Today in APIs: The Call for a Google Plus Read/Write API, 3Scale’s Top 10 API Blogposts of 2012 and 26 New APIs

Greg Bates, December 31st, 2012

Google PlusTechcrunch calls for a full Google Plus Read/Write API. 3Scale names the top 10 API Blogposts of 2012. Plus: Newspaper posts gun owner names and addresses, Amazon S3 adds root domain website hosting and 26 new APIs.

All I Want for New Years is my Google Plus API…

As Frederick Lardinois points out in Techcrunch, Google Plus has yet to release a full read/write API.

“Sure, there are the Google+ buttons, a basic read API and the Hangouts API for those who want to run video chats and a few other tools, too, but unlike Twitter, which despite its recent kerfuffles with developers still enables lots of interesting third-party services, Google+ still feels very insular. If I want to post a picture to it from my phone, I have to use the Google+ app. If I want to post an update, I have to use the Google+ app. But while that app is actually quite good, I’m pretty sure we would see a lot more innovation and interesting use cases for Google+ if the company made it easier for developers to really start using it as a platform.”

Google says it is taking its time to get things right. But clearly some, like Lardinois, whether the wait is an effort to put off requests indefinitely.

3Scale Names the Top 10 API Blogposts of 2012

According to Steve at 3Scale, the top 10 blogposts of 2012 cover such diverse topics as Amazon’s internal APIs from Kin Lane at API Evangelist, GigaOm’s Matthew Ingram’s Don’t Use that open API–It Could be a Trap!, and Steven Wilmott discusses Why the App Economy isn’t the App Economy but the API Economy in Pandodaily. As Wilmott points out,

“Today, 77 percent of the current top-50 free and top-50 paid apps connect to backend services of some kind (including game social networks), and only 23 percent were completely stand alone (never calling home to some kind of backend).

Looking deeper, many of the most long-term successful apps are powerful, mobile clients that are part of a multi-channel distribution strategy in which apps on mobile platforms, Web access, and distribution via partners all play a role. The top apps across Free and Paid (based on Apple’s current iTunes App store rankings) currently include apps such as: Pintrest, Spotify, Pandora, Facebook, Netflix, Instagram, WhatsApp Messenger, and Skype.

In each case, the applications are free and provide value by giving users new ways to access backend services. Media apps such as Flipboard similarly draw content from Flipboard’s own servers and from many third party partners.

The same dynamics apply in categories like productivity. While there are heavyweight Apps such as Apple’s iWork suite, the leading apps also include Evernote, Instapaper, Box, and Dropbox, all of which tie into multi-platform strategies. In gaming, there is increasing value in gaming backend services for saves or community interactions to keep people engaged. Companies such as Funsockets are working on specialized sharable gaming backend services.”

Don’t forget to check out the other winning blogposts, include one by our own Adam Duvander on the 5 keys of What Makes a Great API?

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

26 New APIs

Today we had 26 new APIs added to our API directory including a cloud platform, an android application recommendation service, a local mapping service, a search engine results compiler, a social network for caribbean travelers, a coastal mapping and research, a medical doctors and centers database, a worldwide food and agriculture data, a hard drive file sharing tool and a hosted training and online demo service. Below is more details on each of these new APIs.

123Cloud ECP123Cloud ECP API: 123Cloud provides a secure platform for applications to be stored on and then accessed remotely. The 123Cloud ECP API uses basic HTTP authorization in order to establish a connection with clients. Clients are then granted access to their virtual machine where they can access files and applications for a small data usage fee. Developers can utilize the API to host their applications remotely and take advantage of cloud computing instead of hosting their own servers. The API is RESTful and supports Java, PHP and Python and responses are formatted in JSON.

AppAwareAppAware API: AppAware is a social application and game service that helps users find Android Apps based on which ones are currently installed by your friends and the community. The AppAware API allows users to query for top applications, application details, just-in applications, price-reduced applications, search applications, and other calls. The service uses REST calls and returns JSON. Oauth 2.0 is used for authentication and account is required for service.

Auburn City Council ExponareAuburn City Council Exponare API: Exponare is a service that links geographic information from a range of databases and applications and displays this information in one map interface. This particular implementation of Exponare is hosted and used by the Auburn City Council, which is located in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. It’s functions can be accessed programmatically using SOAP calls issued in XML format.

