Today in APIs: Amazon Announces Second EC2 Spotathon, The Composable Enterprise and 11 New APIs

Greg Bates, October 14th, 2013

Amazon EC2Amazon’s Second Elastic Compute Cloud Spotathon Goes until Midnight October 31. Developers using APIs could rule the world. Plus: 11 new APIs.

Amazon Announces Second Annual EC2 Spotathon Thru October

Have you built applications that leverage Amazon’s EC2 Spot Instances? This could be the contest for you! Amazon Web Services launched its second annual EC2 spotathon October 1, going through Halloween, midnight October 31.

As the Amazon Web Services blog notes, last year’s winner was PiCloud:

“This is an open-ended coding challenge where you can demonstrate how you use Spot Instances to accelerate your applications or to reduce your compute costs. As a participant in this year’s Spotathon, you could win the Grand Prize of $5,000 in AWS Credit or the Runner-Up Prize of $3,000 in AWS Credit. Note that $5,000 is enough for you to run 40 core-years of computation in than a day on Spot Instances, as the folks at Cycle Computing did earlier this year.”

Will you be this year’s winner? Check out the application and rules. Examples from Lucky Oyster and Scribd are discussed. The Scribd example saved over $10,000 in computing time.

The Composable Enterprise: Music to an Entrepreneur’s Ears

It’s increasingly clear that the API economy is changing the ball game for every enterprise. As Antony Falco, CEO and co-founder of Orchestrate.io argues in Gigaom, APIs are at the heart of building things out fast and cheaply. But, he argues, the implications go far deeper:

“While much of this might seem second nature to today’s nimble startups, the composable enterprise model represents a profound shift from the siloed, monolithic architecture that characterizes both traditional enterprise apps, as well as the large enterprise IT organizations that produce them. Being an “agile” organization is not enough. Nimble processes on top of ponderous, bespoke infrastructure will not be enough. It’s still just lipstick on a pig.”

How far will this go? This “Composable Enterprise” looks to disrupt the power relations between IT and everyone else. Quoting Jonathan Murray, EVP & CTO at Warner Music, Falco argues that services will be based on building blocks (e.g. storage, monitoring, security, metering), and can themselves be a modular part of a larger enterprise where almost everything is composed of interchangeable blocks. As Falco concludes, “APIs have eaten software, and they’ll go on the eat enterprise architectures, too. And it won’t be the CEO in his swivel chair that makes the call, it will be the masses of developers who will drive it forward.”

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

11 New APIs

Today we had 11 new APIs added to our API directory including a scientific and technical saas, a developer payment service, a mobile marketing sms service, an email management for domains service and a fraud detection service.  Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

CloudBrokerCloudBroker API: CloudBroker offers scientific and technical applications in the cloud. The platform enables users to offer and use compute-intensive applications on different cloud computing infrastructures.

CloudBroker provides users with a REST-based web service API. API methods include Jobs, Accesses, Organizations, Users, Resources, and more. Responses are provided in XML.

EVO Snap*EVO Snap* API: EVO Snap* is a payment service for developers that enables them to simplify payment acceptance and business operations for merchants and customers. Developers can create customized commerce applications and services to support customers across POS, mobile and eCommerce channels. EVO Snap* streamlines the inclusion of multiple payment and value-added services via one integration, and delivers bundles of services to developers through a single family of APIs. API documentation is available by request.

GetasmsGetasms API: Mobile marketing SMS service

Getasms is platform for sending SMS messages over the internet. Getasms enables users to realize mobile marketing campaigns by allowing them to send SMS to a massive number of email addresses simultaneously.

The Getasms REST API allows developers to extend the functionality of their applications by integrating components of SMS marketing. Use the API to Synchronize address books and messages with CRM systems, Generate lists based on the actions of clients, and more. An API key is required.

MailinatorProMailinatorPro API: MailinatorPro is a service for reading, managing, and controlling emails for an entire domain. Users can access its functions using a web-based Ajax interface, POP3, IMAP, or the REST API. It should be noted that the API methods are not accessible at the lowest pricing level of MailinatorPro, but the other methods are available at all price levels.

