mimeo, my API developers were running into problems integrating with our cloud print API, I needed a fast way to virtualize and deploy an API built on top of my existing REST API.  A quick and dirty way I could research and develop new APIs, launch, measure and manage without getting IT involved.  So I virtualized four document APIs using the CodeIgniter open-source PHP web framework, Amazon EC2, 3Scale self-service API management service and Mimeo Connect Cloud Print API.First I launched a copy of the CodeIgniter framework on my existing Amazon EC2 instance, configured mod_rewrite to handle my URLs, and wrote seven API methods dedicated to printing just one type of document, like a poster...

API Stack - Bound Document Printing with the Mimeo Connect Spiral Notebook Printing API

05 September 2011
The Mimeo Connect Spiral Notebook Printing API allows developers to submit PDF files, and order commercially printed spiral notebooks in different sizes, paper and coatings from within your web and mobile applications. The Spiral Notebook PrintingPrinting API provides a RESTful interface, using application keys for authentication, with responses in XML or JSON.  There are seven API methods for getting proofs, quotes, shipping options, place order and retrieve poster print order status. The Mimeo Connect Spiral Notebook Printing API for bound document printing is a perfect tool for the API stack.

"UK National Archives Launches API"

03 September 2011
The National Archives has published a new API, as part of an ongoing program to get more public records online, according to ComputerWeekly.com. The National Archives API provides programmatic access to over 11 million records from the discovery service catalogue, broken down into a seven-level hierarchical structure: Department - Government department, agency or body that creates the records Division - Administrative section of a department Series - The main grouping of records with a common function or subject Sub-series - Smaller groupings of records with a common function or subject Sub sub-series - Smaller groupings of records with a common function or subject Piece - A piece can be a box, volume or file Item - A part of a piece...

How Do You Run Your Developer API Community?

01 September 2011
The guys over at Developer Think Tank are conducting a survey to measure developer program performance. Developer Think Tank wants to create a platform to discuss the way to create and run a successful developer program. So they need all of us API owners, evangelists and advocates to share our knowledge and wisdom about how we conduct business when it comes to our API developer communities. They are offering some gift certificates in exchange for your time, but we should all show our support, and help them identify best practices around developer program managment. You can get more information about the developer program survey on their blog, or head directly to the developer survey form.

Centralized Geo Data with New InfoChimps API

01 September 2011
Infochimps has delivered a new Geo API that brings together geographic data from multiple sources, connects it with a standardized schema, and delivers it to developers through a single API. When pulling geo data from APIs, developer may not always get the most complete data, but they just deal with it, because we don't always have the time to pull data from multiple APIs. InfoChimps does this for developers, making it possible to have the best data from many sources. Once InfoChimps downloads the data from multiple sources, they tie the data together, making relationships and connections between disparate data, using the Infochimps Simple Schema (ICSS). So no matter what the original data source is, there is a consistent, complete and expressive description of a collection of related data its associated assets...

A Look at the Future of Data APIs

01 September 2011
I finally made some time to write up a review of the new Infochimps Geo API, and I think their approach gives us a glimpse at the future of data APIs. With the new Infochimps Geo API, Infochimps provides some very important features for developers: Aggregation of data from multiple sources Tying together with a simple schema Intelligent clustering and summarization Provide a flexible query interface Allow linking with other data sets These are all problems developers face when working with Geo data, but they are also problems that are encountered when working with other data sets. The future of delivering data via APIs is not just about providing access to the data via a simple RESTful interface (though that is a great start)...

SSL Required for Twitter Streaming API by End of Month

31 August 2011
On September 29th, Twitter will be making the Streaming API support only SSL. The Twitter Streaming API currently supports HTTPS requests, but will completely discontinue HTTP support by the end of the month. Along with the SSL switch they are letting developers know they will also be eventuallydeprecatingBasic Auth for the Twitter Streaming API, and encouraging everyone to use OAuth. SSL and OAuth are fast becoming standards for APIs, and it seems wise to implement with the first version of the API, rather than having to force developers to switch down the road.

Paid Version of Google Translate API

25 August 2011
Back in May Googledeprecatedthe free version of the Google Translate API, and pissed off a lot of people along the way. I talked about building your business around Google or any other APIs, and even suggested that Google offer a paid version of the API instead of just shutting down. Today Google introduced a paid version of the Google Translate API that provides a programmatic interface to access Google's machine translation technology, supporting translations in over 50 languages. The paid version of Google Translate API costs $20 per million (M) characters of text translated (or approximately $0.05/page, assuming 500 words/page), and allows up to 50 M chars/month. Google has give a limit of 100K chars / day until 12/1/2011 for developers who had already created projects in the API console that used the Translate API version 2 prior to today...

Airline Pilots Issued iPads

24 August 2011
I just finished the NYTimes article, United Pilots Get iPad Flight Manuals. This follows Alaska Airlines adopting the iPad, and Delta Airlines testing the iPad as a viable alternative to on-board manuals. I don't think of the iPad as enterprise tool. It is a consumer tool, so this type of large scale adoption of the iPad at United, Alaska and potentially Delta says a lot. These major companies have made decisions that tablets, more specifically the iPad, and mobile applications are the future of their business operations. These applications are driven by APIs. APIs provide the flight, weather and other real-time information that drive these mobile applications, and make the iPad a viable tool in the cockpit...

Conditional API Documentation

24 August 2011
I was just reading a post at Mindtouch on having conditional documentation using MindTouch TCS. MindTouch TCS is a social knowledge-base, that can be used in building help systems and support communities. The post made me think about the API space and smart API documentation like Posterous, and Masherys new I/O docs for APIs. These are all approaches to making documentation more intelligent and personalized to whoever is reading the documentation. Masherys I/O docs, and smart API documentation allow developers to make API calls from within the documentation, making learning about APIs more interactive. This is a great approach to help developers learn about APIs, but I think we can go even further...

Re-inventing Pearson Publishing using APIs

16 August 2011
We hear about the struggles of newspapers, magazines, and book publishers to stay relevant in the digital age on almost a daily basis these days. Many of these publishers are sitting on a treasure chest of content, but are unable to understand how to unlock them -- to make the content accessible in a way that allows them to retain control, adhere to existing licensing agreements, and make money in a world quickly being dominated by the iPad and Kindle. For those of us who live and breathe APIs, its easy for us to understand the power of a simple RESTful interace when it comes to content, but for publishing dinosaurs, it is much harder. I wrote a post back in May about the publishing company Pearson, looking to unlock their content with a new API platform...

API Stack - Optical Character Recognition with WiseTrend OCR API

16 August 2011
The WiseTrend OCR API allows developers to submit images in PDF, TIF, PNG, JPG,BMP, PCX and DCX formats, and get back textual results in TXT, PDF, RTF, Word, Excel, XML and CSV formats. WiseTrend provides a RESTful interface, using application keys for authentication, and all requests and responses in XML. API pricing starts at .05 cents per page for 2K OCR requests a month, down to .02 centers per page for 25K requests a month, with a free 50 page / month introductory plan. The WiseTrend OCR API for Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a perfect tool for the API Stack.

"United States Farmers Market API"

13 August 2011
I'm always on the lookout for innovative data sets and examples of APIs that provide value in ever-day life. APIs are often a very geeky thing, and I'm always trying to find examples of APIs that make sense to my mainstream audience, and help me explain what APIs are, and the value they can deliver. I found a story from John Mertens of Code for America, about building a Famers Market API, which I think tells a great story about how anyone with a need, can take a valuable dataset and make it available using an API. Like many of us Mertens loves getting his fruit and vegetables from a local Farmers Market. He was new to the San Francisco area and was unsure how to find the local Farmers Market...

Google+ APIs Released to Small Group of Devs

11 August 2011
Google just put up a new Google+ Platform blog today, to support the growing demand around their new social platform. Developers have been waiting for the release of the Google+ API, so they can get to work building Google+ applications. While Google did put up aGoogle+ developers signup form, there has been no other word about access to the Google+ APIs. Apparently, todays launch of games on Google+ represents the first wave of developers using the Google+ APIs. Google chose to release the Google+ API to a small number of gaming partners so they could experiment, gather feedback and work the kinks out of the Google+ APIs before releasing it into the wild. It shows they are starting to allow developers into the Google+ APIs, but I am sure they are prioritizing their partners, and unless your a Zynga or a Popcap, I doubt you'll get early access...

Deeper Connections Between Apps with Web Intents

10 August 2011
With all of the technology available to us, the way we express ourselves online and interact between web applications is still in its infancy. The two most common examples of online interaction are the share and like, which are like grunts and groans in online expression. However they are a very ubiquitous form of showing how you feel about a news article, discussion, event, song, video and many other things we interact with every day. On my blog I can give users a couple of basic actions to interact with my posts: share, link, favorite, vote up and down. These are pretty basic actions in the grand vision of the Internet. Because of the popularity of Facebook, the like has become a common expression for the web...

Centralized Places Data with Factual CrossWalk API

09 August 2011
Factual just launched a new API that will centralize how physical places are represented within Factual data-sets, and across 3rd party APIs, dubbed the Factual Crosswalk API. Data about physical places is notoriously messy, and with number of providers, and the growing value of location based data, its only going to get messier. Factual is aiming to normalize places data across the web by providing a central ID to link individual entries across multiple data providers. Using the Factual Crosswalk API you can retrieve a place by providing its Factual ID or any associated URL, either way you get a complete record from the Factual database, and URLs to its associated IDs and locations. The Factual Crosswalk API can be used to link to data across the Internet, as well as cleaning and standardizing local data sets...

API Stack - Domain Whois with DomainTools API

08 August 2011
The DomainTools API provides research and monitoring web services for domains. Using DomainTools you can perform whois lookup, history, reverse IP, name server reports, domain suggestion and search. The DomainTools API is RESTful, using HMAC authentication and returns XML, JSON and HTML responses. DomainTools charges a monthly fee, and per call charge for each of the domain services. DomainTools API for domain related services is a perfect tool for the API stack

"Hackathons See Growth, But We Need More"

08 August 2011
Hackathons are becoming a popular vehicle worldwide for identifying talent, sharing ideas, tackling big data, building apps, and providing a forum for developers, graphic designers and business minds to network. Hackthons were born out of the Silicon Valley start-up scene. During these events, companies bring together a group of developers, give them a coding target, allow them to break into teams where they build a plan and hack together apps, mobile apps, and other web services that meet the criteria of the event. Hackathons are now being held in Seattle, Los Angeles, London, Paris, New York and beyond. Other start-up groups and incubators have seen the value in holding these coding events and bringing together the best minds in their community, hoping to bring attention to their event on the world wide tech scene...

API Stack - Image to CSS Conversion with Img to CSS API

06 August 2011
The IMG to CSS API lets you convert images to html/css using a RESTful interface, with API keys for authentication, and responses in JSON and XML. The HTML / CSS code that is returned can be pretty bulky, but is a pixel by pixel representation of the image. PNG images work best, but it also converts JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, and ICO formats. The IMG to CSS API for image to HTML / CSS conversion is a perfect tool for the API stack.

Facebook API Changes to Be in Sync with OAuth

06 August 2011
In order to be compliant with the OAuth spec, Facebook is making changes to their auth APIs. As part of this update, they will be deprecating 'code_and_token' and need developers to use 'code%20token'. Everything else is identical, just replace '_and_' with encoded'%20'. For example, this call: It will need to change to: Developers are required to make this change by November 5th, 2011, and Facebook has updated their roadmap to reflect this. The communication coming from Facebook Operation Developer Love, and their willingness to open up their API roadmap is something other API owners should consider in their own ecosystem.

API Terms of Service Predict an Unsure Future

05 August 2011
I was just working on a piece for ProgrammableWeb about the new Yahoo WebPlayer, which is amedia player that can play video and audio from any site or service, and be distributed across the web. While browsing around the Yahoo WebPlayer site I came to the Terms of Service, which I found three items that stand out: Yahoo! can update and change this Agreement and TOS by posting a new version without notice to you. You understand and agree that the Player may allow for advertisements and that these advertisements are necessary for Yahoo! to provide the Player for your use. Yahoo! Media Player is free, but Yahoo! reserves the right to charge fees for future use of or access to the Player at Yahoo!'s sole discretion...

"Does API Value and Reliability Trump Docs and Code Samples?"

05 August 2011
I've written about the essential building blocks necessary for a successful API, and there are other great posts like, What Developers Say About API Documentation from Peter Gruenbaum of SDK Bridge. Everyone seems pretty unanimous that a RESTful API, with simple and complete documentation, qualitiy code samples in the popular languages, and real API support from the owner and the community are the ingredients for a successful API. Iparticipatedin a chat about APIs on Twitter, where amix of API influencers, owners, advocates, evangelists and developers hung out for about an hour, answering questions posed by @retailigence. Overall there were about seven questions asked, but the second one was simple, and thought provoking: What is the most important characteristic of an API? The common building blocks were rattled off (by myself included): REST, quality documentation, code samples, while other said more innovative things like API explorer or Masherys I/O Docs...

More Government Data with the Federal Register API

03 August 2011
Each day Federal agencies publish documents in the Federal Register. These documents include proposed rules, final rules, public notices, and Presidential actions. The print-based version of the Federal Register can be difficult to read, process and access, so the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), who all joined forces to launch the FederalRegister.gov website, also deployed an API. The goal of the initiative was to make it even easier for developers to build new ways of interacting with Federal Register data, making it easier for citizens and communities to understand the regulatory process and to participate in the Government decision-making process...

"API Stack - Full-Text Search with IndexTank API"

02 August 2011
The IndexTank API provides full-text, website search, using a RESTFUL interface, with private URLs for security, and responses in JSON. The IndexTank API provides real-time, geo & social aware indexing of any website with sorting and scoring, coplete with highlights and snippets for displaying search results. There are Python, Ruby, and PHP clients with Plug-Ins for Drupal, Heroku and Wordpress platforms. There is a freemium package for up to 100K documents, $49.95 a month for up to 500K documents and $175 a month for up to 2M documents. The IndexTank API for real-time, full-text web site indexing is a perfect tool for the API stack.

Mashery Open Sources Their API I/O Docs

02 August 2011
Last week at OSCON, I wrote about Mashery's release of their new I/O Docs. Mashery I/O Docs are a combination of API documentation and an API explorer, allowing developers to make requests on an API inline while browsing the API reference materials. I/O Docs provides an interactive documentation system for RESTful web APIs. By defining APIs at the resource, method and parameter levels in a JSON schema, I/O Docs will generate a JavaScript client interface. API calls can be executed directly from the documentation interface, proxied through the I/O Docs server, producing formatted responses. Mashery has open-sourced a version of the I/O Docs on Github, for any API owner to deploy for their own documentation...

"A Market for Selling API Code Libraries"

01 August 2011
One of my Google Alerts picked up on something interesting today. A PHP code library for the Github Gist API, for sale on the code marketplace CodeCanyon for $2.00. I almost just closed the window, but then thought a little more about it. I think its the first time I've seen a code libraries for sale like this. I've seen more robust integrations and API clients for sale, but never a simple library for working with an API. The Github Gist API is well documented and there is a PHP library for the Github API available for free on the site. It doesn't look like it has Gist API support yet, but is well written, and shows you how to exend the PHP class. Seems like there is a narrow window where you could build an API code library and make money off selling it before a free library is available, or is it also possible to sell them even when there are other free libraries available? I will keep watching for other API code libraries for sell on CodeCanyon and elsewhere, see if this is a growing trend...

My 3D Printed Junk Drawer

01 August 2011
I had a discussion yesterday with Audrey Wattersabout the infamous junk drawer(s) that exists in every house. That end of the counter drawer that seems to accumulate everything from around our house that we think we may some day use. Junk drawers possess those small items that hold our lives together. Nuts, bolts, fasteners, knobs, hinges and handles as well as the tools we use to assemble the futon, bikes, shelves and other household appliances. We keep all these items because we don't want to throw them away. We will use them some day right? We all live with this delusion. I have no hard data on what we actually use from the junk drawer, but we all have them, and I'm sure many of us have just taken that entire drawer to the Goodwill, sold at a yard sale, or worse...

How Open Should We Be With Our API Road-maps?

01 August 2011
I just finished reading two great posts about battles within API ecosystems.Convoluted TOS and "Open" APIs Will Be the Death of Us by Shion Deysarkar and Topify to Go Dark as Twitter Claims Another Dev Victim by Louis Gray. I recommend you read, and form your own opinion. I'm totally behind Shion in, ..arguing that the breaching parties (i.e. the developers holding the API key) should not be held in contempt of court, as it were. When it comes to terms of service disagreements, there needs to be more discussion. I also feel Topify's pain in their decision to, ..shut down the service, rather than chasing after Twitter's continued meandering API road-map. This makes it very difficult to build a business on Twitters API...

Bootstrapped API Management Like the Moodstocks API

31 July 2011
I was reviewing the image recognition API from Moodstocks, for a story on ProgrammableWeb today, and discovered another API management story I feel should be told. Its a story about bootstrapping your API management using existing free and low cost services. Before users adopt your API, it can be hard to justify costs around using paid API management services to support your developer ecosystem (because at that stage the ecosystem often doesn't exist). Moodstocks approach to its API community was a great example of bootstrapping API management until you can afford more. For managing its documentation, code libraries, articles and FAQs, Moodstocks turned to Github for help. Github provides these tools for free, and are great for delivering these API management essentials...

API Stack - Image Recognition with Moodstocks API

31 July 2011

"API Stack - Audio Transcription with Quicktate API"

28 July 2011
Quicktate provides an XML-RPC API audio transcription, using API keys for authentication. Using the Quicktate API, developers can transcribe .wav or .mp3 audio files into text. Quicktate API supports transcribing in English or Spanish. Quicktate API charges 1 1/4 cents per for general transcriptions, 1 1/2 cents for legal, and 2 cents per word for medical transcriptions. Quicktate API for audio transcription is a perfect tool for the API Stack.

New OAuth Toolkit from Layer 7 Technologies

28 July 2011
Layer 7 Technologies introduced a new OAuth Toolkit, ageneralized framework for handling a broad range of OAuth scenarios across cloud, web and mobile applications. OAuth is a simple way to publish and interact with protected data, and is a popular method to allow secure API authorization, enabling websites to provide a more streamlined user login experience with the additional benefits of enhanced privacy and security. The Layer 7 OAuth Toolkit is the first solution of its kind that enables enterprises to control policy and identity aspects of many different OAuth token operations, a capability that is particularly important as enterprises increasingly use OAuth to authorize access to APIs in cloud settings, said Phil Walston, vice president of products at Layer 7 Technologies...

"INRIX Raises $37 Million to Deliver Traffic Data"

25 July 2011
INRIX�, an international provider of traffic information, and driving services, announced a commitment of $37 million in funding led by Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers' (KPCB) Green Growth Fund and August Capital. The investment will be used as part of a continued global expansion and R&D efforts focused on the company's in-car, location based services (LBS) and mobile applications businesses. With over 150 industry-leading customers across 8 different distribution channels, a profitable business, and nearly 90 percent compound annual revenue growth over the past 3 years, INRIX did not need to raise capital, said Bryan Mistele, president and CEO of INRIX. However, given new market opportunities including the rapid adoption of our premium traffic services, increasing demand from automakers for global solutions and the explosion of LBS on mobile devices, we're accelerating several investments designed to firmly cement our global leadership position...

"Could you be an API Evangelist?"

24 July 2011
In the summer of 2010 I was looking to reinvent my career. I was looking for a new direction. Somewhere I could apply all my strengths, and stay relevant and at the forefront of a fast changing tech landscape. As part of this effort, I spent some time considering what areas dominated the past 5 years of my career. Looking at my resume, social media and cloud computing were the two major themes. Then I put some thought into what technology is dominating right now, and will continue growing in the next couple years. The answer was mobile technology. Looking to apply what I know, but also be relevant and competitive in the future, I wanted to find a common thread. What did all of these areas have in common? It was clearly application programming interfaces, or more specifically, web APIs...

"Deploy and Monetize Amazon SimpleDB Data with API from WebServius"

24 July 2011
Amazon SimpleDB is a highly available, flexible, and scalable key-value data store built in the clouds. WebServius provides self-service API deployment and management solutions, that allow you to monetize your data. By combining Amazon SimpleDB and WebServius you can quickly deploy and monetize any dataset using an API. You start by uploading your data to Amazon SimpleDB, then create a WebServius account and connect it to your SimpleDB account. Using WebServius you set any pricing rules you want, such as selling the data at $0.001 per row. You instantly get a commercial-grade pay-per-use API complete with a user signup page, a system for issuing API keys, and billing capabilities. Amazon SimpleDB gives you a way to store and scale access to your data, while WebServius provides way to open up access, while also securing and monetizing it through an RESTful API that developers will understand and know how to use...

"API Stack - Text Analysis with Saplo API"

23 July 2011
Saplo provides an RESTful API for text analysis, using oath for authentication. Using the Saplo API you can perform text analysis such as entity tagging, related articles, contextual recognition and sentiment anlysis. Saplo provides a free account for non-commercial use with a limit of 240 calls per hour, and also a premium plan with pricing based upon the amount of text processed. Saplo API for text analysisis a perfect tool for the API Stack.

