Today in APIs: OpenStack Seeks to Provide an AWS Alternative, Firefox Steps Closer to Increased Social Integration and 23 New APIs

Kevin Sundstrom, October 12th, 2012

TellgramCloudScaling is helping to provide OpenStack with Google Compute Engine integration. Firefox 17 Beta Provides preliminary support for the company’s new Social API. Plus: 23 New APIs including the Tellgram API.

OpenStack Seeks to Provide an AWS Alternative

CloudScaling has chosen to provide OpenStack with the engineering and code development necessary to integrate the Google Compute Engine APIs. OpenStack is a collaborative effort to provide a “ubiquitous open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds.” Randy Bias, CloudScaling Founder and CTO, told TechCrunch in a recent interview that:

“We believe that this creates choice in the marketplace. It’s important that customers be able to create federated solutions between clouds, which means supporting the APIs of major public cloud systems and providing the maximum amount of compatibility between them. Compatibility starts with the API and ends with architectural and behavioral fidelity.”

This is clearly a small step, but a step nonetheless, toward cross-cloud compatibility. It will be interesting to see what this can evolve into.

Firefox Steps Closer to Increased Social Integration

Firefox 17 Beta provides preliminary support for the company’s new Social API. Mozilla has been playing with the idea of social integration for some time and has finally laid the groundwork for what may evolve into a sidebar that highlights users social interactions. Among the many proposed features are the ability to configure which social service provider(s) you want to integrate with your browser, easily switch which service provider(s) should be active at any time, and the ability to share and read updates directly from the browser interface. Here is how Mozilla describes the impact:

“Much like the OpenSearch standard, the Social API enables developers to integrate social services into the browser in a way that is meaningful and helpful to users. As services integrate with Firefox via the Social API sidebar, it will be easy for you to keep up with friends and family anywhere you go on the Web without having to open a new Web page or switch between tabs. You can stay connected to your favorite social network even while you are surfing the Web, watching a video or playing a game.”

23 New APIs

Today we had 23 new APIs added to our API directory including an australian sms text messaging service, a motor vehicle vin information service, a captcha bypass service, a captcha bypass service, a german-language news service, a real estate price appraisal service, and a cloud management service. Below is more details on each of these new APIs.

5centSMS5centSMS API: The service provides SMS text messaging with delivery of specified message text to a designated recipient. Delivery notification is available, and recipients can respond via the service, e.g., to unsubscribe or to provide requested information, with responses processed as HTTP requests or email. Reporting functions summarize outbound and inbound message traffic.

API methods support messaging functions, including both send and receive, with ability to generate replies as email to a designated address. Methods also support delivery notification to verify status of sent messages as received or not successfully delivered. The API provides reporting functions for message tracking and account balance information. A digital signature authentication process is in beta.

AntivinAntivin API: The service generates full report of available information about a specific vehicle based on its vehicle identification number (VIN). Available report data include Carfax and AutoCheck reports, which provide number of owners and last known odometer reading along with vehicle damage history.

API methods support HTTP GET requests specifying the VIN and the report desired. Separate endpoints generate either the Carfax or AutoCheck reports.

Bypass CAPTCHABypass CAPTCHA API: Bypass Captcha is a CAPTCHA solving service. The service operates through the Bypass CAPTCHA API which can be implemented in third-party software. The API solves CAPTCHAs in less than ten seconds and is accurate “at least 95%” of the time. The service uses REST calls and through it users can, submit your CAPTCHA image, send correctness feedback so Bypass CAPTCHA can track accuracy and only charge for correct solutions, as well as check account information.

Death By CAPTCHADeath By CAPTCHA API: Death By captcha offers a CAPTCHA bypass service. The service operates through the Death By CAPTCHA API. Users pass CAPTCHAs through the API where they are solved by an OCR or manually. The solved CAPTCHA is then passed back where it can be used. The service is available at $1.39 for 1000 solved CAPTCHAs. The API has an average solved response time of 15 seconds, and an average accuracy rate of 90%

dotnetpro.de Newsdotnetpro.de News API: This web service provides access to the news archives of the dotnetpro.de website. Developers can retrieve the latest news for integration into their own web or windows applications using the dotnetpro.de News API. This service is accessible using SOAP calls issued in XML format. The website and API documentation are only available in German.

The service is still in the beta state. Bug reports, suggestions, and comments are welcome.