Bounce MixedResultsBounce MixedResults API: Bounce MixedResults provides developer access BounceBase’s Find Stuff service, which combines and sorts search results from multiple search engines. The Bounce API provides developers with a RESTful interface for developers to integrate Bounce MixedResults into their websites and applications. Responses are JSON or RSS formatted.

Caribbean Vacation ConnectCaribbean Vacation Connect API: Caribbean Vacation Connect is a social network built around Caribbean vacationers sharing travel information. The Caribbean Vacation Connect API allows developers to create applications that interact with features including friend lists, photos, messaging, and user data. Responses are JSON formatted.

CORDC Nautical Charts CORDC Nautical Charts API: The Nautical Charts API displays NOAA Nautical Charts within Google Maps API v. 3. The Nautical Charts API provides map layering capabilities and gives developers access to the data. Functionality allows developers to manipulate map layering and access any geographical information they may need. The API is guided towards scientific research and oceanic mapping innovation. It is RESTful and responses are formatted in either JSON or XML.

Doctoralia Doctoralia API: Doctoralia API lets developers use Doctoralia’s database of Medical Centers, Doctors and other health professionals to complement any website or application. The idea of the API is for developers to create applications that provide medical information to people and even medical help. The database has over 2.3 million doctors and centers combined.

FAOdataFAOdata API: The mission of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is to ensure that people have regular access to enough quality food to lead healthy lives. FAOdata is FAO’s web-based platform bringing together statistics, maps, pictures, and documents on nutrition, agriculture, and food from throughout FAO.
FAOdata has exposed a number of resources through REST and SOAP APIs. Developers can automate adding, retrieving, deleting, updating, searching, and browsing resources within the FAOdata catalog. Other API services include automated translation of FAO resources and multidimensional queries in the FAOdata warehouse. Responses may be returned in XML, JSON, or JSONP format.

GigatribeGigatribe API: Gigatribe is a media sharing service allowing users to securely provide a select group of friends with access to media files on their hard drive. The Gigatribe API is a collection of HTTP GET and POST calls, providing developer access to functions such as inviting users, joining tribes, and reading contact information. Results are JSON formatted.

HatsizeHatsize API: The service provides a cloud-hosting platform for training and education providers, including video demos and related media resources. It seeks to create an environment for managing instructional resources and learner access with hosting in widely distributed data centers for optimized access from user locations.

API methods support adding and updating learner user accounts with assignment to appropriate groups for access permissions. Methods synchronize training across internally hosted systems and resources managed within the service’s cloud environment. The API also handles integration with systems providing learner account data and other operating information.

i-Renti-Rent API: The service provides functions for vacation property rentals, either by property owners themselves or by property management agencies. Functions include web content management and site hosting, information about specific accommodations, reservations, and booking. Various nationally branded services provide property management in European and North American countries.

API methods support creating and updating an accommodation listing on the service, including description, photos, and prices. Methods also support reservations and booking, including availability checks for specified accommodations, reserving an available accommodation with desired options, and confirming payment.

Longdo DictLongdo Dict API: Londo Dict is a branch of the londo.com website which is centered around word use and language blogs. The Longdo Dict API allows users to embed a Langdo Dict search bar into third party websites to look up words, and to query the Langdo Dict dictionary directly. The service uses REST calls and will returns HTML, XML, or JSON.

Longdo MapLongdo Map API: Longdo Maps is a a Thailand based Map service that offers directions, information for mass-transit, traffic, and mobile maps. The Longdo Maps API allows users to build the mapping functionality and search tool into mobile applications as well as queries the maps database for landmark information and coordinates. The service uses Javascript or REST and will return data in a variety of formats. The API has a version 1, 2 and mobile. The site is in Thai.

LYRICSnMUSICLYRICSnMUSIC API: LYRICSnMUSIC is a lyric and music search engine, pulling songs and lyrics from a variety of online sources. The LYRICSnMUSIC API provides a RESTful interface for searching for and displaying song lyrics. Users may display up to 150 characters of a song’s lyrics with a link back. JSON and JSON-P formatted responses are supported.

MIDASMIDAS API: The Multiple Instance Data Acquisition System (MIDAS) is a form of data acquisition and electronics control software developed by the STFC Nuclear Physics Group. It is a modular, object-based software system consisting of both a graphical user interface and hardware control servers. Its data and functions can be accessed programmatically via SOAP calls issued in XML format.