"Building API Developer Business Models"

22 July 2011
API business models are still in its infancy. Many API owners are in experimental mode when it comes to how they make money with their API. Beyond the fuzzy plans for how API owners intend to make money, even more API owners don't have a clear vision of how they will reward their developers, and share revenue with its API ecosystem. There are examples of leadership from API owners. Qwerly gives discounts on API costs for high volume API users and YellowAPI pay developers for high volumes of traffic originating from their applications as well as sharing advertising revenue with developers. The Bluevia API is another innovator in the space with its straightforward business models provided for its development community...

"Moving the File Open Dialog Box to the Web with Google Picker API"

22 July 2011
The file open dialog box is an important tool that we use every day, but we very rarely notice it or think much about it. On the Windows platform, using the file open dialog box, we see our desktop, my documents or whatever was the last hell hole of a folder we were working in. On the Mac, using the file open dialog box, it seems like I eternally live in my downloads folder with the occasional venture do my documents or desktop folders. Maybe that's just me? More and more I find myself living in my Amazon S3, which I still access via my Firefox S3Fox extension versus the Amazon Console. Old habits die hard. Regardless, more of my world is living in the clouds. The file open dialog box just doesn't have the same meaning in the clouds...

"Tracking and Harnessing Innovation at Hackathons"

20 July 2011
A lot of innovation occurs at hackathons. Seems like every hackathon I attend, there are discussion about how to better harness the talent available at these events, and develop a way to track what gets generated. The last hackathon I attended one of the ideas pitched was actually a web application that tracks what gets produced at hackathons. It would track the participants, and provide repositories for any code created. The application would provide access to ideas and projects from any participating event. It's a pretty good idea. I think a lot of good ideas and code goes to waste from contests and hackathons. Evening winning ideas may never go anywhere. Today I came across a Google project called Melange...

API Stack - Faxing with Phaxio

20 July 2011
Phaxio provides a RESTful API for developers to send faxes from their applications. Using Phaxio you can send and receive faxes, with all responses formatted in JSON. All outgoing and incoming faxes are 7 cents per page. Phaxio API is for faxing and a perfect tool for the API Stack. URL: http://www.phaxio.com/

"API and Embed Strategy for Visual.ly"

20 July 2011
It is hard for me to imagine why someone would launch a web application these days, without immediately launching an API, or at least having plans for an API shortly after release. There always is some data that can be liberated, and make it available in a JSON format. Simple data APIs can easily drive widgets and other embeddable tools, providing viral marketing tools that drive awareness and SEO. So when I am playing with new web applications, if there is no clear API strategy, it always gets me thinking about the possibilities. This happened when I was playing the new infographic builder and marketplace Visual.ly today. There is no evidence of an API at Visual.ly. I see an RSS feed of infographics, but no API...

"Building the Perfect API Stack"

19 July 2011
As I'm reviewing APIs, I spend a lot of time considering the viability and business use cases for an API. While considering this, I keep having thoughts about the perfect API stack. In my opinion, these are APIs that do one thing and do it well, makes a developers life easier, and have clear business value. The first one that comes to mind is Twilio. When I think of Twilio, I think of two clear use cases: voice and SMS. Voice and SMS are two critical tools to have in your developer toolbox. These are services that have clear value, that would take a lot of effort to duplicate yourself, making it a no brainer to pay for as a service. In an effort to define the perfect API stack, I'm going to start blogging about APIs that fall into this category as I find them...

Partial Response and Updates with Google APIs

19 July 2011
Last year google launched support for partial response and updates to a couple of the Google APIs. The goals was to significantly reduce network, memory, and CPU resources needed to work with Google APIs. Now Google is adding support for partial response, and an improved version of partial update, called patch, to a number of newer APIs including: Google Buzz API Google URL Shortener API Google Tasks API All APIs available in the Google APIs Discovery Service and the APIs Explorer supporting partial response and updates. The partial response algorithm works by supplying a fields query parameter to any API call that returns data, you can request specific fields. Here is an example request that returns only titles and timestamps of a user's public Buzz activities: https://www...

WebServius API Service Provider

18 July 2011
WebServius provides a self-service tool for deploying, managing and monetizing datasets using an API. WebServius provides users with the ability to integrate and store data, and enable access to the data via a REST API with XML and JSON responses. There is support for planning, development, implementation and ongoing management of APIs generated from data sources. WebServius offers two service levels: Self-Service - Tier for technical people who can handle the setupthemselves, using the WebServius self-service interface. The self-service plan is free up to 50 API subscribers, with up to 10,000 total API calls per day and 5 calls per second at peak times. If you go over any of the limits of the self-service plan, it costs $1 for every 30,000 API calls...

"Fear and Uncertainty Around a Public API"

17 July 2011
I spend a lot of time looking through various APIs. One common problem I see, are with, what on the surface appear to be public APIs, but once I start looking to get access as a developer, I get walls thrown up. Often times, information about the API is public. I can browse the documentation, code samples and more, but when I want to play with the API I have to ask for access and wait for approval. This is different than a private API, where you just want to give API access to a private audience. I can tell these API owners have a good idea, want to open it up to the public, but they are very concerned about who has access to their API. These businesses are concerned about what people will do with their data and resources...

Providing a Comprehensive API Area Search

17 July 2011
One of the new features that Twitter rolled out with the new Twitter developer area was an enhanced search tool powered by Apache Solr. The new unified search provides an engine for searching across all areas of the new developer area, including the mailing list historical archives. Many of us API owners have to cobble together our developer areas from several tools like Wordpress, Google Groups, and other tools we can leverage to quickly provide communication and support for our APIs. There is nothing wrong with this approach, however one side effect is that we end up with information available in separate silos, making information harder for developers to find. Providing a single search interface, that allows developers to search across all systems, delivering comprehensive and relevant search results can make a significant difference in whether or not a developer finds the details they need to successfully integrate...

"Tumblr Releases API v2"

16 July 2011
Tumblr just released version 2.0 of the popular blogging platform API, in an effort to make developers lives a little easier when integrating with the Tumblr platform. The previous version of the API made distinctions between read and write operations and pushed different activity to two separate domains, the www.tumblr.com and the blog subdomain. The new API version consolidates all API access to api.tumblr.com and exposes two major resources in the URI: /blog and /user. Consolidation under one domain will allow Tumblr to effectively measure and balance traffic using DNS. The new URLs will follow a pattern, making them intuitive, allowing developers to easily discover and experiment with the API without having to rely exclusively on documentation...

"Facebook Removes Application Directory"

16 July 2011
Many Facebook developers have been confused about what it means to submit to the Facebook App Directory, and frustrated by the length of time it took to get their applications approved. Facebook has stated that the Facebook App Directory actually drives less than 0.5% of all application installations, with the highest number of installations actually coming from Facebook search. And until now, to be visible in search, you had to submit your app to the App Directory. In light of this data Facebook is removing the App Directory and depending on search for application discovery on the Facebook platform. For an app to show up in search, developers now need to go to the application detail page, and click the Submit to Search link in the left sidebar while editing the application...

"Twitter Launching Advertising API in Q4"

16 July 2011
According to Reuters, Twitter is preparing to launch an Advertising API, targeting larger advertisers, allowing them to tailor, automate, and publish ads in bulk directly into Twitter users' streams. Access to the Twitter Adverting API, which Twitter plans to begin in the fourth quarter, will initially be rolled out as a test involving a limited number of partners, according to Reuters. The Advertising API is a sign that Twitter is pulling together its business model and looking to further monetize its network in the same way as Google does with its Adwords and Adsense, and Facebook with its Ad Network. Right now you have to submit a form, and talk with a sales person to run ads on Twitter, the new API would create an automated advertising marketplace on top of the Twitter ecosystem...

Blackberry Messenger Apps Hackathon

15 July 2011

Box.net Mobile Developer Challenge

15 July 2011
Box.net just announced the Mobile Dev Challenge,along with their release of two new API methods, an updated iOS library, and new Android library. The goal of the Box Mobile Dev Challenge is to build the next generation of mobile and tablet applications for businesses. Winners of the challenge will get mobile ad network credits with InMobi, meetings with Draper Fisher Jurvetson to pitch their big ideas, TouchPads from HP, $35K in cash, and an opportunity to present onstage at Box's customer conference, BoxWorks. Developers have 60 days to build innovative apps that use the box platform, including the new APIs. Application entries will be evaluated by a panel of judges from Accenture, AT&T, DFJ, HP, InMobi, Verizon, ReadWriteWeb, MobileCrunch, VentureBeat and Box...

"Foursquare Unleashes Its Deals API"

14 July 2011
Foursquare launched a new Merchant API that will allow developers and merchants to create specials using any technology. The new Merchant API comes right after their announcement of a national partnership with American Express, and the new API will make it even easier for other merchant partners to create deals using foursquare. It looks like foursquare is depending on its 10,000-strong developer community to take on Facebook and Groupon in the deal-making space.

"Twitter Launches New API Developer Area"

11 July 2011
Twitter just launch an updated version of the Twitter Developer Site. The new developer area focuses on enhancing developer communication channels and providing improved reference material and documentation. The new dev.twitter.com is built using the Drupal platform and focuses on providing core building blocks for its developer community: Forum - Retiring of the old mailing list with a new dicussion forum that includes hot topics, email category subscriptions, and Dev Teatime, a section to focus on the social side of the Twitter developer community. Blog - A new blog to learn about important API announcements, events, tips and how-tos, case studies, product insights, and featuring content from different teams at Twitter, as well guest blog posts from community members...

"Wisdom Shared from the Foursquare API Team"

09 July 2011
Foursquare is sunsetting their APIv1, and recently spent some time sharing the lessons they learned during APIv1 and the decisions that went into APIv2. Here are some excerpts: JSON - This was a no brainer. Its flexible and understood by everybody. OAuth2 and HTTPS-Only - OAuth2 is straightforward to implement on the server and client, and offloading encryption to HTTPS makes it easy to get it right. REST Lite - It makes sense to use resourceful URLs for certain key objects, like users/USER_ID or venues/VENUE_ID, with actions and connections hanging off of them. Also avoiding deeply nested URLs like users/USER_ID/tips/TIP_ID, instead using tips/TIP_ID, leads to much simpler URLs...

"Updates to Mashape API Management Platform"

06 July 2011
Mashapereleased a few enhancements to their API management platform. Inbox - Mashape redesigned their inbox and messaging system. Developers can contact you from your API detail page, and the inbox provides interface for managing developers and your conversations. API Wizard - The API setup and management wizard is no longer a step by step wizard. It now gives you five options in a left hand navigation, leaving the room for more options to be added in the future. Private APIs - You can now deploy a private API with Mashape, only inviting the developers you want to have access. Some small changes, but prettyimportantchanges for API owners and developers who use Mashape...

Claiming My Blog Posts and Social Profiles

05 July 2011
I made some more changes to my network over the holidays. I'm working to better tie together my blog(s) and my social network profiles using the rel="" property. The process is a three part process, meant to link the various places I write with my author brand, that is represented in my social network profiles, most importantly Google +. I write on several blogs and I want the authorship of my work to be linked back to my Google + profile. I'm very Google centric, so in my network this is the most important profile in my network. This also feeds into my overall SEO strategy which is another story. I started by created two separate author pages on my two blogs. Kin Lane and API Evangelist...

Updated Blog Sharing

04 July 2011
I updated the sharing tools on blog.apievangelist.com today. Previously it had eight buttons, representing the top social network channels that drive traffic to the blog. I'm changing it, putting emphasis on: Google +1 Twitter LinkedIn These are the top places that people share posts on API Evangelist that drives traffic to the blog. I started by adding individual buttons from all the major providers: Facebook StumbleUpon Digg Reddit At first I used AddThis for the whole share toolbar, but I couldn't get it to layout the way I wanted. So I used individual buttons from the Google +1, Twitter and LinkedIn, then I used AddThis for the other top providers: Instapaper Hacker News DZone Posterous Tumblr Reddit I will be making some major updates to kinlane...

"Mashape Provides Tools to Distribute, Discover and Hack APIs"

30 June 2011
I'm exploring the Mashape API Platform, trying to break things down and understand everything in more detail. Blogging about a topic does this for me. So let's start with deploying an API with Mashape. With the Mashape PHP Library you can deploy an API on your infrastructure. You download the library from Github, deploy on your server, and then add the methods for your API by extending the Mashape PHP component class. If you already have an API that returns JSON responses, you can just register it as a Mashape API for distribution, without deploying the Mashape PHP Library. If you've deployed your API without the Mashape PHP Library you will need to accomplish one more step. You will need to implement the Mashape Connector by adding one line of code to your API, which is required to connect your API to the Mashape Platform and handle user authorization, billing, and rate-llimiting...

"New Pricing for Genability Energy API"

30 June 2011
Energy pricing data provider Genability just announced the roll-out of more flexible pricing for their API. The new pricing structure gives Genability API developers more options with no long term commitments, when accessing the Genability tariff and electricity pricing database. Genability API pricing starts with a free plan which offers 10 unique tariff credits per month, and will serve up 1,000 calls per hour. Genability bulk paid plans range from $89.99 / month to $1499.99 a month: Bronze for 89.99 / month, with 100 unique tariff credits per month, and 5,000 calls per hour Silver for 299.99 / month, with 350 unique tariff credits per month, and 20,000 calls per hour Gold for $799...

"What Does Online Sales Tax Battle Mean for APIs"

30 June 2011
Amazon sent me an email about the recent signing of the online sales tax law by California Governor Brown, which would force online retailers who have no physical presence in California, to collect the same levies as bricks-and-mortar stores. As a result of this, contracts with all California residents participating in the Amazon Associates Program are terminated effective, June 29, 2011. As I was writing up the story of this on kinlane.com, ad it got me thinking about the impact of this on API affiliate programs. I'm tracking on various monetization strategies for APIs, and affiliate sales is one of them. California has broadened their definition regarding who has to pay sales tax, to include theaffiliatesof online retailers...

Open-Source Version of the Mashape API Proxy

30 June 2011
The Mashape API Proxy is an open-source version of the same proxy that allows APIs to integrate with the Mashape Platform andhandles authorizing users, billing, rate limiting and other features. Version 1.1 is whats available for download on Github, and Mashape is testing the private version 1.2 of the proxy with a small set of API providers, and they will push it to Github after its been tested. The new version dramatically improves the performance and the security of the proxy, while reducing latency. The API Proxy version 1.1 is an extremely early version and Mashape recommends waiting for version 1.2 before deploying. The open-source Mashape API Proxy is written in JavaScript and runs on the latest version of node...

"Videos for Mashery, Evolution of Distribution Event"

29 June 2011
The other week I attended an event put on byMashery, calledThe Evolution of Distribution. Mashery has published videos from the event on their site. The event focused on the growing need to distribute information to a multitude of Internet connected devices using APIs, andMashery invited four leaders in the API space to showcase their experience: Daniel Jacobson, Director of Engineering forNetflix API Kumar Kandaswamy, Director,Open API Platform Business for Best Buy Adam Kleinberg, CEO ofTraction and Mashable.com Tech Writer Edwin Aoki, Chief Architect of PayPal/eBay Mashery did a great job in publishing video for each of the four talks online, as well as remarks by Quentin Hardy who moderated theEvolution of Distribution Speaker Panel...

"Apigee Delivers API PCI-DSS Compliance"

29 June 2011
Apigee justannounced their Apigee Enterprise Cloud PCI, a new offering that enables organizations to deliver transactional APIs, securely deployed in a private or public cloud. Apigee's new Enterprise Cloud PCI supports full compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), while taking advantage of the compute resources of the cloud to support transactional API traffic and sensitive customer data. To fully protect critical customer credit card information, there's an increased focus on compliance, especially as more e-commerce services shift to cloud computing and APIs, said Chet Kapoor, Apigee CEO. ...The Apigee Enterprise Cloud API also protects and screens sensitive data flowing between an application and an API residing on a public cloud, so businesses can now confidently broaden their e-commerce network with transactional APIs...

Facebook Officially Lauches Graph API Explorer

29 June 2011
Facebook just officially launched the Graph API Explorer, a tool allowing developers to quickly explore the social graph of people, photos, events, pages and the relationships between them, via the Facebook Graph API. Like other API explorers, the Graph API Explorer allows developers to make requests against the API and see formatted results in-line. The Graph API Explorer interface allows you to obtain an access_token with the specific permissions necessary to access data, navigating the same permissions dialog users will see when permissions are requested in a production app. The Graph API Explorer then allows developers to switch between HTTP GET, POST and DELETE to get, create, update or delete objects...

"Rise in Mobile Payments Good Sign for APIs"

27 June 2011
Mobile is hot. Everyone is talking about thegrowth in mobile payments this year. Forrester Research predicted that mobile commerce will hit $6 billion in 2011 - and reach up to $31 billion by 2016. PayPal just raised their 2011 Mobile Total Payments Volume (TPV) projections to $3 billion. Paypal first predicted $1.5 billion in 2011 mobile payments volume, then in February, they upped that to $2 billion, and now they've adjusted to $3 billion. Paypal is running $10 million in mobile TPV a day, up from the $6 million they reported in March. It shows that mobile users are actively purchasing products and services online using sites and applications on their mobile devices. Just like with social media and cloud computing, APIs are a silent force behind the mobile revolution...

Amazon Kills Alexa SOAP API Due To Security

26 June 2011
Amazon recently sent an email to all developers notifying them of upcoming changes to the Alexa Top Sites API. On November 25, 2011 Amazon will deprecate the Alexa Top Sites SOAP API. The SOAP interface has had repeated security issues over the last couple of years, and since only a small percentage of users actually use the API, they decided to decommission it. Alexa will also be enforcing that all requests to the API must be signed using signature version 2. Version 2 is significantly more secure that the version, and all Amazon Web Services are being required to migrate to it. I wonder if Amazon is having similar security issues with other SOAP APIs? Maybe the other SOAP APIs just have more users and it was worthwhile for them to fix...

"Mobile API Documentation with Mashape Documentor"

26 June 2011
The Mashape Documentor is an engine for automatically generating a mobile version of documentation for any API running on the Mashape API Platform. Using PHP, the Mashape Documenter reads the api.xml for a Mashape API, then generates a mobile version of the documentation in HTML5, CSS3, and Jquery. You can drop the script into the root of an API, where the api.xml is located,customize the header and footer of the mobile interface and your up and running. Marco Gr�tsch, who created Mashape Documenter has made it available under a BSD license, and is available for download on his blog (its in german). Related articles The Battle for Your API Proxy (apievangelist.com) New API Management Platform Players (apievangelist...

API Ecosystem Tracking with StatsD and Graphite

23 June 2011
When managing an API and its ecosystem, we are all making this up as we go along. We have to constantly try new things, build them out, test, measure, and readjust. Measuring being the most important, and when considering your API analytics, it shouldn't be just about tracking usage of your API. You should measure every aspect of your API ecosystem. Applying metrics, gathering data, and reporting on this should be easy, and be part of your development DNA. Your metrics should be flexible and change as your ecosystem evolves. Any engineer, evangelist or other team member should be able to implement, gather and measure as the need arises. I was introduced to StatsD and Graphite reporting last week, by Flip from Infochimps, while at the O'Reilly Velocity Conference...

"Why Your API Registration Process Sucks"

23 June 2011
This is one story I'm sure I will be telling over and over. Its about providing self-service registration to your API, and access to your documentation. I'm working my way through 78 travel APIs right now, reviewing each of them for a series of travel industry API stories. I'm only halfway through, and about 25% of them require me to email them or submit a contact form to get access to their API. I can understand doing this if your goal is to only work with partners and vendors, but all of these APIs came from the ProgrammableWeb API directory. So I assume your goal is to target a wider public audience. Here is how your approach is hurting you: As a developer I need instant gratification...

"3Scale and Layer7 Partner for Secure API Management"

22 June 2011
Two API service providers have brought their products together to deliver a more robust enterprise API solution. 3Scale API management platform now integrates with Layer7 Technologies XML security gateways. 3scale's API Management suite includes an API portal for developers and partners on-boarding and support, API access control, policies management, analytics and billing and payments features. The Layer7 XML Gateway provides high performance traffic filtering, API security and attack protection, traffic routing, API transformation services and caching. Enterprise API providers can use 3scale's plugin to issue API keys, policies and access rights that can be pushed and pulled between security gateways and 3scale's management dashboards...

"Widget Builder Environment for APIs"

22 June 2011
There are many tools out there for working with Web APIs, but the one I am seeing used more and more is an API explorer. API explorers allow users to make calls and explore REST APIs using a Web interface -- all without writing code. These API explorers are making it a lot easier for developers to discover, learn, and integrate with Web APIs. I also think they have a lot more potential, beyond the developer community. Non-developers can use an API explorer to make calls against an API, retrieve JSON, and then use tools like Google Spreadsheets to process responses, building visualizations, and so on. There is a huge opportunity for API explorer providers to tap into the larger, non-developer community, and one of the easiest ways to do this may be by adding a widget layer to their applications...

"What Challenges Do API Service Providers Face in the Enterprise Space?"

22 June 2011
APIs are hot right now. With the success of Twitter, Twilio, Facebook and others -- due in no small part to their APIs -- the enterprise space is taking notice. The demand for enterprise API services is increasing, with a number of services providers stepping up to compete for the business. As this happens, there are three major areas that may prove challenging for API service providers targeting the enterprise space: Developers: Wide range of vendor, partner, and public developer needs and expectations. Open and Accessible - A public, self-service and accessible API ecosystem, with less of an enterprise feel Documentation - Simple, yet complete API documentation Common Tools - Forums, Mobile SK, explorers and other tools developers have grown accustom to...

