Today in APIs: DealAngel’s Hotel API, Coca-Cola’s Olympian APIs, and 9 New APIs

Greg Bates, February 18th, 2013

DealAngel’s hotel pricing API. Coke’s internal APIs help win the Olympics of beverage. Plus: Returns management system hacking, Javascript library for GoogleAnalytics API, and 9 new APIs.

DealAngel’s API Lets Your Users Sleep at Night

As Steve O’Hear reports in Techcrunch, DealAngel, the deal-finding czar of hotel rooms, is augmenting its consumer offering with a B2B API.

“So, who might use the DealAngel API? The most obvious use-case is an Online Travel Agent (OTA) who could rank its real-time offers according to how good each deal really is, similar to DealAngel’s own consumer-facing site. Another example given by the company is a hotel wholesaler or a corporation negotiating special bulk rates for a particular hotel who could use the API to compare quotes. Likewise, says DealAngel, a daily deals site could use the API to check whether a 50% off “super deal” is actually that good before publishing it, helping to combat “deal fatigue”.”

DealAngel’s ability to look at “millions of data points” to precisely calculate just how good a hotel deal is can be critical. Every hotel room is a “deal”, so how do you know you aren’t being cheated? Without DealAngel, there’s no real way to understand the offer in the context of other opportunities nearby. DealAngel compares itself to a stock broker tracking the market, only in DealAngel’s case it is keeping tabs on hotel room shifting prices on top of a number of criteria like location and historical pricing. According to Techcrunch, the API, which focuses not on price that is available elsewhere but on additional market intelligence factors, should be fully public in April.

It’s the Real Thing: Coca-Cola Enterprise’s Internal APIs

As Sara Reiner reports in Mashery, Carl Kennedy, Associate Director of IT Development for Coca-Cola Enterprises, gave an illuminating presentation at last year’s Business of APIs Conference that traced the evolution of APIs as a transformational force inside the company. CCE, as this bottler is known, is based in Europe and handled beverages for the London Olympics. He stated that they have been working with Mashery “for about a year now” to enable iPads and other devices to get access to data. “APIs are the secret sauce,” Kennedy said, using a term that is an over used cliche for most companies but is the real thing for Cocoa-Cola.

As Kennedy noted, they now use internal APIs to track even the minutest metrics, like how the number of door openings on a cooler truck impacts efficiency. During the Olympics official sponsors CCE and Coca-Cola faced major challenges, with new venues to supply, hundreds and thousands of visitors, and an oversight committee that was picky about when their trucks could actually supply the sites. Namely, deliveries could only take place in the wee hours of the night, presumably to reduce congestion and stay out of visitors’ way. CCE, he reports, developed the Javalin App to leverage APIs in place for their delivery people who were using iPads.

APIs, he says, are helping CCE move from the traditional into the digital world by making loads of data available through APIs. Kennedy says that APIs give CCE 3 advantages: speed, mobility, and cloud. Those are obviously critical for a company in the delivery business. Success is not measured in millions of API calls but in how APIs have become part of the company’s DNA, in order to get data outside of the data center. People are increasingly turning to APIs to get their projects done.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

9 New APIs

Today we had 9 new APIs added to our API directory including a hosted survey and questionnaire service, a spam-resistant short-term contact service, an online payment service, a icia lab results retrieval service, an adoptable animal photo retrieval service and a norwegian online payment service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

CheckboxCheckbox API: The service provides an online platform for surveys and questionnaires to gather user input on questions of interest to the survey creators. It makes a survey instrument available with a range of question types, including true/false, multiple choice, drop-down lists, and slider responses. Applications can integrate standard and custom survey items with other functions such as customer contact or learning management platforms.

API methods support creating a survey with various styling and presentation options. Methods support adding questions with specified wording and allowable response types: checkboxes, radio buttons, drop-down lists, preference sliders, and more. Methods also support specification of access restrictions and authentication to control the survey sample and multiple reporting and analysis options to process results.

