Today in APIs: AppDirect CEO on Implications of API Economy, NationBuilder Launches API, and 3 New APIs

Greg Bates, October 10th, 2013

AppDirectAppDirect co-CEO and the implications of the API economy. NationBuilder launches API. Plus: Firefix OS Moves to 1.1, KantanMT releases machine translation API 2.0, and 3 new APIs.

AppDirect co-CEO Daniel Saks on the Future of the API Economy

The co-CEO of Appdirect, Daniel Saks, discussed the future of the API economy with Information Management’s Alex Bakker. They focused on the implementation of API driven services.


As Bakker noted, increasing interface integrations mean that API developers need to step up their billing capabilities to create more flexible business models:

“This [integration] currently would put significant strain on many SaaS application billing capabilities, as the simple subscription logic embedded in many SaaS solutions does not address use-based billing for multiple different services within existing products. The broader industry is already evolving here – some heavier weight while others are clearly lighter weight (e.g., Metratech, Aria, Zuora, Stripe and AppDirects own Jbilling platform) – which are beginning to enable greater flexibility with how services can be delivered and monetized.”

As with so many efforts, this flexibility will allow for cheaper, more targeted business models.

NationBuilder Opens Developer API

Nationbuilder, the community organizing system for the world, has launched a series of some 15 APIs to allow for integration of its powerful political tools.

Aiming its services primarily at political campaigns, nonprofits, activists, it covers creating a website, contacts, finances and communications.

The API is in beta according to the API documentation. Guides are available for programming in Ruby, PHP, and Python.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

3 New APIs

Today we had 3 new APIs added to our API directory including a u.s. business classification information service, a find governing bodies and officials by location service and a first robotics competition match information service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

Code for America NAICSCode for America NAICS API: Code for America is a non-partisan organization dedicated to helping government agencies use the internet to promote openness, efficiency, and citizen participation.

The NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) classifies businesses by type and is maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Code for America’s NAICS API is designed to help make the NAICS’s classification system machine-readable and easier to search. This will allow apps that need to understand or collect information about businesses to do so in a way that is compatible with the U.S. government’s framework.

DemocracyMapDemocracyMap API: DemocracyMap provides a simple interface that helps citizens and journalists discover the civic entities and governing bodies for a given location. The DemocracyMap API provides contact details and other primary information on all governing bodies and officials representing a given location in the form of structured data. A demo of the API is publicly available; its coverage is currently limited to the U.S.

The Blue AllianceThe Blue Alliance API: FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) hosts a Robotics Competition that is open to high school students around the world. The Blue Alliance is a website the provides archives of FIRST Robotics Competition matches. This includes team information, event results, and videos. The Blue Alliance API provides users with all of the data found on the website.

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