"HAPI Hackathon Wrapup"

19 June 2011
The HAPI hackathon wrapped up June 12th in San Francisco. The event brought developers together to hack on over 9 APIs in order to build something cool over the course of a weekend. The event started out Friday night with TokBox, Ebay / Paypal, Foursquare, Box.net, Twilio, Genability, Factual, and Mashery showcasing their companies and their APIs to developers. Next, developers lined up to pitch their ideas and generate interest amongst other participants. 10 ideas were pitched, then developers formed groups and got to work. Developers spent all weekend drinking coffee, eating pizza and bagels, and hacking away. Everything culminated Sunday afternoon when developers presented their hacks. Over sixteen hacks were presented, with prizes going to the best: FourSquare2Go won a Foursquare prize for their offline Foursquare application...

"APIs Are Key to Industry Growth"

19 June 2011
At the Glue Conference this year in Colorado, I sat on a panel called, Whats Next for APIs?. In my talk, one area I focused on, was how industries would organize and put APIs to work. There is a growing trend within specific industries. They are coming together and pushing for standards, interoperability, and ways to work together. I'm seeing evidence of this within the customer service industry. An industry association called NetworkedHelpDesk.org is using APIs to connect together customer service applications and establish a seamless way to communicate among industry partners and vendors. Customer service applications are in high demand, and potentially connected with many other applications, so it is critical that they communicate and inter-operate efficiently...

"Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for APIs"

18 June 2011
I recently moved my IDE off my desktop and onto the web. I'm test driving two separate web-based integrated development environments (IDE): Akshell - I like environment, its smooth and has Github integration. But its primarily a JavaScript IDE. I met the developers and like where they are going with it. ShiftEdit - This is the one I'm using the most, because I work 70% of the time in PHP. I like the FTP access, but only has SVN for its repositoring integration. As I was working with the Dropbox API, Posterous API, and Tumblr API today, and was thinking how nice it would be to have an IDE dedicated to APIs. There are several API explorers popping up out there, that let you play with one or multiple APIs and generate requests and display responses...

"Genability API Review"

18 June 2011
Genability have assembled a database of electricity pricing information from over 3500 electricity providers throughout North America. TheGenability API is RESTful with JSON responses, and application keys for authentication. Documentation & Tools Overview of the API Pricing Reference & Documentaton Terms of Use / Conditions Support & Management Blog w/ RSS Feeds Dashboard LinkedIn Twitter Community Forum Developer Account Info Registration Related articles Etsy API Review (apievangelist...

"New API Management Platform Players"

17 June 2011
Two new API management platforms were launched this month. Layer 7 technologies launched the Layer 7 API Portal, and SOA Software launched their Atmosphere API platform. These new platforms show the API space is really heating up in 2011. The enterprise is taking notice of the value of APIs, and service providers are lining up to compete for the business. These new platforms offer asimilarset of services as Mashery, Apigee, 3Scale including: API Provisioning Metrics and Billing Security and Control Reporting and Analytics Developer Registration and Accounts Developer Support Some of them deploy their solutions on-premise, while others deploy in the cloud, and a couple of them will do both...

Layer 7 Technologies Launches New API Portal

17 June 2011
Layer 7 Technologies recently launched a new API Portal platform. The new Layer 7 API portal provides API service providers with a secure, turn-key way to manage developers who build applications against their APIs. They Layer 7 API Portal platform provides: API Provisioning Tools Rate & Account Plan Tools Key, Token and Certification Authentication Management Developer Registration & Account Management Forums & Support Tools Documentation & Resources Content Management Dashboard Creation and Management Analytics, Metrics, and Reporting Alerts and Notifications Enterprise-grade security and PCI DSS compliance On-premise Deployment The Layer 7 API portal provides all the common API management tools service providers, and developers are growing accustomed to...

"Factual API Review"

17 June 2011
Factual is an open data platform and community, with a goal to maximize data accuracy, transparency, and availability. They provide a marketplace of evolving data on thousands of topics. Factual provides a RESTful API that returns JSON response, using an application key for authentication. Factual provides full data sets for download, Ruby Gem and IPhone SDK for development. Documentation & Tools Code Libraries Pricing Privacy Reference & Documentaton Terms of Use / Conditions Support & Management Blog w/ RSS Feeds Dashboard FAQ Twitter Community Forum Developer Account Info App Manager Registration Related articles 3Taps API Review (apievangelist...

A YouTube Channel for Your API Community

17 June 2011
Twitter has launched a new building block for their API community, a YouTube Channel. The new YouTube Twitter API channel will contain interviews, tutorials and other video content that is produced in support of the Twitter API. Its a great idea. Perfect way to organize videos and presentations in a central location, as they are produced. Then users can come back at anytime and learn. A YouTube channel for an API community could also be a great way to build community, by soliciting feedback on what type of content users want to see, or even accept submissions from your developers. I added a YouTube channel to my list of building blocks that API owners are using. Related articles Twitter API Gets Its Own YouTube Channel (readwriteweb...

"Deploying Smarter API Documentation"

17 June 2011
Posterous recently launched a new API giving users access to all the functionality available through the Posterous web interface. Instead of just delivering documentation for the Poserous API, they went a step further and made the documentation smarter, and more interactive. Think API explorer meets API documentation. The Posterous API documentation provides a list of all API services, endpoints, and methods, but it doesn't stop there. When logged into your Posterous account, the API documentation automatically includes your api_token, which is necessary for making API calls. Once authenticated you can make any call against the API right in the documentation. Each endpoint allows entry of necessary fields, displays a request URL, and a JSON response message...

"Atmosphere, a New API Management Portal"

17 June 2011
SOA Software just launched a new API management platform called, Atmosphere. Atmosphere provides a secure, platform that companies can deploy to manage their APIs for either a private or public developer community. The Atmosphere platform gives API providers a management interface to define APIs using a wide range of messaging types and formats including REST/XML, REST/JSON and SOAP. The platform also provides paging and caching mechanisms to improve app performance. Atmosphere also provides security capabilities that allow API providers to control and monitor app's usage of the APIs. While also protecting internal applications from overload, as well as provide customers with service-level guarantee through QoS management for SLAs and quotas...

The USA Today API Matures

14 June 2011
Back when I first started doing API reviews on API Evangelist, I did a review of USA Today's API. At first I almost didn't post the review. It was such a simple API, with nothing innovative to speak of. It just didn't seem worth covering. When they first launched the USA Today API, it provided services for best-selling books, and sports salaries. It wasn't very exciting. Fastword 10 months, and their API is looking much more robust. Now they also offer Articles, Book Reviews, Breaking News, Movie Reviews, Music Reviews, and Snapshots. Most recently, USA Today also addedUS census data to their API offerings. Looking back it was easy for me to criticize the big media company for releasing such a simple API, but in reality they are doing what I feel everyond should do, start simple...

API Tools & Service Providers

13 June 2011
When I review a new API, I take a look at the technology they provide, but I tend to focus on the business of their API. One area I look at, is what tools they use to deliver the building blocks that make up their API. Did they build it themselves? Did they use Mashery, Apigee or 3Scale? Are they using other open-source tools or a software as a service (SaaS) provider? I'm always on the look out for new open-source tools or services providers that can be leveraged for APIs in this way. My goal is to find an open-source solution or service provider for each one of the building blocks I have defined. Some examples are: API documentation with SDK Bridge API forums with Get Satisfaction Application Showcase with AppStores...

Hunch's Clear Vision of Privacy and OAuth

13 June 2011
Having a privacy policy on your API is an important part of making it clear to developers and end-users, where your company stands in regard to their data and personal privacy. Just having a privacy policy is not enough, make sure it truly reflects your companies values, whats important to your users, and is in line with how you deploy your technology. One shining example of this in the API space, is Hunch. Hunch's provides a 'Taste Graph' of the entire web, providing information on what people like; anything, from books to electronic gadgets to fashion or vacation spots. Hunch is combining algorithmic machine learning with user-curated content, with the goal of providing better recommendations for everyone...

"Using Your API to Find New Developer Talent"

13 June 2011
Many API owners depend on their APIs for identifying new types of business models, turning their API ecosystems into research & development platforms. Edwin Aoki of Paypal and Ebay APIs also feels they can also be used by human resources(HR), to nurture and identify new developer talent. At the Mashery Evolution of Distribution event, Aoki mentioned how Ebay and Paypal use their API ecosystem for talent acquisition. If you think about it, your API provides a fertile ground for developer to learn about your APIs, how to code with them, and understand your companies way of doing business. Hopefully within your API area there are ways for developers to excel and showcase their work. Submitting code samples, applications and forum participation all give them an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge...

Hunch API Review

13 June 2011
Hunch's ambitious mission is to build a 'Taste Graph' of the entire web, connecting every person on the web with their affinity for anything, from books to electronic gadgets to fashion or vacation spots. Hunch is at the forefront of combining algorithmic machine learning with user-curated content, with the goal of providing better recommendations for everyone. Hunch provides a RESTful API, returning JSON responses, and OAuth for Authentication. With language libraries available in PHP, Python, Ruby, and JavaScript. Documentation & Tools API Explorer Authentication Overview Code Libraries Overview of the API Privacy Reference & Documentaton Community Forum Developer App Gallery Registration

Managing My Google Alerts

12 June 2011
I am making some adjustments to my Google Alerts today. I removed a few and added a few alerts. Here are my current Google Alerts: call for papers kin lane open API REST API self publishing self-publishing API Evangelist apple airprint Application Programming Interface Google Cloud Print hackathon HP ePrint Print on Demand Web Services I have all of them delivered once a day, via RSS feeds. This way I can monitor in real-time using Google Reader. I adjust these every week if I can, but sometimes it remains pretty constant. It depends on topic.

API Proxies, Connectors, and Add-Ons

12 June 2011
I'm working through some 100K views of the API service provider arena, and trying to evolve my perspectives of Whats Next for APIs. This is all a work in progress, so I'm publishing here on kinlane.com instead of on apievangelist.com. I wrote the other day about the Battle for Your API Proxy between the API service providers. This included a tier of "proxy" API service providers that run all your APIs through proxy before hitting your API. Next there are the group of "connector" API service providers that provide you with a connector to put in your API and provide the same services that a proxy would. Based upon what I'm seeing with Mashape and other indicators, I tried to show the playing field in a slightly different, and evolved way...

The Battle for Your API Proxy

11 June 2011
Every Web API is designed to receive requests from and respond to the outside world. Every day an API can receive thousands or potentially millions of calls. Before the API can process these requests and returns a response, it has to potentially tackle a huge laundry list of functionalities: Identity / Authentication Traffic Controls Rate Limiting Performance Security Scalability Filtering Encryption Logging Once all these items are handled, then the API can do what it is designed to do -- process its payload and return a response. Many API owners tackle all these layers of the API themselves. But there are also several service providers out their looking to do this for them...

"Etsy API Review"

11 June 2011
Etsy's mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers . Ety's vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice. Etsy provides a RESTful API with JSON responses, and uses oAuth for authentication. Documentation & Tools API Explorer Code Libraries Reference & Documentaton Community Forum Developer Account Info App Gallery Registration

Lessons in API Deployment From Netflix

10 June 2011
I've heard this story several times now, but I think its a story worth telling over and over. It is the story of the Netflix API and the lessons they learned along the way. Not every API owner will be operating at the scale of Netflix, but the lessons are universal. It all started when Netflix set out to build an API, where the original charter was: Expose Netflix metadata and services to the public developer community to "let 1,000 flowers bloom". That community will build rich and exciting new tools and services to improve the value of Netflix to our customers. The concept of 1,000 flowers refers to the public community Netflix was targeting with the API, where ideas and applications would flower from each developer...

"Posterous, From SaaS to PaaS Using an API"

10 June 2011
In a single announcement yesterday, the blogging service Posterous went from Software as a Service (SaaS) to Platform as a Service (PaaS), with the introduction of a full set of APIs. The new set of RESTful APIs give developers access to methods and actions that were formerly available only to the core Posterous engineering team including the ability to create new sites, manage users, posts, comments, custom themes and other data for those sites. Beyond just exposing the core posterous technology via as a simple set of RESTful APIs, Posterous has delivered their API documentation as an interactive set of tools allowing developers to see every available method, interface with these methods and experiment bydynamicallychanging the paramaters and inspecting responses, all within the browser...

"Why is your RESTful API Separate From Your Website?"

10 June 2011
I was having a beer with Dr. Alexandre Passant of Seevl the other day, we were talking about music, APIs and the Seevl API. A while back I wrote a piece about Seevl titled, With Seevl Music Discovery, the Website is the API. When building the Seevl API, instead of providing a separate API to access information, Seevl relies on content negotiation principles to deliver alternative representations of web pages. As I was talking with Passant, I kept thinking about how RESTful APIs are often deployed separately from the web site or application. Both are using HTTP, and often deliver the same information, they are just intended for two different audiences and potential uses. This is not a new idea...

"iCloud Storage APIs"

08 June 2011
iCloud storage APIs allow IOS application developers to store documents and other data to a central location so userscan view or edit from any device without having to sync or transfer files. There are two ways that applications can take advantage of iCloud storage: Document Storage - Enabling storage and sharing of information in document form. Key-Value Data Storage - Enabling storage and sharing small amounts of data. Most applications will use iCloud document storage to share documents, which is a feature that users think of when they think of cloud storage. Users care about whether photos, videos, and documents are accessible across devices while the key-value data store is not something a user would never see...

"A White-Label API App Store Platform"

08 June 2011
The goal of any API evangelist is to encourage its community to build mobile and web applications around their API. When you and your community have several web apps, mobile apps, plugins or other tools you are proud of, showcase them. Whether you call it a showcase, directory, gallery or store...having an area that highlights the applications built upon your API is critical to continued API adoption and success. Application showcases do several things: Show developers love by showcasing their work and giving them the exposure the need Emphasize the work of your partners and the value they add to your platform Highlight the best apps your company has developed internally Show, not only do people use your API, they have delivered actual applications Demonstrates your API is easy to use and has value There are two ways to deploy an app store for your API...

HAPi Hack Weekend

08 June 2011
There is a hackathon going on this weekend in San Francisco over at the TokBox Offices. HAPI Hack Weekend has a pretty simple focus: Create cool new software using APIs. The event starts Friday, 6/10 with participating APIs showcasing their companies, thenattendeescan then pitch ideas and form teams for building potential apps. Attendees will spend the rest of the weekend hacking on their ideas, with the eventconcludingSunday afternoon with demo presentations, judging, and awards. Detailed Schedule is: Friday, June 10 06:00pm - 07:00pm Registration 07:00pm - 07:15pm Kick-Off 07:15pm - 08:30pm API Overviews 08:30pm - 11:59pm Idea Pitches / Team Formation Saturday, June 11 09:00am - 11:59pm Hacking 10:00am - 03:00pm API Workshops Sunday, June 12 09:00am - 02:00pm Hacking 02:00pm - 03:30pm Demos 03:30pm - 04:00pm Judging 04:00pm - 04:30pm Awards / Wrap-Up Each API company participating in the event will offer a prize for the best app that uses their API...

"Reinventing Payments with Dwolla Grid API"

08 June 2011
The Dwolla payment service just launched a new payment API called Grid. Before you can understand grid, you need to understand Dwolla'sphilosophyon payments. Every time you want to do seemingly simple things, like buy a coffee, pay for lunch, or buy gas, current providers are requiring you hand over your name, credit card number, and expiration date, leaving trail of personal and financial data behind you. With an opportunity to start fresh, Dwolla wanted to change this, and thats what they are doing with Grid. Grid provides third party developers tools to create a seamless in-app purchasing experience with no more credit card numbers. Creating a new kind of payment network, one that doesn't leave behind personal information...

API Office Hours with Google Calendar

07 June 2011
Google Calendar has a new feature for managing "Appointment Slots". These appointment slots are a great way to let others know preferred times when you are available. Open office hours are becoming a common way for API providers to communicate times when developers can connect with someone in person or online via chat for support. Google Calendar appointment slots area great way to manage API office hours. Creating API Office Hours To get started, set up blocks of time you'd like to offer as API hours. Simply click anywhere on your calendar and then on "appointment slots. From there, create a single block of time or automatically split a larger block of time into smaller appointment slots if applies...

"Apple iCloud API"

06 June 2011
Lots of big news coming out of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC2011) in San Francisco today. There were major enhancements coming down the pipes with IOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion. What really stood out was their new iCloud. iCloud is free, seamless storage in the cloud for all music, photos, books, documents and everything else you use on your Mac and IOS devices. Although this line of thought is nothing new, with Apple going all in…it means the cloud has gone mainstream. Get ready for some major growth in the cloud as Apple pushes it further, and other existing cloud providers try to compete.

API Basics for Retail Companies from Best Buy

03 June 2011
Kumar Kandaswamy, Director of Open API Platform Business for Best Buy, spoke at Mashery's The Evolution of Distribution event today. Kandaswamy offered some practical advice for retail companies that are deciding how and where to start with their API deployments. His suggestions included the following areas: Product APIs- Make your product catalog available via your API is fundamental. Store APIs - Give local store information including location and product availability is powerful. Review APIs - Deliver practical product reviews in a usable way to help consumer make purchasing decisions. Commerce APIs - Provide seamless purchasing and product fulfillment through at-home delivery, in-store pick-up, partner e-commerce sites, and web-based applications...

"Mashery - Evolution of Distribution"

02 June 2011
Providing some real-world examples, Mashery invited four leaders in the API space to speak: Daniel Jacobson, Director of Engineering for Netflix API who walked us through how APIs are allowing them to stream video to over 200 devices, resulting in Netflix dominating in their space. Kumar Kandaswamy, Director, Open API Platform Business for Best Buy showed us how APIs have enabled them to extend their brand with the help of partners in ways they never could have done on their own. Adam Kleinberg, CEO of Traction and Mashable.com Tech Writer demonstrated why brands need to focus on having an open API for developers and not get lured into distractions like building apps for single devices...

Three Potential Types of API Platforms

01 June 2011
I'm processing all my notes from the 2011 Glue Conference, which has been one of the most thought provoking events I've been to this year. The best part of events like Gluecon is you get to hang with some really smart and extremely experienced people. I'm working to understand a new perspective I was exposed to while listening to Mark Suster talk about the Cloud Computing: Challenges and Opportunities over the Next Five Years. In his talk, he outlined three potential types of platforms: Platform as a Service - Platform around core application or business as an API, allowing others to build businesses on top of, and make money. Platform as an Extension - Platform around a core application that offers APIs as an extension for others to build on bringing value back to the core business...

"Open vs. Closed APIs"

01 June 2011
With all the buzz around APIs these days, its easy to get swept up in all the hype around open APIs, and miss the mark with your own API deployment. So what do I mean by Open APIs? Open APIs are like Twitter, Twilio and many of Google APIs that are available for anyone to register for a key, and start programming against. Discussions around APIs tend to start here. People often hear about the popularity of these APIs and want to emulate that. If you don't directly have experience with API deployment, I recommend getting your feet wet with a more closed API deployment. Immediately, calling APIs closed sounds bad. Sounds like you are being selfish or exclusive and don't want anyone touching your APIs...

API Forums Using Get Satisfaction

30 May 2011
Get Satisfaction is one way to build API forums that enable productive conversations between an API owner and the developer ecosystem. Simply engaging your customers in conversation won't earn you the respect of your community and make your customers happy. Conversations are just a start, it's what you do with them that matter. Get Satisfaction was built on the idea of not simply creating conversations, but creating value from conversations. Get Satisfaction focuses on outcomes in order to create value, as opposed to the confusing and ineffective taxonomy of traditional forums, it is focused on conversations around four simple, outcome-oriented topic types. This helps keep conversations focused and productive...

3Taps API Review

30 May 2011
3taps is a data platform that aggregates searches and posting to multiple data platforms into single interface. 3taps API provides a RESTful interface with app and keys for authentication, provided by Mashery. The platform provides language libraries in the following formats:JavaScript, Java, PHP, Perl, Objective C, Python, Ruby. Documentation & Tools Code Libraries Github Overview of the API Privacy Reference & Documentaton Terms of Use / Conditions Developer Account Info App Gallery App Manager Registration  

"API Technology - OData"

29 May 2011
There is an ever growing amount of data available today and much of this data is now being collected and stored across a wide variety of system, locked into specific applications or formats, making it difficult to access, integrate and share. The Open Data Protocol (OData) is a Web protocol for querying and updating data that provides a way to unlock data and free it from silos that exist in many applications. OData frees data by applying and building upon existing web technologies like HTTP, Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub) and JSON to provide access to information from a variety of applications, services, and stores. OData emerged from experiences implementing AtomPub clients and servers in a variety of products over the past several years...

"Qwerly API Review"

29 May 2011
Qwerly provides a single data API for accessing social network profiles across multiple networks including Twitter, Facebook, and Twitter. Qwerly only offers a RESTful API, using key and app authentication provided by Mashery. Qwerly provides Node.js, Kynetx, Zend PHP, Python langugage libraries. Documentation & Tools Code Libraries Getting Started How it Works Pricing Privacy Reference & Documentaton Terms of Use / Conditions Support & Management Twitter Developer Account Info App Manager Registration Qwerly represents the maturation of the social networking API space, and a need for aggregated data across multiple social networks using a single RESTful interface...

