Infrastructure APIs: New Site in a Box

Adam DuVander, March 19th, 2010

Got an idea for a new website? It’s easier than ever to build a first-class application by offloading some of the harder stuff to other services. Read on and discover that your new site is already halfway built.

Host in the Cloud

Sure, you could host anywhere, but then you’ll eventually have to deal with the problems of scaling your site. Not so when you run your site off the top of the networks of huge technology companies.

Google App EngineUse the Google App Engine platform to run web apps on Google’s infrastructure, the same scalable systems that run Google applications. Use the platform to run your apps reliably, even if you have heavy load and data needs. The environment has dynamic web serving, persistent storage with queries, sorting and transactions, automatic scaling and load balancing, APIs for authenticating users and sending email using Google Accounts, and a local testing environment. Read more at our Google App Engine API profile.

Amazon EC2Amazon EC2 stands for Elastic Compute Cloud. It costs money, but you pay pennies by the hour. The resizable capacity in the cloud provides you with complete control of your computing resources, paying only for what you need. Read more at our Amazon EC2 API profile.

Store Your Data in the Cloud

Of course you’ll have some data to store online, and now there are plenty of cloud storage APIs to help. We’ve 20 storage APIs in our directory to choose from.

box.netOne API that’s been seeing a lot of new apps on their platform lately is from Their platform makes it easy for you to utilize their storage for your application. Developers have built apps that can upload, download, and share files from accounts. Read more at our API profile.

Offload the Registration Process

RPXRPX handles the user interface, authentication, and import of user profile and registration data for any web site. It’s built by JanRain, a company known for its work with OpenID, but RPX will allow any type of registration: Username/password, Facebook connect, Twitter and any site that implements OpenID (Yahoo, Google and more). Read more at our RPX API profile.

Run a Solid Beta Program

PrefineryPrefinery is a system to outsource your beta invite process. Rather than writing the invitation logic yourself, simply send an invitation code to Prefinery for verification. You also get analytics, so you can find out more about how (and how often) your testers are using your product.

Read our full Prefinery coverage or check out our Prefinery API profile.

Send Emails Easily From Your App

SendGridSendGrid is for in-application email. It’s not for newsletters, but rather the notification and other emails you send your users. Those can slow down your site and get trapped as spam. SendGrid provides a cloud service that grows with your email demands, and provides email analytics to track opens and clicks. Read more at our SendGrid API profile.

Implement a few of these APIs and you’ll have a new site without writing hardly a line of code. Look for future posts describing e-commerce and marketing for your site with some other helpful APIs.

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3 Responses to “Infrastructure APIs: New Site in a Box”

March 21st, 2010
at 6:48 pm
Comment by: INB347 Innovation In assembly « selfindulgance at its worse

[...] is called programmable web ( and provides (minus the strings and boxes of popfly) provides the essential APIs for many popular [...]

March 25th, 2010
at 1:43 pm
Comment by: New Y Combinator Class Is Full of APIs

[...] The bulk of ZenCoder’s useful service comes via its API. The site provides video encoding at six cents per minute of video. That means your site can accept uploads and then let ZenCoder worry about formats. We wrote about services that take care of the harder stuff in Infrastructure APIs: New Site in a Box. [...]

October 28th, 2010
at 4:06 pm
Comment by: Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Your Apps to APIs

[...] Infrastructure APIs: New Site in a Box [...]

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John Musser
Founder, ProgrammableWeb

Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.