Con4ct MeCon4ct Me API: The service provides a short URL with time-limited access for sharing contact information. It allows users to share email address and phone number with others but without exposing that information to search engines and spammers eager to misuse it for unwanted communications. The URL is active only for a preset duration, allowing a business or personal contact to view and use contact information. Email forwarding is also available.

API methods support retrieval of a short URL for accessing a human-accessible display based on submission of phone number and email address along with the desired duration for the URL to remain active. Methods also support creating an email address that will forward to an actual valid address provided with the request.

goEmerchantgoEmerchant API: The service provides online payment processing for e-commerce vendors and integration with other applications. It aims to ensure PCI compliance with options for transparent redirects, white-label hosted checkout functions, or API integration. Payment options include credit and debit cards as well as automated clearinhouse (ACH) transfers.

API methods support submission of transaction information for payment, including vendor, product information, balanced owed, and credit card or other payment account information. Methods support pre-authorization of payment amount and final confirmation of funds transfer. The API also allows for scheduled recurring billing for subscriptions and other time-based payments.

Indiana Crop Improvement Association LabLinkIndiana Crop Improvement Association LabLink API: The Indiana Crop Improvement Association (ICIA) is a non-profit, self-supporting agency that objectively carries out seed certification, laboratory testing, and other quality assurance programs.

One of its services is LabLink, a web interface that allows users to access the results of tests performed by the ICIA. It also shows tests that people have requested, lab reports, and the current testing schedule. The ICIA LabLink SOAP API provides methods by which users can retrieve results and images for tests conducted by the ICIA.

Montgomery County SPCA Pet ImageMontgomery County SPCA Pet Image API: The Montgomery County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for unwanted, lost, and abused domestic animals in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County. The organization usually has a number of dogs, cats, and other animals available for adoption. The Pet Image API allows users to retrieve images of adoptable animals using SOAP calls issued in XML format.

NetaxeptNetaxept API: The service provides payment management for e-commerce and other merchants in Norway. The provider offers both hosted white-label checkout pages and full integration via a RESTful API. Payment processing can resolve through either the Visa or MasterCard networks.

API methods support the full payment process to complete financial transactions, beginning with authentication and submission of order number, product, and balance owed. Methods support pre-authorizing payment, user confirmation, transaction completion and funds capture. Options also include nullifying a pending transaction, crediting a refund for a cancelled sale, and inquiring about status of a pending payment.

Oklahoma Compulsory Insurance Verification SystemOklahoma Compulsory Insurance Verification System API: The service provides online verification of a driver’s automobile insurance coverage, as mandated by Oklahoma state law. Any privately owned vehicle registered in the state is subject to compulsory vehicle liability insurance. The service allows law enforcement personnel and others with a legitimate interest to confirm that a vehicle has adequate coverage in effect, and it allows insurance companies to upload information about their policies in effect.

API methods support checks against the OCVIM database to verify insurance coverage by submitting a vehicle identification number (VIN). Methods also support updating the state database by submitting a VIN and associated policy number along with coverage expiration date.

Reflection IT CalculatorReflection IT Calculator API: Reflection IT is a Dutch company that provides training, consulting, and application development services. Through its website, it provides a simple Calculator web service, which can be accessed programmatically using SOAP calls issued in XML format. It allows users to add, subtract, multiple, or divide any two numbers.

The SSL StoreThe SSL Store API: The service provides secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates that verify encrypted data exchanges. SSL encoding of network messages prevents interception of user information, including credit card data, and the risk of compromises to user security. In addition to direct interactions with customers for SSL certification, the provider allows interactions with resellers to serve their own customers providing web applications with online security needs.

API methods support creation of new product agreements with purchasers of SSL certificates and updating of existing agreements. Methods support completion of the transaction and download of a purchased certificate, with supporting functions for transaction review, cancellation, and refunds. The API also support reporting on system status and validation of customer credentials.

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