This new daily ProgrammableWeb feature brings you the latest from the world of APIs, both on PW and from around the web. Let us know in the comments what works for you and where we can improve.
Today Facebook announced 60 approved partners for its Open Graph, which allows them to add actions to the Facebook Timeline. Amazon also added a new API to its cloud offerings, a homegrown NoSQL database. That was among the 13 new APIs on a busy day in APIs.
Developers of Facebook apps now have another way to engage their users and potentially reach new users. In the early days of Facebook apps, some went over the line and spammed the news feed. Since, Facebook made it difficult to get messages to anyone not already using the app. The timeline opens a new possibility, but hopefully with new constraints that will be useful to both the developer and the users. Among the changes is a new authorization screen that Facebook says will provide “more control and clarity for users.”
There’s also a new Amazon Web Service, the Amazon DynamoDB API. This is a homegrown NoSQL database in the vein of CouchDB and MongoDB. Developers can use RESTful queries to add and retrieve JSON objects.
GigaOm has more on DynamoDB, including an interview with Amazon’s Werner Vogels:
Amazon opted to build its own NoSQL because it had so much database experience from its own massive operations, Vogels said. There are no plans to offer additional, third-party NoSQL options, but Vogels said the company will respond to customer demand.
API News You Shouldn’t Miss
With Facebook and Amazon dominating the API news, it might have been easy to miss these other important stories.
13 New APIs
Today we had 13 new APIs added to our API directory including a gaming company community, address book contacts import service, biological research data repository, EPA project information service, EPA monitoring stations by geographic area, EPA monitoring station information service, EPA watershed information service, vehicle information service, Irish tax collection office data, IP-based security products standardization initiative, real time automobile data and tax information verification service. Below is more details on each of these new APIs.
Amazon DynamoDB API: Amazon DynamoDB is a scalable NoSQL database homegrown by the Amazon team. Developers set their write and read capacity to match the number of reads and writes their system needs. Like all NoSQL databases, DynamoDB is not relational. So, don't expect joins or other complex queries.
The Amazon DynamoDB API contains methods for all the things you would expect from a database: create, update and delete tables; create, update, delete and retrieve items from a table.
Like other NoSQL databases, Amazon DynamoDB API is RESTful, with data returned as JSON.
Blizzard Community Platform API: Blizzard is a developer and publisher of entertainment software including World of Warcraft (WoW). Blizzard allows their community of gamers to create extended communities outside of the game by exposing key sets of data. The Blizzard Community Platform API provides a number of resources for developers and Wow enthusiasts to gather data about their characters, guilds and arena teams. Users can also retrieve information about realms, gather data on current auctions and items. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in JSON.
CloudSponge Address Book API: CloudSponge is online software that lets users import address book contacts from most major applications. The CloudSponge API lets developers integrate the service with their own web sites or applications. The API imports address book contacts from multiple sources through a single integration point. It uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML and JSON.
DataONE API: The Data Observation Network for Earth (DataONE) is an NSF funded project in the DataNet program with the goal of implementing and deploying core services and infrastructure to improve the long term accessibility and re-use of data collected through NSF funded and other research projects. The API provides a point of access to this data allowing users to retrieve and perform actions on it. It uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML, JSON and CSV.
EPA Project Catalog API: The EPA's Project Catalog API provides summary information on research projects such as the period of record, characteristics monitored, and the names of stations used. Users can search for projects by Organization ID, Project ID, Station ID, or Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC).
EPA Station API: The EPA Station API provides information for all monitoring locations within a user-determined geographic bounding box. The API allows users to quickly pull station locations for mapping, return station counts for a given geographic area, or obtain detailed station information.
EPA Station Catalog API: The EPA's Station Catalog API provides a summary of information on water quality monitoring stations such as the station's name, period of record, and result counts by characteristic type. This API operates over both SOAP and HTTP GET protocols.
EPA Watershed Summary API: The EPA's Watershed Summary API provides a summary of information for the types of data available within a given watershed, which is identified by an 8-digit HUC (Hydrologic Unit Code). This data includes which organizations have data, the number of stations, and result counts by characteristic type.
IM Group API: Based in the UK, the I.M. Group imports and operates vehicle franchises throughout the UK and Europe. The API provides users with access to vehicle information as well as the latest news, events and special offers. Currently vehicle information is limited to Subaru but there are plans to add more information. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML.
Ireland Revenue Customs and Excise API: Ireland's Office of the Revenue Commissioners exists to collect taxes and duties and implementing Customs controls. The Customs & Excise API exposes functionality of the Revenue On-Line Service (ROS). The service gives users a secure way to file tax returns, pay tax liabilities and access their tax details online. Functionality exposed by the API includes the ability to file returns online, make payments by laser card, debit instruction or by online banking for Income Tax only, obtain online details of personal/clients revenue accounts, calculate tax liability, conduct business electronically and claim repayments. The API uses SOAP calls and responses are formatted in XML.
ONVIF API: ONVIF is a non-profit organization acting as an open industry forum and the leading global standardization initiative for IP-based physical security products. The ONVIF API is a suite of SOAP/XML schemas that let developers automatically generate client and server side stubs. Services are grouped by device management, analytics, display, media, search and more.
OpenCarData API: OpenCarData collects, stores and disseminates real world OBD (On Board Diagnostics) auto data. This data provides the real time status of an individual car or group of cars. The API consists of methods to store, retrieve and interpret car related data. Data includes trip information, listings of cars, fueling data and more. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML.
VIES VAT API: A value added tax (VAT) identification number is an identifier used in many countries, including the countries of the European Union, for value added tax purposes. The VIES VAT API allows users to verify the validity of a VAT identification number issued by any Member State of the European Union.