"Building Your Business Around Google or Any Other APIs"

28 May 2011
I'm reading all the starred items in my Google Reader about Google's latest closing of APIs, most notably Google Translate API. There are some pretty sensational headlines: Google pulls the rug out from under web service API developers, nixes Google Translate and 17 others GOOGLE IS NOT YOUR DADDY (OR LONG TERM RELIANCE ON APIS IS AS BAD AS OUTSOURCING) Google Translate API to Go Kaputt in December I don't feel the need to defend Google here, I wish to only defend APIs against people blaming them for what is the fault or responsibility of developers and API owners. I see this same line of attacks on APIs anytime an API company makes a change in their strategy, and developers freak out! First, let's start with the claims that developers are having the rug pulled out from under them, and you can't build a business on APIs! This week I was fortunate enough to hear Mark Suster of GRP Partners talk at Gluecon on Cloud Computing: Challenges and Opportunities over the Next Five Years...

"You Think There Are a Lot of APIs Now? Wait Until Evrythng Has An API!"

28 May 2011
We are in the middle of an era of unprecedented growth in the number of available web APIs. In March 2011 ProgrammableWeb hit 3000 APIs in its directory, and is already up to 3,287 APIs as of today. This is nothing. If you want a glimpse into the future of APIs, take a look at Evrythng. Evrythng allows you to create online presence for any sort of object - products, business assets, vehicles, trees, buildings, and beyond. Evrythng then gives you a management system to organise and operate an online presence forobjects, storing active profiles and updates, controlling access, and tracking usage. Evrythng creates a unique online identity for every object, providing a presence on the Web through a globally accessible URI...

"The Rainmaker API Challenge"

27 May 2011
The Rainmaker API, which provides developers with a bi-directional sync from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other contact management systems is holding an API developer contest. The Rainmaker API Challenge is a month-long API developer competition to create new apps based on the Rainmaker API. The rules are simple: Just Build Something Cool! Prizes for the contest are: 1st place - $2,500 cash and 1,000,000 FREE Rainmaker API calls 2nd place - Apple iPad 2 and 100,000 FREE Rainmaker API calls 3rd place - 10,000 FREE Rainmaker API calls You can submit your application by emailing [email protected] and provide as much information about your application and the developer(s) involved...

"With Seevl Music Discovery, the Website is the API"

27 May 2011
Seevl, a music discovery service that provides anew way to explore the cultural and musical universe of various artists, just launched an API with the assistance of 3Scale. When deploying the API, Seevl approached it a little differently than most. Instead of providing a separate API to access data, Seevl relies on content negotiation principles to deliver alternative representations of web pages. This means the entire Seevl website is the API and you can get JSON representations of almost every page in the site. Seevl relies on HTTP headers to let developers request data using a particular content-types, and authenticate using three parameters: Accept - The content-type required X_APP_ID - Developer application ID X_APP_KEY - Developer application Key Here is an example search results for beatles using curl: This approach is meant to make it easier for to developers focus on the development and let the Seevl client libraries handle the content-negotiation...

"Loggly Introduces User Defined, Variable Pricing"

26 May 2011
Loggly recently changed the structure for their cloud-based logging service from a tiered pricing, to a user-defined variable pricing structure. Users can define their own pricing tier using two key variables: Daily Log Volume - 200MB to 8 GB Log Retention Time - 1 Week to 180 Days The pricing change was in response to a growing user base, and demand for volumes greater than 2GB/day. Loggly still offers a free plan which supports 200MB/day and retention of 7 days. There is also a beginning paid plan that starts with 200MB/day, but has retention of 15 days, starting at $8/month. Loggly is also adding support for secure syslog (TLS), HTTPs on web inputs, and log archives on all account levels including the free plan...

"Facebook Platform Focuses in on Game Developers"

25 May 2011
Tomorrow I'm participating in a session at Gluecon called Finishing School for Potential API Providers. Justin Tormey of Alcatel-Lucent will be talking some about segmentation of API developers to focus on the different types personalities wtihin an API ecosystem. Focusing outside of Gluecon for a moment, Facebook has been doing a good job of this type of platform segmentation. Yesterday they launched Facebook + Games, a page created for the the Facebook games partner and business community. The Facebook Page will focus on social gaming innovation, directly from the Facebook Games Partnerships Team. I wrote about the the Journalist on Facebook page last month, and how Facebook is targeting media and journalist with a similar Facebook Partner Platform page...

"Whats Next for APIs? Learning From Social APIs"

24 May 2011
The modern Web API got its start in CRM with Salesforce, and in E-commerce with Ebay and Amazon, but it really found traction with social platforms like Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook. If we want a glimpse of whats next for APIs we need to look at the areas where web APIs have been applied for the longest. We need to look at examples likeAmazon's integration of their affiliate program with their Product API, and Qwerly's aggregation of social media profiles into a single API. The social space is an area where the future of APIs is being played out right now. Since the social arena has reached a critical mass in the number of platforms, users, mobile apps, and available Web APIs, the sector has matured beyond other industries, and offers great insight into what the future holds...

"Whats Next for APIs?"

24 May 2011
I'm preparing for another talk tomorrow at the Glue conference in Colorado. Glue is a conference that assists architects, developers, administrators and integrators in solving problems around web application integration. Glue is about all of bits and pieces, APIs and meta-data, standards and connectors that will help us to glue together the varying applications of the new platform. I'm on a panel at Glue called, Whats Next for APIs?. I'm stoked to be invited along with some major players in the API space: Sam Ramji, Apigee Delyn Simons, Mashery Scott Monson, Alcatel-Lucent The session is moderated by Adam DuVander of ProgrammableWeb...

"Finishing School for Potential API Providers"

24 May 2011
I'm preparing for a talk tomorrow at the Glue conference in Colorado. Glue is a conference that assists architects, developers, administrators and integrators in solving problems around web application integration. Glue is about all of bits and pieces, APIs and meta-data, standards and connectors that will help us to glue together the varying applications of the new platform. I'm joining Justin Tormey, Director, Customer Evangelism - Open API Platform at Alcatel-Lucent to present a session called Finishing School for Potential API Providers. The outline for our session is: If you build it... they won't come Common Building Blocks Innovative Building Blocks Developer ? Developer Monetization Customers ? Customers Make it concrete...

Evernote Developer Competition and Conference

23 May 2011
Evernote has announced their first ever developer competition and conference called, The Evernote Trunk Conference (ETC). ETC is a one day event in San Francisco bringing together developers and entrepreneurs to discuss and code around the Evernote API. The event will have three main areas. Developer Sessions - Evernote developers and partners will discuss topics including the Evernote web service API, our cloud service architecture, Evernote Site Memory, mobile best practices, and more. Product Sessions - In these sessions, they''ll share deployment success stories, introduce ideas for useful integrations and provide tips for successful integrations. User Sessions - Throughout the event, they'll offer advice and stories from people who live their lives using Evernote...

Google APIs Discovery Service

21 May 2011
TheGoogle APIs Discovery Service provides a set of web APIs for discovering metadata across Google APIs. The discovery service delivers a JSON-based API that provides a directory of supported Google APIs, and a machine-readable discovery document"for each of the supported APIs that includes: List of API resource schemas based on JSON Schema List of API methods and available parameters for each method Available OAuth 2.0 scopes for each API Inline documentation of methods, parameters and available parameter values Developers can use the Google APIs Discovery Service to build client libraries, IDE plugins and other tools that interact with supported Google APIs. The Google APIs Discovery Service delivers two things for each supported API: APIs Directory Resource Identification and description information, including name, version, title, and description...

Google APIs Explorer

21 May 2011
The Google APIs Explorer is is a tool that helps you explore various Google APIs in a web interface without writing any code. Google APIs Explorer allows you to: Browse quickly through available APIs and versions See methods available for each API and available parameters Execute API requests for any method and see actual responses in real time. Make pubic or authenticated API calls The GoogleAPIs Explorer currently supports only JSON for responses and request payloads, even though some APIs support other data formats like XML and AtomPub. The Google APIsExplorer provides an quick access tool for developers to discover what APIs Google offers, and enables users to immediately start using...

Discovery Services for Common APIs

21 May 2011
I just wrote about the potential ofopen source API billing and traffic control building blocks, if Google would open source their Google API Console, like they did with the Google API Explorer. I started bundling in thoughts on Google APIs Discovery Service into that post, but then realized it is a separate issue, needing its own blog post. First, Google isn't about to open source Google API Discovery Service. They issue developers of the Google APIs Discovery Service a patent license. I couldn't find any more details tonight, but I'm assuming it puts this service in a different category than the rest. I wrote an overview of Google APIs Discovery Service, but essentially it is a way to discover and describe Google APIs using an API...

Google APIs Console

21 May 2011
The Google APIs Console is an interface for developers to manage and view traffic data, authentication, and billing information for up to 15 Google APIs, and more coming soon. Developers can bundle a collection of APIs into a project, and manage the following project information: Activated APIs - APIs can be activated to enable traffic monitoring, filtering, and billing, and API-specific project pages. Traffic information - Console reports show traffic information for each activated API, and allow for capping or filtering of usage for each API. Billing information - APIs now can have billing activated, allowing them to exceed the courtesy usage quota. Usage fees are billed using Google Checkout and charges are invoiced monthly...

Open Source API Billing and Traffic Control

21 May 2011
I was writing a story for ProgrammableWeb tonight on the enhancements Google made recently to its API console. I hadn't properly covered the API Console, API Explorer here on API Evangelist, so I took the time, played with more, and wrote up overviews for each. I noticed something while reviewing Google's recent efforts to organize their family of 88 APIs, and make it easier to discover, integrate, and manage for developers. Google is taking a similar approach to managing their APIs, as Apigee, Mashery, and 3Scale does for other API providers. Apigee, Mashery, and 3Scale provide a wealth of knowledge when it comes to API deployment that very few companies can touch. Beyond expertise, they provide a set of common building blocks every API should offer...

Series - 3D Printing - Virtual Warehousing

18 May 2011
With the growing number of 3D models used in 3D printing there is a building need for warehouse space to store these virtual products, and parts. Of course this is virtual warehouse space, but it has a lot of the same characteristics of warehousing for physical products. Google provides a 3D Warehouse for users of its SketchUp softare, and Shapeways provides a marketplace and warehouse in the form a gallery for its creators. Cloud Storage will definitely have a role to play in warehousing the growing number of 3D modeling files using platforms like Google Docs, Box.net, and Dropbox. 3D Warehouses need to provide search-able, sharable and collaborative spaces that are affordable for designers to store and retrieve their work...

Series - 3D Printing - Marketplaces

18 May 2011
Marketplaces are necessary to showcase and make 3D printing products and parts accessible by the public and other potential customers. Shapeways and Google SketchUp provide integrated warehousing and marketplaces for 3D designers to showcase their work. As 3D printing grows, public and private marketplaces will evolve to provide services to showcase 3D products and parts to potential consumers. Marketplaces will also go beyond showcasing 3D models, and actually act as marketplaces where items can be bid upon, creating virtual economies around 3D manufacturing. These 3D economies will allow consumers to buy individual or bulk printed versions of 3D models. 3D marketplaces will provide competitive arenas, that creators and designers can find success by offering cheaper, unique and innovative 3D print products...

Series - 3D Printing - The Creators

18 May 2011
3D printing starts with someones idea. Someones idea to recreate an existing object, or a vision of an object they hold in their head. The evolution of 3D modeling software and 3D printers is creating a whole new generation of designers and creators. These 3D creators come from many walks of life; architects, product designers, graphic designers, artists. and beyond. Creators can build entire finished products, ranging from dinnerware to architectural components. Creators can also build parts and pieces of finished projects from nuts and bolts to replacement parts. 3D designers and creators are often independent hobbyists and freelancers, but there are also a growing number of agencies and larger shops that are evolving along with 3D printing...

Series - 3D Printing - 3D Scanners

18 May 2011
3D printing doesn't always start with a human designer or creator. There are wide variety of 3D scanners that can be used in the 3D printing process. A 3D scanner is a device that analyzes a real-world object to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearance. The resulting data can then be used to construct 3D models. 3D scanning is no replacement for a human designer, but can offer a good start creating a 3D representation. Each 3D scanner has its benefits and limitations, and resulting data will always need much work before it can be used in 3D printing. 3D scanners can offer a lot of benefit in rapid prototyping, and reverse engineering of existing objects. Just like 3D printers you will find a wide range of 3D scanners, in both functionality and price...

Series - 3D Printers - Printers

18 May 2011
A 3D printer works by taking a 3D model, then by making a series of slices that are printed one on top of the other to create a 3D object of the model. Since 2003 there has been large growth in the sale of 3D printers, due to the decline in their cost. You can find 3D printing used in jewellery, footwear, industrial design, architecture, engineering, construction, automotive, aerospace, dental, medical and a wide variety of other industries. There are different types of 3D printers from low cost Makerbot printers for around $1500 to higher end ZCorp printers running around $60,000. There has even been buzz around 3D printers being able to print most of their own parts, enabling 3D printers to recreate themselves...

Series - 3D Printing - Files Formats

18 May 2011
3D models used in 3D printing are stored in files. These files can be a wide range of standard or specialized file formats. File formats often depend on the type of 3D modeling software used, but there are many common formats: .stl - STL is a file format native to the stereolithography CAD software created by 3D Systems. .iges - The Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) (pronounced eye-jess) defines a neutral data format that allows the digital exchange of information among Computer-aided design (CAD) systems. .obj - OBJ (or .OBJ) is a geometry definition file format first developed by Wavefront Technologies for its Advanced Visualizer animation package. The file format is open and has been adopted by other 3D graphics application vendors...

Series - 3D Printing - 3D Modeling Software

18 May 2011
When it comes to creating 3D models for 3D printing there are many types of software to choose from. 3D software solutions range from commercial to free, and can be desktop or part of a newer evolution of web-based applications. Popular 3D modeling software includeds 3DTin, Tinkercad and complete 3D printing solutions like Shapeways. One major player that was acquired by Google, is SketchUp. SketchUp is building a large following of amateur and professional 3D designers and creators. Many software solutions like Sketchup and Shapeways are finding success by simplifying the 3D modeling process and making it accessible by anyone. As many software solutions move online it opens up the possibility for data portability, collaboration and many other aspects that will fuel growth in 3D printing...

Series - 3D Printing - Process & Materials

18 May 2011
Once in production, a 3D model will be printed layer by layer using one of four potential 3D printing processes and corresponding materials: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) - SLS is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a high power laser to fuse small particles of plastic, metal, ceramic, or glass powders into a mass that has a desired 3-dimensional shape. Stereolithography (SLA) - Stereolithography is an additive manufacturing process using a vat of liquid UV-curable photopolymer resin and a UV laser to build parts a layer at a time. On each layer, the laser beam traces a part cross-section pattern on the surface of the liquid resin. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) - FDM works on an additive principle by laying down material in layers...

Series - 3D Printing - Delivery

18 May 2011
3D printing is about delivering a virtual object as a physical object, on demand. This is where our current shipping industry steps in; UPS, Fedex, USPS, DHS and other shipping providers will make sure we receive our 3D printed objects. With growing fuel costs, the need for localized delivery will grow, and here is another area where 3D printing will excel. 3D printers can be localized and deliver parts and products locally, with only the need to ship raw materials. As the green revolution continues, 3D printing will become a key player providing localized manufacturing, and potentially printing made of more sustainable raw materials. Delivery logistics will be a final and decisive link in an evolving 3D print and manufacturing supply chain...

Series - 3D Printing - Makers

18 May 2011
Just like it takes creators to develop 3D models of physical objects, it takes makers, who are people that actually bring these virtual representations into the world. 3D printers do most of the work, but it takes someone who knows the machine, materials and process to bring these 3D models to life. Many industries will adopt 3D printing, increasing the need for specialized talent understanding the needs of each sector, and how the printers, process and materials serve these sectors. Creators will understand objects in a virtual format, and makers will understand them in a physical form. 3D printing is still a relatively new technology and will require constant improving as it evolves, makers will feed this evolution, and provide the knowledge to move the industry forward...

Facebook Joins API Explorer Game, Sort Of

17 May 2011
API Explorers are proving to be an essential tool when getting up and running developing against an API. Apigee, Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, and Infochimps have all deployed REST API Explorers to support developer integration. Facebook has now joined in....well a sort of. Facebook employee Simon Cross developed a Facebook Graph API explorer for developers to use when working with the Facebook Graph API. The explorer lets developers specify and endpoint, and generate a JSON response, with or without an user login access token. Developers can also use the Facebook Graph API explorer for working FQL, which is the Facebook Query Language. Interesting that a Facebook employee was the one to develop and deploy the explorer, I'm sure its something Facebook will officially integrate into the Facebook developer area soon enough...

Google Apps Marketplace Offers TRUSTe Data Privacy Certification

17 May 2011
Google has partnered with TRUSTe to offer Data Privacy Certification for Google Apps Marketplace Apps. The certification program assists vendors of installable apps better communicate their data privacy and handling practices to Google Apps users. Installable Google Apps that become certified will have the TRUSTe logo displayed on their marketplace page, as well as in search and category results listing pages. If a Google Apps customers wants to see more details, they can click on the TRUSTe logo to view a privacy policy report, hosted on TRUSTe.com. All installable Marketplace apps have the option to apply for the free certification for the first year, and can choose to renew at $300 per year per app for each year after...

"YellowAPI.com and the Future of API Monetization"

16 May 2011
Canada's Yellow Pages Group (YPG) launched a new developer ecosystem to support their local search and location based services (LBS) API, YellowAPI.com. YPG sees their developer ecosystem much differently than many other companies, they view the YellowAPI as a direct extension of its core business model, and the API dramatically extends the reach of its business network. Within many API communities, the API owners can often seem distant from developers, or even view the development community as a problem. As a developer I've experienced the limitations imposed by Twitter and Facebook, and I often feel ignored by Google when using their APIs. I see YellowAPI's strategy as the future of API ecosystem management...

"Google API House Cleaning"

11 May 2011
Google has had a busy year when it comes to APIs. So far this year they've launched 6 new APIs: Tasks API Books API Pagespeed Online API Places API Prediction API Fusion Tables API As they add APIs to their directory they have also provided Google Discovery Service to help developers find APIs, Google Explorer to start working with APIs, and Google Console for developers to manage the APIs they integrate with. With the addition of new APIs, some of the older APIs are rendered obsolete with new versions of the API, while others are just shutdown for not getting traction...

Pearson Plans API Platform to Unlock Content

10 May 2011
Publisher and ed-tech company Pearson announced a new initiative to build an API platform that give developers access to the publisher's content. Pearson's Plug & Play Platform claims to unlock the company's large content bank which ranges from Dorling Kindersley (DK) Publishing's illustrated guides to Pearson Education textbooks. The new API platform will allow developers to mash up Pearson content with other content and data to derive entirely to types of web, mobile and tablet products. Pearson's Future Technologies Group Product Manager, Diana Stepner, says: We recognise the world has changed and our content needs to be available for innovative uses outside Pearson. Plug & Play opens up opportunities for DK and Pearson to connect with developers who are seeking the rich content we can share...

Amazon Affiliate Program is Integrated with Product API

06 May 2011
The Amazon Associates Program allows web site owners to make money by marketing Amazon products on other their sites. Users can market products using links and widgets they create by using the site stripe, a tool Amazon provides that builds code for links and widgets as they browse the Amazon web site. Affiliate members can earn up to 15% in commission for referrals to the site that result in a purchase. Amazon also provides a Product Advertising API for its more tech savvy affiliates to take advantage of. The Product Advertising API allows affiliate developers to programmatically access Amazon's product catalog so that they can integrate Amazon products directly into their web sites and applications...

Hazards of Developers Evangelist for an API.

05 May 2011
I'm working to make it easier to get up and running using the Mimeo Connect Cloud Print API. One concept that is tough to understand at first, is that all printing starts with a Mimeo document. Then using the API you can either order that document as is, or merge one or many PDF documents with it, generate a dynamic document, then order this new document. As part of our API, we have a Document Listing Service, except it only pulls documents from a central account I have control of. So if you want to pull one of the documents you created, you have to actually pull the Document ID from your My Mimeo account. Sounds easy right? Well its available in the URL, and in a properties screen for the document...

Does Your E-Commerce Marketplace Have an Embed Strategy?

04 May 2011
Embeddable widgets come in many formats, from JavaScript to iFrames, and are quickly becoming commonplace, especially within e-commerce platforms. Embeddable objects allow users, especially non-developers to copy and paste content from web sites and embed within other sites, blogs, and social networks. 3D printing and manufacturing platform Shapeways, provides a marketplace for their designers to sell their products, and also provides a set of widgets for users to promote the products they've created and published to their Shapeways shop. The Shapeways widgets is a classic example of why RESTful APIs are so powerful. Shapeway employs an iFrame widget where users can enter their shop name, and customize the number of rows and columns, and the height and width of the widget...

An Example of BizDev 2.5

03 May 2011
In 2006, Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake coined the phrase Biz Dev 2.0 in a blog post explaining how several small companies had approached Flickr wanting to provide services that the photo-sharing site didn't feature. She noted that Flickr executives had little time in their schedules to arrange meetings to hash out these partnerships, and instead encouraged companies to feel free to apply for a Commercial API key and build something off the API. Biz Dev 2.0, she called it. Fast forward to 2011, APIs are a common part of the technology and business landscape. Some API providers have evolved their API offerings into platforms, and introduced self-service application development environments...

