Today In APIs: Facebook Breaking Changes, AWS RDS Adds Notifications and 12 New APIs

Romin Irani, February 5th, 2013

FacebookFacebook Graph API breaking changes go into effect tomorrow Feb 6th. AWS uses its own Simple Notification Service (SNS) to push RDS events to DBAs. Plus: Microsoft Health Valult sees a new release and updated SDKs and 12 new APIs.

Facebook Breaking Changes for Feb 6th

Facebook Developers should note that tomorrow Feb 6th is when various breaking changes go permanent. If you are using the Graph API, the ability to post to a user’s friends’ walls via the Graph API will be permanently removed. If you want to allow people to post to their friends’ timelines, invoke the feed dialog. Other changes include using canonical URLs while fetching Open Graph objects and disabling of the offset parameter while searching stream posts.

Amazon Relational Database Service Adds Event Subscriptions

Amazon EC2AWS Relational Database Service(RDS) has added the ability for database administrators to get notified of various events. DBAs can subscribe to more than 40 type of events that range from database shutdown/restart, low storage and much more. These notifications will help avoid repeated API calls to the service via polling and can be configured via the AWS Management Console. The notifications are pushed to the user via the AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS) and it is interesting to note that AWS has utilized its own APIs to enable a key functionality.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

12 New APIs

Today we had 12 new APIs added to our API directory including a health care insurance directory service, a remote hvac control service, a health data graphing service, a network testbed service, a computer-related job listing service and a hacker news mobile post retrieval service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

Access Plans USAAccess Plans USA API: The service provides listings of health care insurance plans and providers of health services, including medical practitioners, nutrition providers, and similar organizations and professionals. Patient-facing resources include directories of primary and supplementary insurance plans available to individuals and families and directories of service providers by category. Provider resources include listings in service directories with tools for promoting add-on services to expand client base and revenue per client.

API methods support accessing the service insurance plan directory for summary information and rate quotes for individuals or families based on ages, locations, occupations, and other characteristics of the insured customers. Methods also support provider updates to directory listings to change insurance plan provisions and rates or to modify listings of services provided, contact details, and other information.

BayWeb Cloud-EMSBayWeb Cloud-EMS API: The service provides for remote control of building HVAC systems by interacting with internet-enabled thermostats and other control devices. It allows applications, including those running on mobile devices, to monitor conditions reported by building sensors and respond by changing equipment settings. Smart controls log readings with the servers operated by the service to allow reporting of device status and equipment functions over time.

API methods support access to data reported by internet-enabled heating controls, including device status, current temperature reading, and temperature set point. Methods also provide hourly readings recorded over the most recent 24-hour period or over all days withing a specified date range.

BililiteBililite API: The service provides pediatric charting functions that convert data submitted to images for web display and other purposes. Data can be entered via interactive forms or submitted as URL parameters, and the service completes processing to generate the requested chart displaying the data. Available graphs include height, weight, body mass index, peak flows, and bilirubin levels.

API methods accept requests specifying the chart type (bilirubin, height and weight, BMI, blood pressure, head circumference, or peak flows) and data from a sample of patients or an individual patient. The API generates an image URL to be incorporated into another web page or other application.

EmulabEmulab API: Emulab is a network testbed that provides researchers with a wide range of environments in which to develop, debug, and evaluate their systems. Emulab is widely used by computer science researchers in the fields of networking and distributed systems, as well as by educators who teach classes in those fields. Emulab is a public facility that is available without charge to most researchers. It has an XML-RPC interface, which mainly supports the creation, modification, swapping, and termination of experiments.

GitHub JobsGitHub Jobs API: GitHub Jobs is an online job listing that focuses on software engineering, web development, and related fields. The GitHub Jobs API allows users to search, view, and create listings using JSON-based REST calls. Functions exist that allow users to search for jobs by description, location, full- vs. part-time, or any combination of thereof. Users may also employ the API to retrieve a JSON representation of a single job posting.

Hacker News MobileHacker News Mobile API: This API has been developed by Gleb Popov for the Hacker News Droid app, but it is also being used by iOS, Android, and MobileWeb apps. The API is built in Python and makes use of the Hacker News Search API as well as data scraping. The Hacker News Droid App API can be used to retrieve homepage news, Ask HN content, or the newest or best posts. It can also retrieve submissions by user, or comments and data by Post ID.

Juno DownloadJuno Download API: Juno Download is a dance music download site created by Juno Records, the online dance music store. The Juno Download API provides developer access to the Juno Records catalog of over 3.5 million music files. Developers can use the API to add music or Juno buy links to websites and applications, or access cover artwork, preview clips and metadata. Responses are XML formatted.

ValExValEx API: The service provides estimates of property value for real estate in Australia. Integration possibilities include requesting a quote for valuation service, ordering a valuation report, and accessing the report when it is completed. Property assessors conduct valuations ordered by clients and update the service's own records, which clients can then access.

API methods support submitting a request for quote specifying the property to be assessed and other variables relevant to the valuation. Methods also support completing an order for a quoted valuation job and checking on status (accepted, assigned, inspected, delayed). The API supports retrieving the finished report for display or further analysis.

Walgreens Pharmacy Prescription RefillWalgreens Pharmacy Prescription Refill API: The Walgreens Pharmacy Prescription API allows users of third-party mobile applications to quickly order refills of prescriptions originally filled at one of the 8,000+ Walgreens pharmacies.

Developers who have scanning functionality within their apps can easily integrate the Prescription API to enable their users to order a prescription refill by scanning the barcode on a Walgreens prescription bottle, similar to the Refill by Scan flow in the Walgreens App.

The health care focused Pharmacy Prescription API is designed to increase prescription compliance and aid in personal health management through automated refill alerts and a streamlining of the refill process. By offering easy prescription refills through this health management API, Walgreens hopes to further increase health care adherence by reaching a wider audience through third party health care apps.

Wedding PerksWedding Perks API: New Zealand based Bridal Fashion World’s Wedding Perks provides a curated selection of wedding service and product deals. The Wedding Perks API provides developer access to deals through various HTTP calls. Responses may be JSON or XML formatted.

WESPWESP API: "WESP" is the Web, E-mail, and Storage Project, which can be used to host homepages, mail, and files. WESP was created for the University of Twente's student associations. The service is based on a central database (PostgreSQL) which holds all of the users' information. The WESP XML-RPC API enables people to retrieve information about WESP's users and user groups via programmatic means.

xkcdxkcd API: xkcd is a webcomic consisting of non-sequential strips about math, language, programming, and the nature of reality in general. The site provides a RESTful API that uses JSON calls to retrieve files contain comic titles, URLs, post dates, transcripts, and other metadata. This metadata is provided in an easily-parsed, plaintext format.

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