Open Fraud Detection ProjectOpen Fraud Detection Project API: The Open Fraud Detection Project (OFDEP) is a fraud-detection API that is designed to detect suspicious users early on, preventing activities like fraudulent purchases, invalid account creations, and comment spam. Security devices can query OFDEP to determine the odds that a given user or transaction is bad. The API is currently in beta and supports IP, email address, and username look-ups. It returns results in XML, but JSON will also be supported in the near future.

Outpost.Travel PublicOutpost.Travel Public API: Outpost.Travel helps users find affordable vacation rentals, rideshares, and local activities all around the world. This information is collected from the databases of many other travel sites to give users centralized access to all of their information. Outpost.Travel provides a Public API for accessing its site data, including 700,000 rental listings, tens of thousands of rideshares, and 30,000 local attractions. This API is still new, so users may encounter some bugs.

WebKnox ProxiesWebKnox Proxies API: Begun as a research project from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the University of Technology Dresden, WebKnox is an ontology-driven fact extraction engine built to provide direct, fast, and complete answers to questions on any topic a user can think of. To answer a question WebKnox uses external services that might have previously provided an answer or computes an answer using its knowledge base. If those options fail, WebKnox tries to find an answer on the fly.
WebKnox hosts a suite of REST APIs delivering a range of web services. The WebKnox Proxies API allows applications and websites to retrieve public proxies. The API can deliver proxies in a batch or individually, and allows users to report dead proxies.

WebKnox Question-AnsweringWebKnox Question-Answering API: Begun as a research project from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the University of Technology Dresden, WebKnox is an ontology-driven fact extraction engine built to provide direct, fast, and complete answers to questions on any topic a user can think of. To answer a question WebKnox uses external services that might have previously provided an answer or computes an answer using its knowledge base. If those options fail, WebKnox tries to find an answer on the fly.
WebKnox hosts a suite of REST APIs delivering a range of web services. The WebKnox Question-Answering API allows applications to find answers to natural language questions. The API supports one endpoint for simple factual questions and another for more complex questions.

WebKnox SearchWebKnox Search API: Begun as a research project from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the University of Technology Dresden, WebKnox is an ontology-driven fact extraction engine built to provide direct, fast, and complete answers to questions on any topic a user can think of. To answer a question WebKnox uses external services that might have previously provided an answer or computes an answer using its knowledge base. If those options fail, WebKnox tries to find an answer on the fly.
WebKnox hosts a suite of REST APIs delivering a range of web services. The WebKnox Search API allows applications and websites to perform web, image, and news searches. The API provides the option to limit the number of results or skip a specified number of top results.

WebKnox Text-ProcessingWebKnox Text-Processing API: Begun as a research project from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the University of Technology Dresden, WebKnox is an ontology-driven fact extraction engine built to provide direct, fast, and complete answers to questions on any topic a user can think of. To answer a question WebKnox uses external services that might have previously provided an answer or computes an answer using its knowledge base. If those options fail, WebKnox tries to find an answer on the fly.
WebKnox hosts a suite of REST APIs delivering a range of web services. The WebKnox Text-Processing API allows applications to process natural language texts. The API is able to detect the language of a given text, grade the quality of an article, find mentions of locations and other entities, find mentions of dates, auto-correct a text, detect a text’s sentiment, and tag a text with part-of-speech tags.

WebKnox WebWebKnox Web API: Begun as a research project from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and the University of Technology Dresden, WebKnox is an ontology-driven fact extraction engine built to provide direct, fast, and complete answers to questions on any topic a user can think of. To answer a question WebKnox uses external services that might have previously provided an answer or computes an answer using its knowledge base. If those options fail, WebKnox tries to find an answer on the fly.

WebKnox hosts a suite of REST APIs delivering a range of web services. The WebKnox Web API allows applications to process web pages in a variety of ways. The API is capable of detecting a web page’s language as well as the date the page was published or last edited. The API is also able to extract metadata such as a web page’s author, primary content, or factual information, and to retrieve page rankings.

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