APIs That Compliment Each Other

03 May 2011
I'm starting to see more API providers working together to attract developers to their platforms. As an API Evangelist I look for other APIs that enhance the Mimeo Connect Cloud Print API, and try to figure out how I can leverage this, or at least tell the story. Google Cloud Print Services Interface and the Box.net API have been two of my favorites so far. I also just finished a blog post about creating classroom training materials with Crocodoc and Mimeo Connect. Today I saw thatRdio, the social music service announce their partnership with The Echo Nest, a music intelligence platform. They are partnering behind the scenes, but I'm sure the API is the driving force behind this relationship...

Business of APIs - Primer for the API Economy

02 May 2011
With the recent explosion in the number and usage of APIs, the Internet technology industry is well aware of the value of the application programming interface. It recognizes that APIs drive much of the Internet from social media and cloud computing to mobile applications. But while there is plenty of information to get the developer community up and running with APIs, there is a shortage of information that can serve to educate the business community about the business of APIs. The necessity of having that sort of outreach is one reason why I use the term API Evangelist instead of Developer Advocate. While yes, developers do still need advocates, I also feel that there needs to be more evangelism to the business community about APIs and their benefits as well...

Managing Print Files with Box.net

30 April 2011
As the Mimeo.com API Evangelist one of my jobs is to find other platforms, services and technology that goes well with the Mimeo Connect Cloud Print API. One such platform that I've identified as a Mimeo.com partner platform is Box.net. Box.net provides a complete cloud storage platform, with a powerful developer platform and application directory called OpenBox. Mimeo.com provides commercial web to print services, and with Mimeo Connect Cloud Print API you can integrate print file management from Box.net *** Heads up!! This requires basic understanding of box.net and programming with PHP *** To do this I sign up for a Box.net developers account and add new OpenBox application: Give Application Name and Description Assign a description page for the application that tells about my printer...

Facebooks Operation Developer Love

30 April 2011
Facebook has been accused of not caring about, or communicating with its developers, an image that can be hard to shake. Recently they made a huge effort in turning this around, with a campaign called Operation Developer Love. Each week they recap whats happened within the development community and provide some other nuggets of information: Code Samples Forum Activity Bugzilla Activity This week they also provided an overview of how they are improving their documentation. They also provide some insight into some developer site latency, and how they've move the site to some new servers and show a graph of significantly improved performance. Operation Developer Love is a great example of actively trying to engage your API developer community...

Bound Document Printer with Box.net and Mimeo Connect

30 April 2011
As the Mimeo.com API Evangelist one of my jobs is to find other platforms, services and technology that goes well with the Mimeo Connect Cloud Print API. One such platform that I've identified as a Mimeo.com partner platform is Box.net. Box.net provides a complete cloud storage platform, with a powerful developer platform and application directory called OpenBox. Mimeo.com provides commercial printing of many types of bound documents including spiral bound, magazine style, and perfect bound, and with Mimeo Connect Cloud Print API you can integrate printing of these using Box.net *** Heads up!! This requires basic understanding of box.net and programming with PHP *** To do this I sign up for a Box...

Brochure & Flyer Printer with Box.net and Mimeo Connect

30 April 2011
As the Mimeo.com API Evangelist one of my jobs is to find other platforms, services and technology that goes well with the Mimeo Connect Cloud Print API. One such platform that I've identified as a Mimeo.com partner platform is Box.net. Box.net provides a complete cloud storage platform, with a powerful developer platform and application directory called OpenBox. Mimeo.com provides commercial printing of single sheet flyers and other brochures, and with Mimeo Connect Cloud Print API you can integrate printing using Box.net *** Heads up!! This requires basic understanding of box.net and programming with PHP *** To do this I sign up for a Box.net developers account and add new OpenBox application: Give Application Name and Description Assign a description page for the application that tells about my printer...

"Internal Adoption Can Boost Support for your API"

28 April 2011
When it comes to APIs, and who uses them, we often think about partners. Sharing data and resources with partners has long been the number one reason for deploying APIs. With the increased popularity of web APIs, many companies are opening up their APIs to the general public and freelance developers as well. In addition to partner and public developers, there has been a recent trend in APIs being adopted internally, within a company. Many companies are finding success in eating their own dog food and building web and mobile applications using the same API infrastructure offered externally. As an API evangelist, there can be a lot of value in encouraging API adoption by internal users. Internal usage of APIs can increase efficiencies by sharing data and resources between departments and separate company locations...

Create 3D Models from Images for 3D Printing

28 April 2011
3D printing innovators Shapeways has released a new concept in 3D Printing. Image Popper is a new tool that allows you to upload a black and white JPG, and Shapeways will generate 3D model from it. After the image is uploaded you can choose the size and how much you want the drawing raised to create the 3D object. Innovative tools like Image Popper that allow users to build 3D models for 3D printing without CAD experience is an important piece of moving forward the 3D printing and manufacturing industry.

"A Unified Approach to Delivering APIs"

28 April 2011
Not all APIs are the same. Even with RESTful approaches to delivering APIs they can be quite different. As APIs grow and as we want to be able to connect apps to multiple inputs and endpoints, there's an increasing need to make the process easier, more streamlined, and interoperable. One example of this is within the cloud computing industry. When using AmazonEC2 and Rackspace, developers have to write separate code to integrate with each platform. Another example is with social networks, when pulling social streams from Facebook and Twitter, developers have to develop separate code for each provider as well. An new approach to solving differences between APIs that deliver similar functionality, but use different approaches, is to build a unified API...

"Instapaper Mobile App and API Strategy"

28 April 2011
Marco Arment creator of Instapaper, is sharing his thoughts and strategy around the decision to discontinue the free version of the Instaper IPhone application. A couple months ago he also shared his thinking behind providing a full read / write API for paid Instaper subscriber accounts. There is a lot of value in both his posts regarding monetization of APIs and mobile applications, but there is another story here. Arment is an innovator in the web, mobile, and API development space. His openess to sharing the thoughts behind his strategy in all these areas is extremely valuable to our industry. This insight, experience and the surrounding discussion provides potential models for other startups to follow, and could be the difference between success or failure...

"APIs Being Used for Public Health"

28 April 2011
Foursquare just highlighted an innovative use of their API, that alerts people to public health issues. DontEat.at is a service which merges city health code records with the Foursquare API to warn people via text message, when they check into a restaurant that has recorded health code violations. An excellent example of the power of APIs for mashing up data and providing real-time value that can even be used for the public good.

"API Contests and Hackathons are a Marketing Vehicle"

27 April 2011
As I'm identifying common building used by various API service providers to build their APIs and communities, there are two innovative tools Im seeing show up more often. API contestsand hackathons. API providers like Twilio and Netflix are using them to attract new users, and to generate buzz and innovation around their API. When I'm out at events, educating business users about APIs, I often get asked about the viability of contests and hackathons to generate free code and applications for an API community. I think there is a common misconception amongst the business community that API owners can get away with not paying developers to build code and applications, by just framing what they want in the form of a contest or hackathon, and developers will all rally, and work for free...

Google Sketchup and 3D Cloud Printing

26 April 2011
I'm doing a lot of researching and thinking about the future of commercial printing, 3D printing, and manufacturing. Yesterday I was brainstorming on 3D printing and manufacturing with Google. Tonight I'm learning more about Google SketchUp,which Google added toGoogle Apps in December of 2010. Google SketchUp allows anyone to build 3D models to the STL file format, a standard for the 3D print industry. 3D printers like Shapeways lets you upload your STL files, print and order them in their physical form.. Google SketchUp provides a free and professional version of the modeling software. They also provide a 3D Warehouse where you can find a collection of 3D models that are free to use. There is a community of resources as well as training and education materials to learn about the platform...

"Deltacloud Universal Cloud API"

25 April 2011
I'm spending time going through RedHat's Deltacloud set of cloud APIs. They recently recently moved the project to the Apache Incubator and submitted it to the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) . With the Deltacloud API you can start an instance on an internal cloud, then with the same code start another on Amazon EC2 or Rackspace. This seems like the closest thing we have at the moment, to a true cloud API standard. Deltacloud Core provides: REST API Backward compatibility across versions Deltacloud Aggregator provides a web UI in front of the Deltacloud API. With Deltacloud Aggregator, you can: View image status and stats across clouds, all in one place Migrate instances from one cloud to another Manage images locally and provision them on any cloud Deltacloud API and Aggregator are free and open source and support the following providers: Amazon EC2 GoGrid OpenNebula Rackspace RHEV-M RimuHosting They will also soon be supporting: Terremark vCloud They offer up a Ruby Gem for download...

"Open APIs Give Content Providers More Control"

25 April 2011
I'm organizing my code libraries tonight. These are PHP, JavaScript, Regular Expressions, SQL, and other tools I use for different purposes. One such purpose is harvesting and scraping. I have an extensive library of PHP code I've used in the last 5 years to pull web pages, parse tables, submit forms, and what not. As I'm organizing these snippets of code into Snippely, I'm thinking about all the effort I've put into getting content. I've harvested government data, craigslist posting, real estate listings, and a wide variety of news, products, and geo-data. If I need some data, I much prefer using an API, but if I have a need and there is data available on a web page...I just harvest it. If a content provider does not have an open API, I view them much differently than if they do...

Research: 3D Printing and Manufacturing with Google

25 April 2011
I'm watching the future of manufacturing and printing unfold slowly in front of us. I'm paying attention to 3D printing solutions evolving from companies like Shapeways, MakerBot, Materialise, ZCorp, and Objet. At the same time I'm involved with the rollout of Google Cloud Print Services Interface, an API for managing printing to any printer over the Internet. I'm using Google Docs as a publishing platform, integrating Google Cloud Print with the Mimeo Connect API and evolving whats possible with commercial cloud printing. Google has added support for many more native file formats in Google Docs. Now all they need to do is add support for common 3D printing file formats: .stl - STL is a file format native to the stereolithography CAD software created by 3D Systems...

"Phaxio API Review"

23 April 2011
Phaxio lets developers build faxing capabilities into systems with a simple API. The Phaxio API provides a RESTful API, using production and test application keys for authentication, with all API responses in JSON. The entire application is centered around the API, and has no language kits or samples code currently. Building Blocks Technology RESTful API Documentation / Tools Documentation Support Blog FAQ Pricing Contact Form Terms of Service Privacy Policy Developer Self-Service Registation Account Info App Key

Sending API Invites

23 April 2011
The ability to send email invitations to other potential users is a pretty common tool in place in many applications, helping them hopefully to expand their user-base. Phaxio, an API that allows developers to integrate faxing capabilities into their applications, has email invitation as a main menu option in its API area. The Phaxio API is in private beta, but existing users can send off a Phaxio invitation code that allows other developers to discover and sign up for the faxing service. Application email invites are clearly not something new. And with the growth of social media, it may be that sharing via Twitter or Facebook has become more associated with the steps necessary to make things "go viral...

Prepaid Billing for APis

23 April 2011

"API Partner Platforms"

21 April 2011
As an API Evangelist I'm always grouping and targeting my API consumers, to better meet their needs and identify their role within my API ecosystem. The three main groups that I break my API users into, are: Partners Developers Public Developers Internal Developers When I first started working with APIs, I generally focused on API access for partners. With the introduction of Open APIs, I began paying attention to a wider audience of developers from different countries, industries, programming languages and platforms. Recently APIs are also being recognized for their use internally. API owners often target other departments or business locations when deploying or consuming APIs...

Measuring the Popularity of APIs

21 April 2011
How do you measure the popularity of your API, or someone else's API? If its your API, hopefully you have metrics established for every part of your API and supporting API area. But how can we measure the API space as a whole? I get asked a lot about, what are the top APIs out there. ProgrammableWeb measures popularity by the number of mashups that are built on an API. Using this metric, Google Maps, Twitter, Flickr and Youtube rise to the top. Not all APIs are suited for mashups, and we definitely need more ideas of how to measure popularity and usage of Open APIs. I would start by using Alexa, Compete, and Quantcast who provide SEO related analytics and ranking for web sites. Next I would look at the number of partners an API has showcased in their developers area or web site...

"DocuSign API Hackathon"

21 April 2011
DocuSign is holding a Hackathon to build the most innovative app in either the business, consumer, enterprise and mobile space using the DocuSign API. Dates May 14-15, 2011 Location DocuSign Offices @ 111 Sutter St, 10th floorSan Francisco, CA 94104 Prizes Most Innovative App - Grand Prize $10,000 USD Best Consumer App - $5,000 USD Prize Best Enterprise App - $5,000 USD Prize Best Mobile App - $5,000 USD Prize Contest Details Developers must register themselves or their team prior to the start of the contest Developers will have May 14th and 15th, 2011 to build & submit a new app (due by 7:59PM on Sunday, May 15th...

API Business Models - How to choose the right one for you?

20 April 2011
Presentation assets are the user interface or visual front-end to an application. Logic assets are the algorithms, analytics or services which take data inputs, do some processing and provide a response. Data is the raw content but can also include simple transformations of the content. Different services can be linked together to provide a complete application system. It is important to break out of the mind-set that your company has to deliver all three assets. It is true that traditionally the only way to deliver applications was for a company to own responsibility of all three. However the World Wide Web and APIs liberate companies from the need to deliver all three. Now more and more companies benefit if they focus on their unique value-add...

Hoovers API Tweetup

19 April 2011
Hoovers Inc, a provider of an API that allows you to stream reliable, on-demand business information into applications is holding an API Tweetup: When: April 21, 2011 Time: 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. EST You can participate by searching for the hashtag #APInnovate. The Hoovers API Tweetup is meant to discuss the future of APIs, and more specifically: What types of trends are evolving in APIs/mashups? What's the best business API mashups? The Tweetup will be hosted by API experts, Stephen Bergmann and Ryan Patrick.

News Industry R&D with Open APIs

18 April 2011
There is an excellent analysis of Open API usage in news organizations at the Nieman Journalism Lab, called Wisdom of the (developer) crowd: Key lessons from news organizations using open APIs to ramp up R&D. This analysis is a summary of a paper bySeth Lewis, professor at University of Minnesota, and Tanja Aitamurto, a Finish PH.D student at Stanford, that was presented at the International Symposium on Online Journalism earlier this month. After studying the approaches of the four biggest players with open APIs are NPR, The New York Times, The Guardian, and USA Today, Lewis and Aitamurto came away with five key lessons: Open APIs can serve as external R&D labs Open APIs present a revenue opportunity Open APIs help weave news organizations into the fabric of the web Open APIs create an ecosystem effect Open APIs can be a challenge, especially within the news organization Lewis and Aitamurto conclude that Open APIs are not the solution to all of the news industries problems, but they are significant step toward a form of online publishing that is in sync with the web, and also allow publishers to take advantage of thewisdomof the (developer) crowd for research & development...

"Beyond Partners and Developers with Your API"

17 April 2011
I've been watching my girlfriend Audrey Watters, evolve her online presence as a freelance writer working for ReadWriteWeb, O'Reilly, NPR Mindshift, and other high profile blogs. @AudreyWatters has large Twitter following, however she keeps her Facebook very private. A growing portion of her user base are sending her Facebook friend requests, because she keeps her profile private, she doesn't accept. So naturally she created a Facebook page. I watched her install the Facebook like social plug-in to the single.php file, which will display it on each blog post, and added an activity feed social plug-in to the sidebar of her blog. She runs her blog on Wordpress, and was able to do this easily...

Community Driven API Code Samples and Libraries

15 April 2011
Sample code libraries are an essential part of an API ecosystem. They give developers a head start when integrating their applications with an API. I've explored the concept of letting your API developer community build code samples and libraries. Doing this may create a more engaged community and give developers a sense of ownership and attachment to the API. As I reviewed the Freshbooks API, I noticed they have a very community-driven API code samples area. The Freshbooks API provides client libraries in Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, JavaScript, ActionScript, Java, .NET, and C++, as well as plug-ins for popular frameworks like Zend, Drupal and Symphony. Many of the client libraries and plug-ins are built by the Freshbooks API community, such as: Drupal plugin by Ryan Szrama...

Claim Your Territory with New APIs by Building Code Samples

15 April 2011
We are witnessing some tremendous growth in the number of new Web APIs. ProgrammableWeb, for example, added 1000 new APIs to its directory over the last year. Many of these APIs are brand new and have very few code samples or libraries to go with them. These new APIs represent a huge opportunity for developers to stake a claim within these communities -- to build their portfolios and their resumes. Recently Google released their Google Cloud Print Services Interface. The only thing available was some documentation describing the handful of API endpoints for managing printers and print jobs. I went to work trying to understand Google's vision of cloud printing, and I wrote a simple PHP class for working with Google Cloud Print...

Github Says, If There is an App, There is an API

13 April 2011
Github launched someenhancements to its GitHub Jobs homepage, and IPhone application. Being the forward thinkers they are, they say: If there's an app there's an API, so we've made ours available to everyone... The GitHub Jobs API allows you to search, view, and create jobs with JSON over HTTP. The APIalso provides support for JSONP, by appending ?callback=myFunction to any API request, it will wrap the response in a function call to myFunction. This is useful when making requests to the GitHub Jobs API using JavaScript. Nothing to revolutionary, or noteworthy about the API, except Github is just way cool, and I love their perspective that, if there is an app there is an API.

Freshbooks API Review

13 April 2011
Freshbooks provides time tracking, expense and invoicing Software as a Service (SaaS). The Freshbooks API is a RESTful API, using OAuth for authentication. The API provides sixteen endpoints, providing the same functionality through the API, as whats available through the web application. The Freshbook API community provides Ruby, Python, PHP, CakePHP, Perl, JavaScript, ActionScript, Java, and .NET sample code libraries. Building Blocks Technology RESTful API OAuth Documentation / Tools Overview Documentation Sample Code Tour Authentication Overview Developer Tips Support Blog FAQ Forum Developer Account Info Developer Key Community Forum

"Chicago API Hack Day"

13 April 2011
Hack Day, the all-day API hackathon is coming to Chicago on Saturday, May 28th, from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Hack Day is hosted at the Morningstar offices, 22 West Washington Street, home of the Morningstar Tech Talks. The hackathon is designed so developers of all experience levels can form teams, meet new friends, work on projects, and find out about great tools and new APIs to play with. Visit the Hack Day Chicago registration site to register, and the www.apihackday.com web site for more information. Hack Day is brought to you by Apigee, Mashery, Twilio, SendGrid, and SimpleGeo.

LinkedIn API Platform and the Evolution of the API

13 April 2011
LinkedIn refreshed its developer platform recently, updating its RESTful API and JavaScript API. A noticeable change, was its continued evolution towards a more plug and play API environment. When you visit the LinkedIn developers area, the first option on the menu is plug-ins, and the main page is totally dominated by embeddable profile tools. The RESTful API and Javascript API are only accessible off a single menu option, the community has a clear focus on courting non-developer LinkedIn users. With the rise in popularity of RESTful APIs and JavaScript, we are seeing a explosion in widgets, embeds, plug-ins and other copy / paste code that any tech savvy user can deploy. Attracting the developer community to new APIs can be tough...

Freshbooks API Add-Ons, Billing, and Webhooks

13 April 2011
I am slowly working my way through hundreds of APIs and doing business reviews of their approach to delivering their APIs. At API Evangelist I'm focused on the business of APIs, with a minor focus on the technology behind those APIs. So when I publish a business review of an API, I will add it to my API database, then move on. That is, unless I identify a story -- an innovative approach, monetization strategy, or anything that I feel needs to be talked about in more detail. While reviewing the Freshbooks API I found three notable building blocks: Application Billing - A built in billing and payment framework for Freshbook applications and beyond Webhooks - Framework for enabling application callbacks, URLs where the Freshbook system can send notifications to third party applications FreshBooks Add-on Store - Application store and development platform for developers to build custom apps, showcase, and sell to Freshbook customers...

An Organic Approach to Your API Ecosystem

12 April 2011
There are many approaches to building an API ecosystem. Some approach it more like building an API community, and others as growing an API ecosystem. Howard Liptzin, at Avatar Industries prefers a more organic approach growing an API community. In his own words: What you'll want to do is to create the conditions for a community to form, thrive, produce and grow. Liptzin emphasises gardening over engineering, not managing your community, more facilitate. Before you even start, Liptzin offers a little advice: Make sure your API actually solves a problem that merits solving! Then Liptzin identifies five areas to address when growing your API ecosystem: Creation Activation Retention Productivity Growth It is great to see other API owners and evangelists share their philosophies and approach to growing their community...

Open Source Manufacturing, Web APIs, and 3-D Printing

11 April 2011
I just finished reading, Will 3-D Printing End Mass Manufacturing, on Mashable. I also had a link to an open source manufacturing site bookmarked from a couple months ago. And of course I live and breathe Web APIs on a daily basis. So after reading all this, my mind starts thinking about open source manufacturing processes bundled with open web APIs, and the future of 3-D printing and / or manufacturing. Open Source Manufacturing - Open source manufacturing lets you download hardware, blue-prints, and instructions for any potential manufacturing process. Web-APIs - An interface that allows application developers to build on top of data or another application. 3-D Printing -3D printing is a form of additive manufacturing technology where a three dimensional object is created by laying down successive layers of material...

"Twitter API is Not Just for Developers"

11 April 2011
I keep stumbling across innovative approaches to using Web APIs, for non-developers. The other day I wrote about quantifying your social media impact, using Google Docs and social media APIs, byTom Critchlow. Tonight I came across a example of archiving your daily tweets into a Google spreadsheet using the Twitter API. Richard Orelup came up with this little hack in response to this tweet: So in all of Twitter-dom, there is seriously no tool that archives a day's tweets in a sortable fashion? Using the importXML() function he pulls Twitter updates from the Twitter API and stores in this Google Spreadsheet. The spreadsheet template is pretty straightforward to use. Just make copy, and update the twitter user value...

