Today in APIs: HeyStaks Starts API Developer Program, Load Impact Provides Free Testing Of Obamacare Website, and 10 New APIs

Greg Bates, October 30th, 2013

HeystaksIrish startup HeyStaks pioneers in collaborative search. Load Impact to test Obamacare website. Plus: Snapito! offers paid API documentation, new miiCard Directory API enhances and simplifies security, and 10 new APIs.

HeyStaks API Promises Search Results You’ve Been Looking For

HeyStacks has created an API that helps developers create collaborative search. The goal, as anyone who has used Google or any other search engine can easily grasp, is to create more meaningful results.

Writing in the Irish Times, Fiona Reddan notes that the key is a search system that stands on the efforts of those who have searched before:

The HeyStaks API (HAPI) provides developers with key benefits when it comes to enabling collaborative search in their own products, including the ability to addsresult recommendations from people you trust on topics that matter to your own interests and to help searchers to find what they’re looking for, faster, by sharing in the previous search efforts of others.

By getting developers to incorporate HeyStaks technology into products, web sites and apps, we could move beyond “I’m feeling lucky” to the luck of the Irish.

Finally, Obamacare Website Gets Stress Test, via Load Impact

If ever there was a living example of the old adage, “If you can’t be a good example, you’ll just have to be a horrible warning”… You don’t have to be a programmer to understand the value of performance testing before launch. But in the spirit of better late than never, Load Impact has offered their tools for free until the site is “running at full capacity.” One wonders if that promise might also test Load Impact’s patience.


In a press release, the CEO of Load Impact, Ragnar Lönn, is more sanguine, suggesting that behind the headlines screaming “Fail!”, the problems aren’t unusual:

“There’s nothing new in the failure of the Obamacare site. Websites have been developed that way for years — often with the same results. But there are now new methodologies and tools changing all that and we’ve reached out to our California representatives and all of the companies involved to let them know we’re ready to provide our stress testing services to them free of charge. It isn’t like it used to be — this shouldn’t be hard, time consuming or expensive. You just need to recognize that load testing is something that needs to be done. It’s not optional anymore. It seems they found that out the hard way. But we sincerely want to help make it work.”

I don’t doubt the sincerity of his efforts, nor his assessment. But the pitches on the Load Impact website, in view of what Obamacare should have done, make for painful reading. A smattering includes:

  • Meet and exceed customer performance expectations.
  • Easy to use and flexible.
  • Get started in minutes.

If it was so easy, Obamacare just gave a huge and unnecessary boost to its critics. But my all time favorite line I so wish Obamacare developers had read beforehand is:

“Be proactive and find out the load limits of your website before you learn the hard way.”

API News Your Shouldn’t Miss

10 New APIs

Today we had 10 new APIs added to our API directory including a short-term vacation apartment rental service, a bitcoin lending service, a bitcoin merchant services, a file conversion service and a bitcoin trading service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

ApartmentsApartApartmentsApart API: ApartmentsApart is an apartment rental service for locations across Europe. It offers apartments as an alternative to hotels or hostels for people traveling in major cities. Users can choose from over 3000 apartments. Listings provide full details on the apartments as well as feedback from previous visitors. Buyers can save money with last-minute deals, and regular customers can expect additional discounts.

BTCjamBTCjam API: BTCjam is a peer-to-peer Bitcoin lending service. The company aims to mae the lending process easily accessible from around the world, where users can choose the interest rate they can afford by listing the loans they want, and lenders and can pick those they wish to lend to. The BTCjam API allows users to query the current listings open for investment. The API uses REST calls, returns JSON, and uses both SSL and OAuth 2.0 for authentication. An account is required with service, and users must register the application that the API us being used in.

BTCmerchBTCmerch API: BTCmerch is a bitcoin merchant service whereby users can add the capability of accepting bitcoins and litecoins as payments within merchant sites. The BTCmerch API allows for quick payment acceptance integration, and allows for more control over payments. The services uses Javascript for integration. No API key is required for service, only a merchant ID.

CloudConvertCloudConvert API: CloudConvert is a cloud-based file conversion service that offers over 150 formats into which files can be converted. The CloudConvert API allows users to integrate the conversion service into third-party applications. The service allows users to make calls to start a file conversion, check the status of a conversion, cancel a conversion, delete a conversion, callback after a conversion, list conversion, and select a conversion type. The API uses REST calls, and uses SSL and an API Key for authentication.

CoinSetterCoinSetter API: CoinSetter is a bitcoin trading service that aims to bring bitcoins into broader markets and make it a known, and often traded, commodity. The site offers a full trading platform with low latency. The CoinSetter API allows users to make queries to get Market Data, Account information, interact with client session, get customer information, get customer addresses, view financial transactions, place orders, and other calls. The API uses REST calls and returns JSON. Through these users can execute trading strategies and perform other account functions.

Hampton Roads TransitHampton Roads Transit API: Hampton Roads Transit is a regional transportation system, providing bus, light rail, and ferry services for Hampton Roads Virginia. The Hampton Roads Transit API provides programmatic access to real-time bus data. Available calls include bus routes, current bus locations, and more. The API is able to return data on the entire system, or on a specified route.

Meteomedia Weather Development KitMeteomedia Weather Development Kit API: Mminternational is a weather measurement network from MeteoGroup, a German weather services company. Meteomedia is a division of mminternational providing weather products and services for the media and public.
The meteomedia Weather Development Kit is an API providing programmatic access to data from the mminternational database. Accessible services include worldwide weather data, measurements and forecasts, and more.

P4DP4D API: P4D provides online shipping services including international parcel, pallet, and document transportation. The P4D API allows customer applications to generate quotes, place bookings, track parcels, and more.

PrevisitePrevisite API: Previsite is an international online real estate marketing service. When users submit property listings, they are automatically distributed to real estate portals around the world and, if necessary, translated into languages specific to those portals. Users can manage, monitor, and view these listings online.

Previsite provides panoramic viewers using methods such as JAVA, Flash, and HTML5 to give potential buyers a preview of the property in question. These viewers can be extensively customized and will display images in a variety of formats, along with music and voice-overs. The viewers work on mobile and tablet displays, and users can link end-users to the previews using QR codes. These previews can also be shared directly on social media sites.

The Previsite API allows users to add, find, update, and delete virtual tours; create, update, and retrieve user account information; find ads that can be used on a real estate portal or platform; and more. Although the Previsite website is in English, the API documentation is given in French.

wooplawoopla API: Woopla provides telecommunication solutions for business and residential clients. Services include low cost international calls, SIP/VoIP termination, service numbers, and more. Among its value added services, woopla provides an Alert Call API, allowing applications and web services to execute outgoing voice calls. Woopla creates a customized voice dialogue which is automatically executed when the other side picks up the phone. Suggested uses include PIN queries, phone number verification, and appointment reminders.

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