MozilliansMozillians API: The Mozillians directory is a resource to help Mozilla volunteers learn who is involved in advancing the Mozilla mission, what they do, and how to connect with them. The Mozillians API provides a simple call authenticating that a given e-mail address is registered with the Mozillian directory and that the owner is a vouched Mozillian.

NSW Home Warranty Premium CalculatorNSW Home Warranty Premium Calculator API: The Home Warranty Premium Calculator is a tool provided by the New South Wales (NSW) Home Warranty Insurance Fund for use by builders, owner-builders, and homeowners. This tool calculates the total premium payable, including Stamp Duty, GST, and broker commission for any project type and value up to $1 million. For projects over $1 million, an ‘indicative only’ price is quoted. The Home Warranty Premium Calculator can be accessed directly through the website or programmatically via SOAP API.

NSW Motor Vehicle Reporting AppNSW Motor Vehicle Reporting App API: The government of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia is developing an application for reporting various types of vehicular pollution. These include littering, excessive noise, and smoke emission. The Motor Vehicle Reporting App API provides programmatic access to the app’s functions via SOAP calls.

OpenMindsOpenMinds API: OpenMinds is a learning platform that transforms user content into learning applications. The application is then accessible to students and tracks their individual performance. The service is pre-loaded with over 5000 items for language arts(grades k-8) that are aligned with Common Core standards. The API can retrieve, created, edit, or delete data within a users resource folder. The API uses REST calls and will return JSON or txt.

Pistevo Criminal SearchPistevo Criminal Search API: Pistevo provides information on Criminal and Sex Offender records Nationwide. Functionality allows developers to search two individual databases; Criminal and Sex Offender. Provided a First and Last name, the API will return an XML response of any criminal offenses. Optional information includes state, middle initial, and date of birth to narrow results. API users must be approved for use and provided an API key.

PrimoPayPrimoPay API: The service provides payment processing for e-commerce and other online transactions within Australia. It works through Australian banks to verify customer accounts and availability of funds, then completes credit card processing to transfer funds to a seller. Batching functions retry transactions that fail initially due to problems with a bank’s processing system. Because it remains independent of banks, sellers can change banking relationships without reconfiguring online payment functionality.

API methods support payment submission using popular credit cards Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Diners Club, among others. Methods interact with issuing banks to pre-authorize cards and verify available account balances, then obtain buyer confirmation and complete payment processing. The API also handles refunds for cancelled or returned purchases.

Prometheus Image ArchivePrometheus Image Archive API: Described as a digital image archive for Art and Cultural Sciences, prometheus is a collaborative project of four German Universities. The archive provides access to almost one million digitized works from 68 databases worldwide.
The prometheus image archive API provides developer access to the image archive, allowing automated access to searches, image retrieval, and collection queries. Responses may be JSON or XML formatted.

ShoutletShoutlet API: Shoutlet is an enterprise-level cloud-based social marketing platform. The Shoutlet contact form API provides a simple HTTP interface allowing customers to automate incoming contact requests into Shoutlet contact databases.

TwelephoneTwelephone API: Twelephone is a HTML5 WebRTC-powered Twitter Telephone for placing and receiving peer-to-peer, encrypted voice and video calls over Twitter. Twelephone supports HD video and audio, chat, emoticon and “callme” button for website integration. However, It requires requires a chrome extension to be used. The API allows developers to integrate a “CallMe” button on their website and other Twelephone data.

ViafouraViafoura API: Viafoura is a social monetization and audience engagement platform for digital publishers. Viafoura enables customer sites collect rich user data, manage users from a single dashboard, and allow users to connect through social networks via single sign on.

The Viafoura API provides developer access through a RESTful interface. All calls are made over HTTPS. All calls and responses are JSON formatted.

WhipplehillWhipplehill API: The service provides functions for managing school records via a software as a service (SaaS) platform. Its Podium module supports faculty needs for instructional resources, class roster management, grading, and related tasks. Student-focused functions include course information access, faculty and staff directory, attendance records, etc. Web access is provided via specialized web content management system (CMS) capabilities.

API methods support interaction by partners within the provider’s “Ecosystem” to deliver specific functions and services. Methods handle user profile settings and access permissions, athletic and other school event information, posting and dissemination of news updates, etc.

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