Rdio Shares Revenue with API Developers

10 April 2011
Rdio is a music streaming service, where users can access music via the web or mobile phone for a monthly fee. Using Mashery, Rdio provides a RESTful API where you can do just about anything you can trough the web interface. Rdio provides a pretty significant incentive for their developers, in the form of revenue sharing. Developers of the Rdio API can earn recurring revenue each month for every new subscriber recruited through their application. Also developers can earn revenue each time someone purchases and downloads an MP3 file from the service. Through the Rdio Affiliate Program developers can earn from between 2% and 7% for purchases made within a 30-day cookie window. Having an API affiliate program seems like a logical way to incentivize developers to build applications...

"Readability API Contest"

10 April 2011
Readability is having a contest encouraging developers to build innovative reading applications using the Readability API. Contest Starts: 4/6/2011 Submission Deadline: 5/5/2011 Contest prizes are: 1st prize: $5,000 2nd prize: $2,500 3rd prize: $1,000 Applications will evaluated on the following criteria: Quality - How polished is it? Usefulness - How practical is it? Creativity - How novel is it? How open is it - How does it allow others to innovate further? Contests Links: Contest Overview Request API Key Submit Proposal Readability is a reading platform that delivers a great reading experience and provides a model where readers activity directly compensates publishers and writers...

Art: 3-D Print a Figurine of Yourself

09 April 2011
A group of innovators called BlablabLAB have integrated a Kinect with a 3-D printer to print personalized statues. BlablabLAB setup an interactive art installation on the streets of Barcelona, which allows users to stand in a structure surrounded by three Kinect sensors. The sensors capture a 360-degree video of the person, then sends details to a low-resolution 3-D printer, which spits out a small thermoplastic figurine. You can watch a video on the BlablabLAB project over at Vimeo. Its a pretty cool low cost, high tech approach to personalized printing.

"RESTful Business Architecture"

09 April 2011
In my quest to fully understand the underlying principles of Representational State Transfer (REST), i'm re-reading Roy Thomas Fielding original dissertation, Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures, where he first introduced the REST architectural style. His dissertation explored the junction of two disciplines in computer science: software and networking. He identifies that software research: ...has long been concerned with the categorization of software designs and the development of design methodologies, but has rarely been able to objectively evaluate the impact of various design choices on system behavior. While networking research: ...is focused on the details of generic communication behavior between systems and improving the performance of particular communication techniques, often ignoring the fact that changing the interaction style of an application can have more impact on performance than the communication protocols used for that interaction...

API Evangelism vs. Developer Evangelism

09 April 2011
I have found a voice through my blog, API Evangelism. I get asked why "API Evangelism" instead of "Developer Evangelism"? I see a significant difference: Developer Evangelists spread awareness, and understanding of an API, or APIs, amongst the developer community. API Evangelists spreads awareness, and understanding of an API, or APIs, amongst the developer and business community. Developer evangelists are generally focused outwards, staying within the developer community and often times are, or have been developers themselves. They understand the problems their developers face and provide resources, so they are successful using an API. As an API Evangelist I focus on everything a developer evangelist focuses on, but I also find myself selling the API and its benefits both externally and internally...

APIs Are Not Just for Developers

09 April 2011
One of the reasons I believe APIs are growing so popular is they are getting easier, and easier to use. The main reason they are getting easier to use is due to the adoption of RESTful approaches when delivering APIs. Many APIs that use REST can be easily hacked by just changing values in the URL query string, instantly making APIs accessible by a wider audience Once users get past the confusing acronyms and jargon us programmers use, and realize whats going on, they can start accessing the data and functionality that's behind the curtain. RESTful APIs open up data and functionality to anyone, and we are starting to see a new breed of hackers from many disciplines including journalism, social media marketing, and government, to name a few...

Box.net OpenBox

08 April 2011
Box.net provides a cloud platform for storing, sharing and managing files and content in the cloud. Box.net OpenBox provides a directory of custom third party applications that add value to Box.net and can be integrated with users accounts. On the back-end Box.net OpenBox provides developers with a self-service application development platform to build and deploy applications in the OpenBox directory. Any developer can register with Box.net and: Create New Application Provide details of application including category, name, and summary Add screenshot or logo Set integration points and callback URLs with Box.net Developers create what are called actions, these actions show in users navigation after choosing to use a OpenBox application...

BizDev 2.5 with APIs and Self-Service Platforms

08 April 2011
APIs have been influential in ushering in a new era of business development, dubbed BizDev 2.0. APIs empower new types of relationship to be built between a business and its partners or openly by public developers. Self-Service application platforms move this business development forward and introduces a third player into the game, platform partners. Platforms like Google Apps, and Box.net not only deliver APIs, they provide a self-service application development environment, a place where third party businesses can access their users, and add value to their platform. Forward thinking businesses can bring their own APIs, and communities development power to these environments and create applications tailored specifically for Box...

Google Apps Marketplace

08 April 2011
Google Apps is an online email, document, and collaboration platform in the clouds. Google Apps Marketplace provides a directory of custom third party applications in various categories for Google App users to add, to their available services. Google Apps Marketplace also provides a self-service platform for application developers to build applications and deliver for free, or for pay, via the Marketplace. Any developer can register for a vendor profile, and: Create new application listing Provide details of application including category, name, and summary Set pricing of application Provide external links Add screenshot or logo Provide screencast or how to video Add version information All applications must support Single Sign On (SSO) for Google Account integration...

Anatomy of a Self-Service Application Platform

08 April 2011
In addition to the growth in number of APIs, and the evolution ofBizDev 2.0, there is a rise in self-service application platforms accompanying APIs, within many cloud platforms. Platforms such as Google Apps and Box.net are adding these self-service application development environments within their API ecosystem. Each platform has its own approach to this type of self-service architecture, but there are many similar characteristics: Applications - Interface for defining new application characteristics. OpenID / OAuth / User Resource Access - Secure and granular access to users profile and resources. Development Environment - Controlled, secure environment for developers to build applications in...

Allow API Users to Embed Content with oEmbed

06 April 2011
Now the content "consumer" can take returned information about the Flickr image and display on web page using JavaScript, PHP or other language. This is just a simple example of using oEmbed to display a Flickr image, much more is possible with oEmbed. Some oEmbed providers include: YouTube Flickr Viddler Qik Revision3 Hulu Vimeo oohEmbed Poll Everywhere My Opera Embedly There are several language libraries for deploying oEmbed APIs: PHP: php-oembed PHP: Services_oEmbed Perl: Web-oEmbed Ruby: oembed_links Python oEmbed Django: djangoembed oEmbed APIs, bundled with simple, configurable JavaScript widgets give API users a simple way to embed and syndicate content to other web sites...

Sharper Developer Focus with Embed.ly Redesign

05 April 2011
Embed.ly launched a new, improved API area with a focus on helping first time users to understand what the API is, and how to use it quicker. If your not familiar with Embed.ly, the API allows developers to embed videos, images and rich media from 212 services through a single API. The web site redesign brings API documentation and overview of their oEmbed technology front and center on dashboard. Also providng direct links to client-side libraries: jQuery Closure As well as server-side libraries: Python Ruby Node PHP Java There is also quick access to common CMS and blogging platforms tools they've developed for: Wordpress Plugin Embedly Script Tag RegEx Generator Also providing important spotlight for community-developed tools: Drupal Module Joomla Plugin Embed...

"Opportunities in API Deployment, PDF APIs"

04 April 2011
I'm spending time evaluating different types of APIs in various categories. I want to see how each provider delivers their API in similar categories, and potentially look for opportunities within those categories for new API services. I'm starting with PDF APIs. There are quite a few web APIs providing services to generate and work with PDFs. The first main group of APIs I notice are HTML to PDF conversion APIs: DocRaptor Doculicious htm2pdf Joliprint HTML2PDF Web2PDF PDF My URL PDF Crowd Next there are a couple of other PDF conversion tools: Anything to PDF - Convert base 64 encoded data to PDF PDF Alchemy - Word to PDF Beyond document conversion I found two APIs for commenting and annotating PDFs: Crocodoc - PDF commenting and collaboration A...

"Open Building Blocks for an API"

04 April 2011
When deploying an API, the interface is just the beginning. You need tools and resources to support the API. There are common building blocks that are used by many existing APIs, such as documentation, forums, code samples and other tools developers have come to expect from APIs. When selecting which building blocks to use for an API area, there are many things to consider. There are many opinions on which are essential, and this can vary from industry to industry. One thing everyone agrees is that metrics and analytics for an API are a must have. Beyond the common building blocks, many API owners are providing new innovative tools such as: Application Showcases Idea Directories Contests and Hackathons API Explorers If you are planning an API and do not have much experience with API technology, or what building blocks you will need, you should talk to experienced API service providers such as Apigee, Mashery, or 3Scale...

"3Taps Data API Speaks My Language"

04 April 2011
All of us programmers have a preferred programming language. It is the language that we identify with and prefer to build projects in. When it comes to delivering an API area, one of the most important building blocks for getting programmers up and running are language libraries. Data API provider 3Taps shows how to deliver their API code libraries, in just one click. As soon as I click on "Developers" off the main menu, I get all the top languages front and center. I can immediately click on my language of choice, fork or download the repository from Github and get to work. 3Taps demonstrates how to deliver API code libraries in a way that will really speak to developers.

"Superfeedr XMPP over HTML5 WebSockets"

04 April 2011
Superfeedr keeps showing what a pioneer they are when it comes to web, API and feed technology, with a release of an Ejabber module that builds WebSockets into an XMPP server. XMPP provides identity, authentication, presence, and notifications for APIs and other feeds, and with the growing adoption of HTML5, the WebSockets API is the perfect built-in browser client to interact with APIs and feeds in the browser. The Superfeedr Ejabber module is written in Erlang and available over at Github. They recommend you use the module with Strophejs, an XMPP library written in Javascript. XMPP is growing in popularity as a protocol for providing real-time API and feed updates, while increasing the efficiency of API networks by minimizing polling of API endpoints...

"Integrate Github Into an API Community"

02 April 2011
GitHub is a web-based hosting service for software development projects that uses the Git revision control system. The site also provides social networking functionality such as feeds, followers and a network graph to display how developers work on their versions of a repository. Github provides two main tools that can be used in an API area: Github Repositories - Git code repositories for various supporting areas of an API Gists - Gist are a simple way to share snippets of code There are several ways to use Github repositories and Gists in an API area: Documentation - Display example calls, requests, and responses using Gists Code Samples - Display code samples using Gists, and package up entire sets of code samples using Github repositories Code Libraries - Package up official and community generated API code libraries as Github repositories Prototypes - Publish API prototypes as Github repositories Github provides a way for API owners to manage a large number of code samples, libraries and prototypes, in a way that allows developers to fork and contribute code as part of the community...

Billboards that Monitor and Respond to API Activity

01 April 2011
Its kind of goofy at first glance, but if you think about it...it is a pretty powerful application of an API. GranataPet, a German dog food manufacturer, created a billboard that dispenses a treat for your dog when you check in to it using Foursquare. Think about the possibilities when you have signs, billboards, and other types of display that either respond or dispense something when you interact via your mobile phone and an API. Opens up a whole lot of possibilities when you have devices that monitor APIs for specific triggers, respond accordingly, and then developers build software on top of those APIs.

NPR News for Android 2.0

01 April 2011
NPR announced their new NPR News application for Android 2.0 today. Normally I wouldn't cover just any new app or feature release, but there is more of a story here than just a new mobile app. I am interested in the way they went about designing it. Last summer they submitted designs for the new Android application to the open source community to discuss how to best move forward with designing the mobile app. They gathered feedback from users and built in what the community said was most important, such as new player, universal navigation, as well as adding programs with live streams and the ability to favorite stations. They are working to publishing the source code back to the community repository, keeping the project open source...

Factual Dataset + IndexTank API Contest

01 April 2011
Factual has announced a new contest. They are encouraging users to buid an app that uses both IndexTank real-time custom search API and Factual's dataset of 14M US businesses. Contest Prizes are: First Place - IPad 2 Second Place - Parrot Quadcopter Air Drone Third Place - Amazon Kindle All contest particpants who submit a live app get a free t-shirt from IndexTank & Factual and featured in IndexTank's App Gallery Contest participants are charged with building innovative local business apps using the two services: IndexTank - Real-Time Custom Search API Factual - Business datasets To get started: Read the Contest Rules Sign up for Factual Sign up for IndexTank Submit Contest Application Contest submissions are judged upon the following criteria: Usefulness Creativity Elegance/Efficiency The extent to which it takes advantage of IndexTank's features and Factual's data...

"The Mendeley API Binary Battle"

01 April 2011
Mendeley, the academic social network for organizing, discovering and collaborating around research, has announced an API contest. Mendeley is awarding $10,001 for anyone mashing up something cool with the 70 million documents, usage statistics, reader demographics, social tags, and related research. All you need to do is: Register for an API key Build an application using the Mendeley API Fill out the binary battle entry form You can enter more than one app to increase your chances of winning one of the prizes. Winners will be announced on October 31st, 2011. The contest has some well known judges: Juan Enriquez - Managing Director of Excel Venture Management and CEO of Biotechonomy...

"Use Your Community to Build API Code Libraries"

01 April 2011
An important tone of my blog is not to ever say any API owner should, or developers have to do anything. My role as API evangelist is to observe, discuss and explore the business of APIs. I was discussing best practices around API ecosystems with a prominent developer the other night an a O'Reilly Web 2.0 event. He had an interesting perspective on how to build community around an API. Building your API community can start with your code libraries. His recommendation was that API owners should focus on building a simple and standardized API that provides true value, and do not build your own API code libraries. Let your community build, and contribute code libraries in their preferred programming language...

"Simpler Twitter API Integration with Web Intents"

31 March 2011
Since the Twitter OAuth Apocalypse integrating tweets into a web page requires writing an OAuth application for even the simplest of Twitter integrations, like replying, retweeting and favoriting. Twitter just released a new simpler API called Web Intents that makes Tweets more interactive when you display on the web. The Twitter Web Intents API provides a JavaScript interface for adding Reply, Retweet, and Favorite links to a specific Tweet: You can access detailed documentation, display guidelines, and standard Reply, Retweet and Favorite icons at the Twitter web site. Twitter Web Intents API is an example of a growing trend of simpler tools that make APIs accessible beyond the developer community...

"API Metrics and Analytics"

31 March 2011
I document a lot of the common building blocks used by API providers. These are common tools used across many industries and types of APIs to build their ecosystem. I hesitate to ever say any of these common building blocks are essential, because every API potentially has different requirements. However, one building block that is essential for every API, is metrics and analytics. API owners should me measuring every aspect of their API and its community, and be constantly reassessing their strategy based upon what is going on in real-time. API analytics is what service providers like Mashery, Apigee and 3Scale bring to the table. Mashery and Apigee proxy your API to deliver analytics, while 3Scale provides a plug to gather data for reporting on...

"Netflix API Review"

29 March 2011
The Netflix API allows anyone to build a custom application integrated with the Netflix movie and television streaming platform. Netflix provides a RESTful and JavaScript API, and uses OAuth for authentication. The API provides access to users account data and the Netflix movie and TV catalog. .NET, Ruby, Python, Java and Perl Libraries as well as some PHP samples are provided for accessing the API. Building Blocks Technology RESTful API OAuth Documentation / Tools Dashboard Documentation Code Libraries Authentication Overview Support Blog Forum Developer Registration Account Info App Key Community Forum App Gallery Netflix uses the Mashery platform for their API and its community...

A Sensible Approach to the Twitter API Ecosystem

27 March 2011
I just finished reading two more posts on the recent changes to the Twitter API terms of service. There are a lot of opinions on whether Twitter was right or wrong in their approach to reign in their developer community. I understand Twitter wanting to take back some control over its ecosystem and monetize its world. I do not understand why people are demonizing Open APIs or the developer community. Both made Twitter what it is today. I wanted to put some thoughts down on how I'd engineer a more sensible approach to the Twitter API ecosystem. Brand Control: Twitter needs to keep expanding its branding resource area where users can come to get CSS, HTML, images, widgets, borders and many other higher quality assets that can be used by the community and maintain a quality level of brand control for Twitter...

Watchmouse Top 50 API Availability Report

25 March 2011
Watchmouse, a website and application performance monitoring service launched a new report that monitors the top 50 most popular APIs as ranked by ProgrammableWeb. A few of the APIs included in the report include are Google Maps, Google Search, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Microsoft Virtual Earth, and Wikipedia. Ten APIs delivered 100% uptime during the reporting period including Basecamp, Delicious, eBay, goo.gl, Google Buzz, Google Charts, Google Maps, Google Search, Quora, and SimpleGeo. API availability is extremely important to developers that are are integrating APIs into their applications, and knowing the track record of an API is valuable information for any developer considering adoption of an API...

"Data APIs and Exploration with Infochimps"

24 March 2011
Infochimps recently launch some new API calls, and expect to be launching hundreds more in the coming months. Infochimps is taking large data sets in areas likecensus, housing, and education and making them available via an API. Also Infochimps is bundling these data sets and RESTful APIs with their API Explorer. This allows even non-developers to play with large data sets. Some new API calls they've built are: Qwerly - You know when you Google someone's name and through some SEO magic, you can find all of that person's social media profiles? Imagine being able to easily integrate these presences into your applications. Query a person's Twitter handle and the Qwerly API call will return any of his or her social media presences (Facebook, Friendfeed, Flickr, etc) that it can find...

Explorers Open API Access Beyond Developers

24 March 2011
I am seeing more API owners and service providers launching REST API explorers lately: Apigee Console Salesforce Google Windows Live Infochimps These REST API explorers allow users to make calls and explore REST APIs using a web interface. Apigee Console even allows you to Authenticate with APIs using Basic Auth or OAuth. The simplicity of REST has contributed to the extreme growth in the number of Web APIs in the last year, and API explorers are going to fuel this growth in 2011 and beyond. API explorers put the power of Web APIs in the hands of non-developers, allowing journalists, students, politicians, and any tech savvy Internet user to access the data and functionality available via APIs...

"Twitter, Lendle and the State of the Open API Ecosystem"

22 March 2011
As such, there has been much discussion recently about Open APIs and whether or not third party developers are wise or foolish to build their businesses on someone else's platform. The concern stems from a number of reasons, least of which being Twitter's pronouncements about the "rules of the road" for its ecosystem, and now Lendle's announcement that Amazon has revoked its access to the Amazon API. The reactions to both Twitter and Amazon have been pretty strong. And while I do think Twitter is making some serious mistakes with its approach to its API and developer ecosystem, we might be making some mistakes of our own if we lump the Lendle/Amazon issue in to concerns about Twitter. Is Amazon shutting down apps that are poaching on its ecosystem? That's not clear...

"AlchemyAPI Adds Sentiment Analysis to Text Mining Platform"

21 March 2011
AlchemyAPI, a natural language processing service announced a new sentiment analysis layer to its existing text-mining Software as a Service (SaaS). The service can be used by online publishers, news aggregators, and contextualadvertising firms to understand and monetize online content. The cloud-based text mining platform provides document-level, entity-level, and keyword level sentiment ming, in addition to support for negation handling, sentiment amplifiers or diminishers, slang and typos. These features make the text mining API usable for analyzing and understanding user-generated social media content as well as editorialized text. Sentiment analysis is available immediately to all AlchemyAPI users, more information is available at the AlchemyAPI web site...

"Setting the Tone for your API Terms of Service"

21 March 2011
I wanted to establish a base Terms of Service for my API area. So I went and read the API terms of service from 15 top APIs I found the opening paragraph says a lot about how a company approaches their API. Here are the opening paragraphs for the top 15 API terms of service I came across: Twitter Twitter maintains an open platform that supports the millions of people around the world who are sharing and discovering what's happening now. We want to empower our ecosystem partners to build valuable businesses around the information flowing through Twitter. At the same time, we aim to strike a balance between encouraging interesting development and protecting both Twitter's and users' rights. So, we've come up with a set of Developer Rules of the Road ("Rules") that describe the policies and philosophy around what type of innovation is permitted with the content and information shared on Twitter...

API Idea Management with Google Moderator

18 March 2011
Silicon Valley is full of ideas. APIs provide the data and functionality that many of these ideas are built on. If you have an API, hopefully you have lots of ideas on what developers can do with it -- ideas that you can share with your API community in order to inspire them to create. Many innovative APIs are building tools for managing ideas within their communities. Google uses Google Moderator for idea management in their Google Apps Marketplace. Moderator is a a web application used for managing comment submission around topics, and enables users to submit ideas and vote up other ideas in the system. Moderator also has an API for deeper integration into other applications of these topics, submissions, and votes...

Rethinking the NPR API Ecosystem

17 March 2011
Twitter has been working hard lately to define the rules of the road for the Twitter API ecosystem. When it comes to monetizing content and media, there are many differing opinions and by extension there are many approaches to managing an API ecosystem. NPR's approach is innovative, making incremental changes in technology and business rules. NPR is improving its API technology to be easier to use, run faster, and deliver all types of content better. NPR is also innovating around digital rights management, to support their Ingest System which allows partners to publish content into the NPR system. Managing digital rights and content has its own challenges, but you throw in APIs -- the ability for partners to publish and developers to access this content -- it can't be easy...