EppraisalEppraisal API: The service provides estimates of selling prices for homes and other real estate. For a specified property location, it returns a range of values from low to middle to high. It is available as a web form for individual submissions, a series of embeddable widgets, or via web service.

API methods support specification of a location as a U.S. Postal Service Zip Code. The API returns a median value along with most expensive and least expensive values, based on reported real estate transactions in the area.

Fhoster LivebaseFhoster Livebase API: FHOSTER allows you to develop cloud-based servers (cloudlets) and interact with them through its Livebase product. Livebase affords you the ability to serve data to your customers in a visually appealing manner and make data management more user friendly.

Their Livebase product allows you to produce UML-based conceptual schema of your client’s information through a web browser interface. Livebase allows you to quickly build a front-end of a database. From simple tables to complicated relational databases, Livebase delivers expressive, enterprise level data solutions for your clients.

The Livebase REST API allows you to constrain and maintain your database cloudlets in external systems: Including cardinality, predicate-based integrity, navigability and rule-based access control. OPTIONS and GET methods are supported for each resource with others available depending on the type of resource.

FindPeopleFreeFindPeopleFree API: The FindPeopleFree service provides information on persons and businesses located in the UK. Users can submit a city name or postcode, select a region within that location, and retrieve the names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons or businesses therein. This service can be accessed using either a web console or API. The API uses SOAP calls issued in XML format. The only requirement for implementing the service elsewhere is that users must provide credit to FindPeopleFree.co.uk in the manner specified on the site.

FullerData Fortune CookieFullerData Fortune Cookie API: The FullerData Fortune Cookie API enables users to programmatically retrieve a random fortune. The “fortunes” are quotes from sci-fi novels, philosophers, anonymous sources, poets, and others. There are a total of 882 fortunes available, and users may also elect to retrieve specific fortunes by number. This API uses SOAP calls issued in XML format.

FullerData NewsFullerData News API: The FullerData News API enables developers to programmatically retrieve news articles from BBC, ABC World, MSDN Framework, Slashdot, PC World, and other sources. News items can be retrieved in HTML or XML format, or the user may simply retrieve the source URL for a news category. This service uses SOAP calls issued in XML format.

MarketConnectMarketConnect API: The service provides access to data about stocks and other financial assets as well as the companies that issue them. Available data include real-time price quotes for trades on the Borsa Italiana as well as leading international stock exchanges. Data also cover regulatory filings by companies that issue securities and other events such as initial public offerings (IPOs), dividend payments, and shareholder meetings.

API methods support retrieval of price quotes and trading for stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments issued by Italian companies from markets in Italy and elsewhere. Methods also support access to informational filings and event notifications related to security ownership.

Mollie PaymentMollie Payment API: Mollie is a Netherlands based SMS provider of both SMS and payments services. Through Mollie, customers can use iDEAL, the most widely used online payment method in the Netherlands. Other payment services include the use of the paysafecard, the most widely used prepaid card for online payments, pay per call, pay per minute, and pay per SMS.

The Payments APIs are a suite of APIs that give developers access to the payment functionalities of Mollie. These include iDEAL payments, integrating paysafecard functionality into a website, phone based micropayments and more. The APIs uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML. The site and documentation are in Dutch.

Mollie SMSMollie SMS API: Mollie is a Netherlands based SMS provider of both SMS and payments services. Mollie offers SMS and MMS gateways to their customers. Along with the gateways, customers can access SMS marketing services and shortcodes. The SMS APIs allow users to send SMS messages via HTTP and SMPP. Other features include sending SMS offers via email, sending MMS messages, at viewing devliery reports.

MoonshadoMoonshado API: The service provides SMS text messaging to integrate mobile communications with other applications, such as marketing and customer service. It claims global coverage to all devices and across many carriers using a SMPP connection. It also provides SMS short codes and long codes to forward traffic sent to alternative, simplified contact numbers.

API methods support sending SMS text messages for global delivery to specified recipient numbers. Methods also handle inbound SMS messages, including short and long codes to reroute messages. The API allows tracking of messages sent and received with reporting at the level of specific numbers and devices.

NaNoWriMo Word CountNaNoWriMo Word Count API: NaNoWriMo – short for National Novel Writing Month – is a free annual event for all those with literary aspirations. During the month of November, participants attempt to write 50,000 words worth of novel. All the while, they receive pep talks from published authors, communicate with fellow participants on forums, and keep track of their daily word count on the site.