Google APIs Now Support SSL

16 March 2011
Google will start supporting the use of SSL in many of their APIs. SSL will improve API security by encrypting all data communications between 3rd party applications and Google, protecting data from interception by a malicious third party. Google Web Search, Google Maps, Gmail and Google docs all currently support SSL for API access. They are working to introduce SSL support in other APis as well as update existing client libraries and code samples to support SSL. Beginning September 15, 2011, Google will require that all users of Google Documents List API, Google Spreadsheets API, and Google Sites API use SSL connections for all API requests. SSL will further legitimize the integration of Google APIs into third party applications...

Google API Access with OAuth 2.0

14 March 2011
Google has evolved their API authentication to embrace OAuth 2.0. Even though the OAuth 2.0 specification isn't 100% finalized, Google has overhauled all of their APIs in Google Code to support it. OAuth 2.0 is much easier for developers to implement, and simplifies OAuth consent for application users. Google's support for OAuth 2.0 is a big boost for developers integrating with their API, as well as big vote of support for the future of OAuth 2.0 as the standard for API authentication. You can find documentation for OAuth 2.0 underAuthentication and Authorization for Google APIs.  

History of APIs - Amazon S3

12 March 2011
In March, 2006 Amazon launched a new web service, something completely different from the Amazon bookseller and e-commerce site we've come to know. This was a new endeavor for Amazon: a storage web service called Amazon S3. Amazon S3 provides a simple interface that can be used to store and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web. It gives developers access to the same highly scalable, reliable, fast, inexpensive data storage infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own global network of websites. Amazon S3 or Simple Storage Service was initially just an API. There was no Web interface or mobile app. It was just a RESTful API allowing PUT and GET requests with objects or files...

History of APIs - Foursquare API

11 March 2011
In March 2009 Foursquare launched at the SXSW interactive festival in Austin, TX. Foursquare is a location-based mobile platform that makes cities more interesting to explore, by checking in via a smartphone app or SMS, users share their location with friends while collecting points and virtual badges. In November 2009 after a round of angel funding from several investors including Union Square Ventures and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Foursquare launch their API. At the time of API launch, Foursquare had an impressive set of applications developed by a closed group of partners including anAndroid application and augmented reality with Layar. Even with growing competition from early mover Gowalla and major players like Facebook and Google, Foursquare is still one of the dominant mobile location-sharing and check-in platforms...

History of APIs - Instagram API

11 March 2011
On October 6, 2010 Instagram launched its photo-sharing iPhone application. Less than three months later, it had one million users. Kevin Systrom the founder of Instagram focused on delivering a powerful, but simple iPhone app that solved common problems with the quality of mobile photos and users' frustrations with sharing. Immediately many users complained about the lack of central Instagram web site or an API, with Instragram remaining firm on focusing its energy on the core iPhone application. In December a developer name Mislav Marohni? took it upon himself to reverse engineer how the iPhone app worked, and built his own unofficial Instagram API. By January Instagram shut down the rogue API and announced it was building one of its own...

Please Feed the Unicorns - Nurturing Developer Champions

10 March 2011
This is a presentation hacker advocate Abraham Williams gave at an Apigee API Meetup in February meetup on the care and feeding of API champions- or as he calls them, unicorns. Thanks for sharing the video Apigee. Answerly from API Meetup on Vimeo. You can view the Please Feed the Unicorns video and get a copy of the slideshow over at API Meetup.

Zappos API Developer Contest

10 March 2011
Zappos has announced an API developer contest called the Zappos API Developer Challenge-palooza-athon. They are looking for web applications, mobile apps, or even a simple widget that is built with the Zappos API. Prizes are: Best Overall Application: $1,000 ($500.00 Zappos.com gif certificate and $500.00 cash) Most Fun and Weird Application: $500.00 ($250.00 Zappos.com gift certificate and $250.00 cash) Best Mash-up Application: $500.00 ($250.00 Zappos.com gift certificate and $250.00 cash) The contest runs from March 10th until March 31st, and full contests rules are available on the Zappos web site. You can find full Zappos API documentation and a getting started guide at developer...

Brand API Starter - Location / Geo

09 March 2011
I have been thinking aboutAdam Kleinbergs recent posts,Why Every Brand Needs an Open API for Developers andDigging deeper on Brand APIs. He's right. The pace ofAPI development skyrocketed in 2010, and will continue in 2011. Brands that don't have an API will be left behind. I suggested companies get their feet wet in the API space by starting with a basic RESTful API that servers up data about their products. Then once a company is confident in supporting their API they can consider delivering more supporting product information. Whats a good next move? Location and Geographic Data. Where can your products be found? Retail and Wholesale. Provide quality, up to date information about who sells your products...

Brand API Starter - Supporting Product Data

09 March 2011
I have been thinking aboutAdam Kleinbergs recents post,Why Every Brand Needs an Open API for Developers andDigging deeper on Brand APIs. He's right. The pace ofAPI development skyrocketed in 2010, and will continue in 2011. Brands that don't have an API will be left behind. I suggested companies get their feet wet in the API space by starting with a basic RESTful API that servers up data about their products. With a functioning API and API area, a company can think about whats next? More product data of course! There has to be more information about your products that you can make available? Product documents, videos, reviews, testimonials, case studies and other news or information. What information do you provide on your web site? Provide any supporting product data you think might provide benefit to developers and their application users...

Brand APIs - Start with the Basics

09 March 2011
I have been thinking aboutAdam Kleinbergs recent posts,Why Every Brand Needs an Open API for Developers andDigging deeper on Brand APIs. He's right. The pace of API development skyrocketed in 2010, and will continue in 2011. Brands that don't have an API will be left behind. When companies consider an API for their brand, they should start with the basics Product Information - Core information about your products. Supporting Product Information - Additional supporting information about your products like documents, videos, reviews, etc. Location and Geo - Location of where to get your products. With proper API terms and conditions, brand guidelines, and requiring all developers to register a company can monitor and protect the quality of their brand...

Brand API Starter - Product Data

09 March 2011
I have been thinking aboutAdam Kleinbergs recent posts,Why Every Brand Needs an Open API for Developers andDigging deeper on Brand APIs. He's right. The pace of API development skyrocketed in 2010, and will continue in 2011. Brands that don't have an API will be left behind. Where does a company start? Start with what you know. Your products. Make your product data available via a RESTful API. Provide the basics: Names, Descriptions, and Images. Allow developers to sign up, and register for a key. Provide simple documentation describing how to make calls against your API, sample code in PHP, Ruby, and Python. Setup an FAQ page, blog, forum, and support contact form. Establish a clear terms and conditions page, with clear brand guidelines regarding how users can use your product data...

Programmable Web: 3000 APIs and Growing

08 March 2011
Congratulations to ProgrammableWeb for hitting the 3000th API in their directory. The ProgrammableWeb API directory has seen some amazing growth: 1,000 APIs: over 3 years 2,000 APIs: less than 2 years 3,000 APIs: about 9 months Three other noteworthy trends, the ProgrammableWeb team notices: API as a Company - More companies launching just as API. REST and JSON - Simplification of APIs through REST and JSON. Internal Usage - More companies consuming their own APIs. Some might say the recent explosive growth is part of a "bubble", but if you look at the numbers its been a long 11 year road since Salesforce first launch their API in February of 2000. This is just the beginning of the coming global API economy...

Google API Explorer

08 March 2011
Just days after Apigee made their API explorer free and embeddable, Google has announced a new API Explorer. The new Google API Explorer is an interactive interface for playing with Google APIs. Google API Explorer currently supports: Google Buzz API Google Custom Search API Diacritize API Moderator API Shopping API Translate API URL Shortener API The API Explorer interface provides public or private access to APIs, with the private access handling the necessary OAuth authentication. By selecting an API you wish to explore, you can see all the available methods and parameters along with documentation. Just fill out the parameters for the method you want to try and click execute...

Manufacturing: 3D Printing a Nylon Bicycle

07 March 2011
Engineers in the UK are using 3D printing with a nylon powder to create a really cool, futuristic bicycle. Guided by a computer-aided design program, a laser fuses together several layers of finely powdered metal, nylon or plastic. The laser melts the powder, which solidifies according to a chosen pattern. Then more powder is added, melting and solidifying to add layer upon layer until the object is fully formed. Its just a prototype of whats possible with current 3D printing and manufacturing technology. Here are some other things I've seen come off the 3D assembly line lately: Space Stations Architecture Body Parts Food It seems like every week I'm seeing something new in the 3D printing and manufacturing space...

API Area - Common Building Blocks

07 March 2011
I have spent time reviewing 100+ of the most popular APIs. I am trying to determine a common set of building blocks that are essential to API adoption. Here is a list of what I consider are the most common building blocks for API areas: Overview Getting Started API Reference / Documentation Code Samples Blog Forum FAQ Pricing Terms and Conditions The most successful APIs also provide self-service developer tools: Registration Application Registration API pioneers like Ebay, Salesforce, Flickr, and Google have established a common set of essential API building blocks through trial and error over the last decade. Other API providers can learn from this API history and experience, and make sure they start with the essential API building blocks for sucess...

Apigee API Console is Now Free for Everyone to Use

07 March 2011
Apigee has released its API Console as a free, publicly available tool for use by any API provder. The API Console allows developers to view an API, authenticate with the API and begin making requests and seeing responses from an API. The new publicly available API console lets API owners create their own API console, skin it to match brand, and embed within any API area. The API console assists developers with authentication by handling OAuth 1.0 and OAuth 2.0 access to APIs. Once authenticated, developers can begin exploring an API and making calls. It allows developers to begin using an API and understanding how it works without any programming. This type of exploration is critical for API adoption...

Mashape API Service Provider

04 March 2011
Mashape provides tools that enable developers to quickly deliver and consume APIs and offers a marketplace for listing APIs to buy and sell. For developers looking to publish any resource as an API, Mashape provides: PHP and soon Ruby frameworks for extending your software Tools for testing your API Code for generation of custom errors Components for user management Standardized API code language libraries For developers looking to consume an API, Mashape provides standardized API libraries in the following languages: JavaScript / JSON PHP Ruby Obj-C Java Python Mashape provides other informational resources about APIs, including an explanation of why a library approach is good, background on REST, and ideas on what is possible with the platform...

Software Development to API Development

03 March 2011
In the last 20 years we've seen the how the Internet has altered the role of the developer from a desktop software developer to aweb application developer. It started with web sites, the need for talented graphic designers who could also assemble some HTML to deliver static web sites. With languages like VBScript, JavaScript, and Coldfusion, websites began evolving into Web applications, requiring developers to master more dynamic Web programming lanugages. Then smart phones began making the Internet mobile and pushing developers to start programming for platforms like IPhone and Android. The next phase: the API developer. Companies like Clearcode in the UK are beginning to offer API design and development services in order to meet the increasing demand for well-designed RESTful Web APIs...

Achieve an API Ecosystem Powered by Elance

28 February 2011
Taking an API from area to community takes a lot of work. It just doesn't happen overnight. It takes a perfect balance of technology, developers, partners, resources and hard work. APIs are a big part of the future of a distributed workforce, and developer communities like Elance are building the workforce to support the APIs. You can leverage the Elance platform to: Providing High Quality, Professional Developers Develop API SDK and Code Samples Develop API skills test and accreditation I have developed this prototype API developer area, driven by the Elance community to show what is possible using the Elance API. Using the power of the existing API developer community at Elance you can quickly take your API beyond community and build a living API ecosystem...

Provide High Quality, Professional API Developers with Elance

28 February 2011
Every API owner wants to ensure she or he has high quality, professional developers to refer to partners when building applications that use their API. It can take years to cultivate an organic community of high quality developers for an API area. Freelance developer communities like Elance have existing developers and provide existing tools for:   Defining Skills - Establishing common development skillsets that are needed for API integration. Skills Acreditation - Self assessment, skills testing, and acreditation around a specific API. Rating System - Establishing a rating system for developers to set levels of expected quality around API development. Job History - Show job history for API developer, establishing a professional history of API developoment...

Develop an Elance Skills Test for Your API Area

28 February 2011
Integrating with APIs requires a wide variety of skills. Depending on the technology an API uses, integration may require knowledge of OAuth, REST, SOAP, XML, JSON, and mobile platforms. Each API has its own unique requirements for mastering it and efficiently integrating it with other systems. Any company wants the best developers to work on their projects, but how do you verify that developers are reliable and truly understand an API and its intricacies? To ensure a developer understands an API, the API should establish a certification process for all developers to participate in. Many enterprise organizations are looking for ways to have developers certified. Elance provides services for building skills test and accreditation programs around API communities...

Plug and Play API Developer Area with Elance

28 February 2011
One way to make sure your API has qualified and reputable developers from day one is to tap into an existing freelance developer community. Popular freelance sites like Elance provide existing communities of developers with the skills an API owner or partner is looking for. Elance provides access to their developer communities via a RESTful API. Using the Elance API, I have built a plug and play API developer community. My API Evangelist, API Developer Community prototype provides an example of what is possible when tapping into existing developer communities to satisfy the development needs of a new API community. My API developer community provides the following tools: Browse Developers (by tag) - Allows users to browse developers by categories (tags) that are predefined...

Use Elance To Develop Your API SDK and Code Samples

28 February 2011
API code samples and software development kits (SDK) are among the most important tools for getting developers up and running with any API. Providing complete sets of code samples for every area of an API and in as many programming languages as you can is important to a developer's (and an API's) success. With complete sets of code samples in a wide variety of programming languages an API has a greater chance of success in getting adoption amongst the wider developer community. Using existing freelance developer communities for developing API SDK and code samples is a great way to build your code libraries with minimum use of internal resources. And in turn, by using Elance developers to build code samples, you've made another move towards establishing a pool of high quality, dependable developers that have experience with an API...

If You Build It (an API), They Will Come

28 February 2011
One of the goals of any API is to catch the attention of developers and become a tool they depend on and integrate regularly into their applications. If you build an API and release it into the wild -- even if it's high quality -- there are no guarantees the developers will immediately come. Even the big players like Google have to build awareness and resources around their APIs before they can hit a critical mass of developers and be on the road to success. Developer presence and activity is critical in attracting new developers and partners to an API. Partners want to see that there are qualified, highly skilled and reputable developers available who can work on a particular API before they'll consider integrating that API into their own systems...

PubSubHubbub for APIs

23 February 2011
Superfeedr is now supporting PubSubHubbub for data APIs. PubSubHubbub was initially created for XML to alleviate the number of times a feed is polled versus how many times it actually has an update. The bandwidth consumption and server load of an API can be reduced greatly by adding a PubSubHubbub layer on a data API. Primary areas of a Superfeedr PubSubHubbub deployment are: Resource Identification - Identify what services your developers / applications are polling the most. Identify how many requests are made against how many times information was returned. Push Discovery - Indication to any applications polling your API that the content being polled is available in a push fashion by adding an HTTP header to the API responses which mentions the Superfeedr hub...

Twilio Anything Goes SXSW Developer Contest

22 February 2011
The cloud communications platform Twilio has a new API developer contest this week. As usual they are looking for someone to build a killer app that uses the Twilio voice and SMS API. This round they are looking for more, but first lets set the stage with the prizes: A guaranteed seat on either the Cleveland, or Miami SXSW Startup Bus A ticket to SXSW Interactive, valued at $750 In addition to building a killer app, they are looking for someone to tweet, blog, record video, and generally represent Twilio on the bus. Entries must be submitted by 11:59pm PT on Sunday February 27th.

Use Google Apps APIs Without Being a Programmer

15 February 2011
Google just released the Google Apps Shell Interface (GASI), a graphical user interface for working with Google Apps APIs. GASI allows Google Apps administrators to make certain API calls through a graphical user interface without having to write programs. The GASI library provides a list of available commands to get going, as well as allowing command line interface. You can download Google Apps Shell Interface (GASI) from Google Code. Google's move reflects another important step towards making APIs usable by non-programmers and further democratizing the power of the API. Related articles History of APIs - Birth through Social (apievangelist.com) Cadmus Offers Algorithmic Twitter Feed Curation (programmableweb...

Sweet Sound of APIs Contest

15 February 2011
Twilio is having a new developer contest called Sweet Sound of APIs. Mission: Create something cool using your favorite music API and Twilio. Prize: Amazon Kindle 3G and $100 in Twilio Credit Deadline: 11:59 PM PT on 2/20/2011 They have asubmission form, when your ready. Each week Twilio is announcing a new contest, to encourage developers to try Twilio for different use cases, industries, and integrations.

Art: 3D Printing Fixes Art Treasures

14 February 2011
In 2007 the popular statue Rodin's Thinker was stolen from the Singer Laren museum and damaged while the thieves were trying to destroy and sell it for scrap metal. At the request of the museum, a team of 3D printers at Materialise, took 3D scans of the damaged statue to assist in repairs. Using of of their Materialize 3D printing machines, the largest 3D printer in the world, they created a mold that was used to restore the statue. An interesting example of how 3D printing is not just for creating new works, it can repair historic artifacts as well.

API Technology - OAuth

13 February 2011
OAuth is an open protocol to allow secure API authorization for web applications, desktop applications, mobile phones, and other devices. When OAuth is implemented for an API, it provides benefits for potentially three types of users involved: API Owners - Allows web application and API owners publish data in a standardized and protected way. Web Application Users - Allow users of web applications to open access to their data and resources in a secure way. Developers - Provides developers with a standard method for building applications that integrate with APIs. Virtually any application resource can be shared via an API, including photos, product, location or user information. OAuth can issue access tokens for each individual resource area...

API Technology - Basic Auth

13 February 2011
Basic Auth is a way for a web browser or application to provide credentials in the form of a username and password. Because Basic Auth is integrated into HTTP protocol it is the easiest way for users to authenticate with a RESTful API. Basic Auth is easily integrated, however if SSL is not used, the username and password are passed in plain text and can be easily intercepted on the open Internet. OAuth is a much better choice for RESTful API authentication, but Basic Auth is perfectly suited for APIs that are intended for a wider audience and do not give access to sensitive information. Related articles Instapaper Launches Full API (apievangelist.com) Google Adds API For URL Shortener and Link Analytics (programmableweb...

API Status Dashboard with Pingdom

12 February 2011
Pingdom is a Software as a Service(SaaS) that provides website monitoring and up-time reporting. Recently they started offering public report pages. These reports or status pages allows you to make some or all of your monitoring results public, promoting transparency with your users. These status pages can easily be converted to deliver an API status page for your developer community. Pingdom provides HTTP and Custom HTTP monitoring that gives you enough tools to monitor a RESTful API and provide reporting. Since the public reports are hosted at Pingdom, they will be available even when your own website is down. In addition to a basic up and down status dashboard, Pingdom also provides visual charts and graphs: Uptime and response time charts...

Sunlight Congress API - [Developer Review]

12 February 2011
Sunlight Labs has released an API that will help address the Sunlight Foundation's mission - making information about government more open and transparent. The Sunlight Congress API provides an interface for developers to pull Members of Congress's information, including name, party, location, email addresses, website information, and much more. The Sunlight Congress API is a RESTful API that returns JSON or XML, and uses an application key for authentication. The URL looks like: http://services.sunlightlabs.com/api/api.method.format?apikey=YOUR_API_KEY&params The Sunlight Congress API provides the following methods: Legislator legislators.get - get all information on a single legislator legislators...

History of APIs - Birth through Social

10 February 2011
We hear a lot of talk about companies that were pioneers in the API space. In an ongoing series we want to try to document the story behind these pioneers, and we are calling it History of APIs. So far we've covered what we consider the early innovators of the modern web API: Salesforce - February, 2000 Ebay - November, 2000 Amazon E-Commerce - July, 2002 We call this the birth period of the modern API movement. Salesforce, Ebay, and Amazon were the leaders of this movement and set the stage for the social period of the modern API movement. The social period had one clear pioneer: Flickr - February, 2004 Flickr was the clear leader in redefining what APIs could be used for, and establishing the RESTful movement with their dead simple API...

Mobile Provider APIs

10 February 2011
As mobile phone adoption and usage continues to grow we are seeing a parallel growth in APIs to support the mobile browsing market. Many API providers are seeing the majority of calls coming from mobile phones vs. web or desktop clients. Another unnoticed area of mobile API growth is from mobile carriers themselves. Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T all provide developer APIs. The Verizon Developer Community provides documentation, tools, support, resources and two API services: Location API - Allows developers to create applications that use the subscriber's location as part of the delivery of their service. Messaging API - Provides developers with a network based Messaging API service to offer interactive services to our customers using Mobile Originated (MO) andMobile Terminated (MT) messaging...

Instapaper Launches Full API

10 February 2011
Instapaper just launched a Full API giving developers access to web pages that Instagram users have saved to read later. The API provides full Instapaper account access, but can only access web page bookmarks from paid-subscriber accounts. Those who haven't paid the $1/month fee for an Instapaper account will still be able to submit to Instapaper using the Instapaper Simple API. The API uses oAuth 2.0 for authentication and provide a set of helper libraries to get going. Instapaper API services and endpoints are: Account / Authentication /api/1/oauth/access_token /api/1/account/verify_credentials Web Page Bookmarks /api/1/bookmarks/list /api/1/bookmarks/update_read_progress /api/1/bookmarks/add /api/1/bookmarks/delete /api/1/bookmarks/star /api/1/bookmarks/unstar /api/1/bookmarks/archive /api/1/bookmarks/unarchive /api/1/bookmarks/move /api/1/bookmarks/get_text Folders /api/1/folders/list /api/1/folders/add /api/1/folders/delete /api/1/folders/set_order Instapaper has provided some insight on its blog regarding why it chose to provide Full API access to data from paid accounts...

History of APIs - Flickr API

09 February 2011
In February 2004 the popular photo sharing site Flickr launched. Six months later they launched their now infamous API, and six months after that, they were acquired by Yahoo. Flickr was originally created as an online game, but quickly evolved into a social photo sharing sensation. The launch of the RESTful API helped Flickr quickly become the image platform of choice for the early blogging and social media movement by allowing users to easily embed their Flickr photos into their blogs and social network streams. The Flickr API is the driving inspiration behind the concept of BizDev 2.0, a term coined by Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake.

OpenTok API Video Chat Developer Contest

08 February 2011
The OpenTok API is holding a developer contest to see who has the most unique and innovative approach to the video chat market. The company is holding a series of contests over 6 weeks: Week 1 Deadline 11.59pm Monday February 14th Prize: Android Tablet Week 2 Deadline 11.59pm Monday February 21st Prize: Microsoft Kinect Week 3 Deadline: 11.59pm Monday February 28th Prize: Boxee Box Week 4 Deadline: 11.59pm Monday March 7th Prize: Apple iPad Deadline for all finalists to submit final versions of their apps Monday, March 21. OpenTok will announce the winning app on April 5. Applications will be judged on the following criteria: Most differentiated approach to the video chat/video conferencing market Innovative use of the OpenTok API Innovative user experience and feature set Visit the OpenTok blog for the latest information on their video chat developer contest...

API Technology - SOAP

08 February 2011
SOAP, or Simple Object Access Protocol, is an XML-based protocol that allows applications to exchange information over the Internet using HTTP or RPC. SOAP uses Extensible Markup Language (XML) for its message format. The SOAP Messaging Framework consists of: Processing Model - Rules for processing a SOAP message Extensibility Model - SOAP features and SOAP modules Underlying Protocol Binding Framework - Rules for defining a binding to an underlying protocol that can be used for exchanging SOAP messages Message Construct - Structure of a SOAP message A SOAP message returning a users information might look like: SOAP was originally designed in 1998 as a Microsoft project and became a W3C Recommendation in June 2003...

OpenTok API Review

08 February 2011
OpenTok is a free set of APIs from TokBox that enables websites to integrate live, group video communication into their web sites and applications. The OpenTok provides a RESTFul API using an application key and user token authentication. Server-side libraries available in Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby. Building Blocks Technology RESTful API Documentation / Tools Documentation & Reference Getting Started Code Libraries Code Samples Tutorials Documentation Widgets Embed Support Blog FAQ Forum - Google Group Twitter Developer API Key App Showcase Community Forum - Google Group

API Roadshow

08 February 2011
Events are definitely one of the most important tools in an API Evangelist's tool box. Making a regular showing at popular events both on and offline is critical to building the awareness and the trust of the development community. Speaking at major events is the best route to reach developers if you're targeting larger conferences, as exhibiting is not as rewarding as it once was. However, meetups and hackathons are the future. Reaching the developer audience requires being able to step up to the bar with a pint of beer and being able to go the distance at hackathons. Traditional marketing techniques are often tuned out by the new development crowd and having a presence, building trust and mingling with the community are key...

Instagram Launches API

08 February 2011
The mobile photo sharing site Instagram officially launched an API this evening. This comes just under a month after the company asked developers to stop using a rogue API that was reverse engineered by an outside developer. Instagram is accepting signups for access to their new API at: http://instagr.am/developer/ Developers will be notified when they open up access. Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO says, That the first step to creating a lasting company is to work with the many talented developers out there in the world. Instagram addreses image security and reassures that users will retain full ownership and privacy controls over all images. The Instagram API merely allows talented developers to create really neat and useful apps for you to get more out of your images...

Guide to Sharing Your Data

06 February 2011
So you want to share some data-- perhaps out of the goodness of your heart, perhaps it makes you look good or perhaps you're required to do so. Whatever the case, sharing your data should be done in such a way so that the data is truly open and accessible. First: Putting data in a PDF does not really constitute opening and sharing your data! I don't care how much we all love (or hate) the PDF. PDF has a lot of good uses, but sharing data is not one of them. PDF is a Portable Document Format and is great for sharing documents, but it does'nt provide and structure for data. So if you take your data and publish it online in a PDF form you are not making your data open or accessible. Second: Posting an Excel file to the Internet is a good step, if you speak Microsoftese, but it would be better to export it as CSV (Comma Separated Values) or TSV (Tab Separated Values)...

Launch Region Specific APIs

04 February 2011
With the increase growth in API usage in 2010, and expected growth in 2011, the need for high availability APIs will increase. One way to localize usage and increase API performance is to deploy region specific APIs. There are several ways to do this including global cloud load balancing, but a more cost effective tool is Amazon EC2 Availability Zones. Using Amazon EC2 you could deploy region specific servers in the following regions: United States - West Coast United States - East Coast European Union (EU) Asia Pacific Using 4 separate servers I can create separate regional APIs sub-domains: api.uswest.apievangelist.com api.useast.apievangelist.com api.eu.apievangelist...

$40K Developer Contest from Binpress

04 February 2011
Binpress is a marketplace for code, where software developers can buy and sell source code from each other. And it's holding a developer contest. Binpress is looking for high quality code from professional developers that can be packaged, re-used and published in the Binpress marketplace. Prizes include: Grand Prizes of $17,000 Two Runner Up Prizes of $13,000 Six Best Submission per Language Prizes of $10,000.00 Contest submissions will be graded on the following attributes : Development style and methodology - intelligent use of software design techniques and patterns. Originality - how original is the submission. Usefulness - how useful is the submission. Some idea suggestions are: Integrate popular APIs (such as Amazon or Paypal) into popular frameworks and platforms...

Opportunities in the Financial API Space

01 February 2011
According to Forrester Research, the U.S. mobile banking market has experienced rapid growth in the past three years, more than doubling from 5% of online adults in 2007 to 12% in Q2 2010. By 2015, Forrester predicts that one in five US adults will be using mobile banking. Forrester attributes this to the adoption of smart phones. I would say we are in the biggest growth period for financial and payment APIs since PayPal launched its API in 2004. With this kind of growth in mobile banking, you can easily predict the need for high quality, secure, financial and payment related APIs. We will see a lot more growth, innovation and competition in the financial API space in next 4 years.

API Technology - XML

31 January 2011
XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a way for programs to exchange information. It is very similar to JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). XML was originally designed to describe documents, but has be adapted to describe anything from contacts to geographic data. APIs use XML to describe information. A XML transmission describing me might look like: XML is a markup language much like HTML and uses opening and closing tags to describe content. It allows computers to tell the difference between my first name and last name, for example, or any other information that it describes. XML has long been the standard for Web Service communication, however recently it has been losing ground to JSON because it is considered more bloated and less efficient to use...

History of APIs - Google Maps API

30 January 2011
On June 29th, 2006, Google launched Google Maps API allowing developers to put Google Maps on their own sites using JavaScript. The API launch was just shy of 6 months after the release of Google Maps as an application, and was in direct response to the number of rogue applications developed that were hacking the application. Google Maps was immediately so popular that developers hacked the JavaScript interface and developed application such ashousingmaps.com and chicagocime.org. The demand was so great for information on hacking Google Maps it spawned books such as Mapping Hacks and Google Hacks from O'Reilly. Google Maps API started a trend of API mashups with its valuable location based data, with over 2000 mashups to date...

APIs Power Partner Relationships

30 January 2011
Sharing information and services with your partners is vital to your business. With the complexities of businesses' systems and the security of firewalls, this exchange isn't always easy. Defining what resources you should make available to partners and actually making them available can be a costly and time-intensive endeavor. Establishing a definition of what you want to make available to partners can be easily translated into a plan for what services you will offer through your API. Using API standards such as REST and providing API responses in common protocols like XML and JSON, will make it possible for partners to easily work with your APIs, and increase the likelihood that they incorporate into their business operations...

API Technology - REST

30 January 2011
REST or Representational State Transfer is term that describes a specific approach to delivering an API or web service. REST takes advantage of the same Internet mechanisms that are used to view regular web pages, therefore does not need any special servers or protocols to deliver or view REST APIs. There are different opinions of what is truly REST compliant, and many developers have seem to agree that using existing HTTP mechanisms for your API is considered RESTful, regardless of conforming 100% to REST. REST allows you to take data and functionality available on your web site and make these resources available through a web services, and then return XML or JSON representations of these resources...

Functional APIs

30 January 2011
APIs are not just for exchanging of data. They provide much needed functionality for developers and integrators. The functionality of an API can provide shipping costs as the Fedex API does, or provide you with directions from San Francisco, CA to New York, NY as with the Google Maps API. Functional APIs can, as the name suggests, provide much needed functionality to users that might be very costly or impossible for them to implement on their own. If a developer wants to provide the location of a mobile application user, they need to be able to turn the latitude and longitude of the users position into a physical address, city, state and zip code. This would require creating a massive look-up table of latitude, longitude, and addresses...

Module Exposes Drupal Resources as RESTful API

29 January 2011
A new Drupal module makes use of the Drupal Entity API and then takes information about the entity and delivers it as a Restful Web Service. Features are: RESTful compliant Support for all Drupal entity types Provides create, read, update and delete (CRUD) operations Service endpoints are automatically generated for each entity JSON response format You can download the module on Github, but it is also synchronized to the Drupal.org CVS. This module allows Drupal owners to immediately deliver a RESTful API from their existing Drupal site and can also be used by developers looking to quickly deliver an API can build it using the Drupal platform.

History of APIs - Amazon E-Commerce

28 January 2011
On July 16, 2002, Amazon launched Amazon.com Web Services allowing developers to incorporate Amazon.com content and features into their own web sites. Amazon.com Web Services (AWS) allowed third party sites to search and display products from Amazon.com. Product data was made accessible using XML and SOAP. From day one the API was integrated with the Amazon.com Affiliate Program, allowing developers to monetize their sites through purchases made at Amazon.com via links from their web sites. Internet visionary Tim O'Reilly was quoted in original Amazon Web Services press release saying, "This is a significant leap forward in the next-generation programmable internet...

History of APIs - Facebook Development Platform

28 January 2011
On August 15th 2006, Facebook launched its long-awaited development platform and API. Version 1.0 of the Facebook Development Platformallowed developers access to Facebook friends, photos, events, and profile information for Facebook. The API used a Restful protocol and responses were in an XML format. Almost immediately, developers began to build social applications, games, and mashups with the new development tools. The Facebook Development Platform gave Facebook an edge over then popular competitor MySpace, and established itself as the top social gaming platform with games like Farmville.

History of APIs - Salesforce.com

28 January 2011
February 7th, 2000 Salesforce.com officially launched at the IDG Demo 2000 conference. Salesforce.com launched its enterprise-class, web-based, sales force automation as a "Internet as a service". XML APIs were part of Salesforce.com from day one. Salesforce.com identified that customers needed to share data across their different business applications, and APIs were the way to do this. Marc R. Benioff, chairman and founder of salesforce.com stated,"Salesforce.com is the first solution that truly leverages the Internet to offer the functionality of enterprise-class software at a mere fraction of the cost." Salesforce.com was the first cloud provider to take an enterprise class web application and API and deliver what we know today as Software-as-a-Service...

Flattr - API Launch

28 January 2011
Flattr the social micro-payment site, made their API public today. The API comes in two flavors. Javascript API REST API Flattr provides application registration and authentication with oAuth. They also have a Flattr developers forum to support the community.

API Technology - JSON

27 January 2011
JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a way for programs to exchange information. It is very similar to XML (Extensible Markup Language). APIs are are way for programs to communicate and since they don't have voices, they need a way to describe things. APIs use JSON to describe information. A JSON transmission describing me might look like: JSON uses brackets, quotes, colons and commas to separate data, and give the information meaningful structure. It allows computers to tell the difference between my first name and last name or any other information that describes me. The protocol sketched above is really just an approximation of what JSON does. After all, it is meant for computers and not humans, JSON has become one of the preferred methods for programmers to use for API communication...

Data APIs

27 January 2011
A common reason for deploying an API is to share data with users outside of your organization. You need to make information accessible to partners or general public, but in a way that's self-service so you can avoid emailing a spreadsheet every time someone asks for something. You do this with a data API. Data APIs can: Provide an list of names and addresses for your upcoming event. Deliver news to web sites and mobile phone in real-time. Deliver products such as books from Amazon.com to other smaller, specialty web sites just focusing on cookbooks. Delivers census data from the federal government about who lives in your state to your local unemployment office. A data API is proving to be the easiest way to exchange information -- whether it's between businesses, between the government and the public, or between your Facebook profile and your mobile phone...

Managing API Code Projects & Libraries

26 January 2011
Having a framework for managing your API code samples and libraries is essential to providing partners and developers with relevant, useful and functional code they can use to integrate with your API. First start by breaking down your code into relevant projects that address specific types of integration with your API. Within each project you can create an appropriate title and description and set some goals for the project. Then build your code samples that satisfy the project goals. After organizing and documenting all code samples, publish them to: GIT - Github is a git based repository service and social coding service. SVN - Google Project Hosting is an SVN or Subversion based repository service...

History of APIs - Ebay

26 January 2011
On November 20, 2000, eBay launched the eBay Application Program Interface (API) , along with the eBay Developers Program. The eBay API was originally rolled out to only a select number of licensed eBay partners and developers. As eBay stated: "Our new API has tremendous potential to revolutionize the way people do business on eBay and increase the amount of business transacted on the site, by openly providing the tools that developers need to create applications based on eBay technology, we believe eBay will eventually be tightly woven into many existing sites as well as future e-commerce ventures." The eBay API was a response to the growing number of applications that were already relying on its site either legitimately or illegitimately...

History of APIs - Twitter

26 January 2011
On September 20, 2006 Twitter introduced the Twitter API to the world. Much like the release of the eBay API, Twitter's API release was in response to the growing usage of Twitter by those scraping the site or creating rogue APIs. Twitter exposed the Twitter API via a Restful interface using JSON and XML. In the beginning, Twitter used Basic Auth for API authentication, resulting the now infamous Twitter OAuth Apocalypse almost four years later, when Twitter forced all those using the API to switch to OAuth. In four short years Twitters API has become the center of countless desktop clients, mobile applications, web apps, and businesses -- even by Twitter itself, in its IPhone, IPad, Android apps via its public website...

What is an API?

26 January 2011
An Application Programming Interface (API) is a way for websites, programs, and mobile applications to talk to each other. APIs allow access to information, provide functionality or control electronic gadgets. Companies develop APIs to allow partners and other developers access their information, services and hardware. APIs come in many shapes and size. The most common type of API today is known as REST. REST works just like any other web site on the Internet. Whereas people interact with computers via programs, websites, and mobile applications, those programs, web sites, and mobile applications interact with each other via APIs. Every time you use your credit card, an API is used...

Youtube JavaScript Player API for IFrame Embeds

24 January 2011
The YT.Player is used to control the player, defined by script loaded from http://www.youtube.com/player_api. Here is the Youtube Player API documentation.

Benefits of Transparency

20 January 2011
One of the aspects of my current job that I enjoy, is the transparent nature of my role. My job is to generate attention for Mimeo and the Mimeo Connect Cloud Print API. Let me give you an example. In various roles I've had at companies as lead developer, director of technology, or just a developer I spend a lot of time researching new technologies. When I research new technologies I usually create some sort of overview document, a presentation and probably some sort of sample code or prototype. In legacy positions I do all this hard work, and usually submit to my boss and maybe do apresentationto other teams. Often times, my work goes nowhere. In my new role as an API Evangelist I enjoy a lot of transparency...

Stack Oververflow API Review

20 January 2011
StackApps is an API for the family of Q&A websites using the Stack Exchange engine including Stack Overflow, Server Fault and Super User. StackApps provides a RESTFul API using a basic application key authentication. The API provides access to Stack Apps user data as well as questions, answers and comments. No code samples or language packs are provided, they provide a link to the World's Worst Stack Overflow Clone which is a sample application written in C# and a hello world URL example. Building Blocks Technology RESTful API Documentation / Tools Documentation API Explorer Support Blog FAQ Forum Developer Account Info App Key Community Forum

The New API Economy

19 January 2011
Those of us in the tech community who work with APIs talk a lot about the API economy. This refers to how the Internet is changing all industries on a global scale, and how APIs are a driving force behind this. Behind the scenes, APIs are an integral part of: Social Networking and Media - APIs were the driving mechanism behind Twitter and Facebook's community and made YouTube a ubiquitous video presence across the Internet. Cloud Computing - Amazon Web Services (AWS) a leader in cloud computing started as ONLY an API. APIs help enable the current smart phone revolution we're seeing with IPhone, IPad, and Android. These API-powered movements are significant in our everyday lives and how we conduct business...

OpenID for API Registration

18 January 2011
You want to make it as easy as possible for developers to get up and running with your API. You don't want developers to fumble around with lengthy registrations and approval processes. Your API registration needs to be simple and self-service. OpenID is one way to do this. StackApps, the Stack Overflow API demonstrates this perfectly. I wanted to see what was possible using the Stack Apps API. My objective is to integrate an API FAQ system with a Stack Overflow site. I went to Stack Apps and clicked on registration. Stack Apps only gives OpenID for registration. They allow you to select from top providers like Google and Facebook or use your own OpenID provider. With two clicks I was registered for a Stack Apps developer account, and with one more click I was registering my Application and getting my keys...

github as a Marketing Channel to Developers

17 January 2011
Marketing products and services to developers can be difficult. They are unlike other consumers and often are difficult to reach and build trust with. Recently, I was discussing which group within a company is most likely to initiate a plan for exposing an API: development, IT, Product Development, or some other? And once released who should own the API? I advocate that all departments should have a stake in the API, and whoever owns it after release should have roots in development. Not that the development or IT department should own it, but the person in charge should have a development or IT mindset, as well as business development, product development and sales and marketing. This can be difficult to find...

New API for Google URL Shortener

11 January 2011
Google launched a much anticipated API for the Google URL shortener today as part of the Google Code Labs. The Google URL Shortener at goo.gl is a service that takes long URLs and squeezes them into fewer characters to make a link that is easier to share, tweet, or email to friends. The Google URL Shortener API allows you to interact with the service via a RESTful interface, and returns JSON data structures. Here is the API Overview, as well as the Getting Started Guide. Google has added to its new API console allowing developers to explore and get familiar with the API interface quickly.

Amazon Web Services Enhances Premium Support

10 January 2011
Amazon Web Services (AWS) changed up its premium support offerings, introducing two new support plans: Bronze Plan - The Bronze Plan is meant for developers at $49.00 / month. Platinum Plan - The Platinum Plan is meant for enterprise customers is 10% of AWS usage with a 15K monthly minimum. In addition to the two new support plans AWS reduced the usage-based pricing for the Silver and gold plans by 50%. If that wasn't enough, Amazon increased its responsiveness for normal severity support cases from 24 business hours to 12 business hours, and low severity cases from 48 to 24 hours. Premium Support is a must-have building block in this API economy. But as AWS's new offerings makes clear, as this becomes a competitive space - in terms of quality and pricing - offering premium support might be the thing that makes the difference for customers...

Image Management in the Cloud

10 January 2011
I am taking some time and writing down my image management strategy to share with Audrey. I have a specific process and set of tools I use to manage images I use across my Kin Lane Blog, API Evangelist Blog and my Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other online properties. I store all my images centrally at Amazon S3. This may not be an ideal solution for everyone, but it works for me. Its a complete storage area for all my images, audio, video and other documents. I use a combination of Amazon Console, S3Fox for Firefox, Cyberduck and Jungle Disk to manage my Amazon S3 files. No time to explain the madness, it just works. I have a central bucket at Amazon S3 for storing ALL images I need to support my public online properties...

Quora Exposes JSON API

08 January 2011
Quora has exposed a JSON-based data API that allows users to access data about a currently logged-in user. To request particular fields about the currently logged-in user, you can add fields to a query string and append to http://api.quora.com/api/logged_in_user. Currently supported fields include: Inbox Followers Following Notifs Here is an example call: http://api.quora.com/api/logged_in_user?fields=inbox,notifs This will return Inbox and Notification related information for the authenticated user. This is not a full-blown API release by Quora. Quora engineer Edmond Lau posted information on Quora about the API, stating that it is in its alpha stage and is only meant to support existing Quora Chrome and Quora Firefox extensions...

FRAPI Open Source PHP REST API Framework

03 January 2011
FRAPI is an open source RESTful API framework developed in PHP. It can be used as the backbone of your RESTful web service. FRAPI allows you to instantly have a REST framework for handling all the backbone operations of your API and immediately start working on functionality. It generates PHP code for the API framework and allows you to customize and add your business logic. FRAPI can connect to multiple data sources and automatically generates JSON, XML, PHP, and plain text versions of your data. You can download or fork FRAPI at github.

API Contests and Challenges

01 January 2011
In 2010 contests were a proven way to generate attention about your API and products as well as generate some great code and applications for your API. Some contests in 2010 were: AWS Start-up Challenge Bit.ly API Contest Etsy Handmade Code Contest PayPal X Developer Challenge Twilio Netbook Mondays World Bank Apps for Development All these contests are finished now, except for the World Bank Apps for Development which is still running for another week. We will see many more contests is 2011 for new and existing APIs, bringing in new developer talent and attention to those APis. Have you considered throwing a contests for your API or participated in a contest as a developer?

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