The RESTful NaNoWriMo Word Count API enables users to access word count information for use in external tools or apps. Types of information available include current individual wordcount, individual wordcount history, site wordcount, site wordcount history, regional wordcount, and regional wordcount history.

PygmentsPygments API: The service provides syntax highlighting for web applications without Python installed. It accepts submission of a code selection and code selection with a designation of programming language and generates a version of the code with color highlighting calling out programming statements from that language. The returned ‘pygmentized’ HTML can be stored locally to the requesting system or directly displayed using CSS formatting.

API methods support submission of the desired code sample and programming language attribute. The list of programming languages detected and highlighted include over 200 individual languages and combinations, such as HTML + PHP.

Salsa CommonsSalsa Commons API: The service provides tools for recruiting, fundraising, and organizing by not-for-profit organizations, political campaigns, and other issue advocacy environments. It emphasizes community building around social causes and issues with the goal of promoting involvement and financial support. Campaign management functions help to coordinate messaging and integrate responses with fundraising and related functions.

API methods support interactions of other systems with the providers organizing, communication, advocacy, and fundraising tools. The API handles messaging from external systems to update community information managed by the platform via methods to get data from the system and save data back to system nodes. API calls request resources at the campaign’s own domain, which the service helps to establish and manage.

SkypopSkypop API: The service provides marketing and promotion via rewards and communications delivered to customers’ mobile devices. By integrating with a retailer’s point-of-sale (POS) system, it can recognize customer transactions and provide incentives targeted to the current purchase. This regular, timely contact is intended to encourage customer loyalty and repeat purchases.

API methods support integration of POS and customer relationship management (CRM) systems with the provider’s Mobile Membership and Marketing platform. Methods allow recruitment and registration of new members via barcode, NFC sticker, or direct phone number entry. Existing members are recognized the same way, allowing delivery of time-sensitive discounts, rewards, and messaging.

SubetaSubeta API: Subeta is a forum-based social site on which users can adopt a virtual pet and customize a human avatar. The site also features games and an extensive variety of clothing items that can be used to dress up an avatar.

The Subeta API enables developers to programmatically retrieve site user details, user wardrobe information, lists of users’ items, and item information. Site users can employ the API to alter their avatar’s wardrobe and send events to other users.

TapirTapir API: Tapir allows you to make your personal blog of static pages searchable through its selection of APIs. Tapir provides simple search functionality for your site through indexing your RSS feeds every 15 minutes or so. Tapir can only index what is in your established feed.

Using Tapir’s three APIs: Search, Ping and Post, you can manage your blog’s searchable content and push content through the APIs to be included in your feed. Information is returned in either JSON or JSONP formats utilizing a different callback method.

Tapir also provides a JQuery plugin. Tapir is sponsered through 80beans.

TellgramTellgram API: Tellgram is a community of people who design well crafted content. Anyone can log in and give stars to posts they enjoy, but Tellgram determines whose content is of high enough quality to be featured on the site. Posts on Tellgram are called wires and take the form of either text, images, audio, or video.

Developers can use the Tellgram API to programmatically retrieve wires or a timeline from Tellgram. The results can be filtered by popularity, user, or wire type. Specific wires can also be retrieved by ID. This API uses REST calls issued in JSON format.

Ukulima.netUkulima.net API: Ukulima means “farming” in Swahili and after being awarded a grant by the Rockefeller Foundation, Pamoja Media began developing a social network platform for Kenyan farmers to communicate with each other using the web and mobile internet. After developing support in Kenya, Ukulima.net hopes to extend its services to other parts of Africa.

The Ukulima.net REST API allows developers to communicate with the data on their servers using POST and GET methods to create cooperative third party applications with returns in JSON.

VinAuditVinAudit API: The service provides lookup access to vehicle history reports compiled by the U.S. National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). Applications can use the service to implement NMVTIS data access for general access or for more specific functions like car dealership inventory management systems.

API methods support submitting a VIN as a query to retrieve records related to the specific vehicle. Methods return a full VIN report as either raw data or a PDF file. VIN report information includes state that issued the last title and the date, odometer reading at last title change, total loss history, and salvage history.

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October 12th, 2012
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