Today in APIs: Amazon Kinesis in Public Beta, and 11 New APIs

Greg Bates, December 18th, 2013

Amazon EC2Amazon Kinesis arrives in public beta, a developer tool for real-time apps. Explara’s API and event marketplace for India launches. Plus: Paypal acquires Stackmob, why the orchestration layer is the future of APIs, and 11 new APIs.

Amazon’s Data-Analytics Platform Kinesis in Public Beta for Real-Time Apps

Amazon’s AWS has launched an alternative to Hadoop called Kinesis. The barrier to entry is lower, with Amazon promising “a few clicks and a couple of lines of code” is all it takes to get started.  And Kinesis connects to its other cloud services. It features the ability to create real-time dashboards, capture exceptions, create alerts, drive recommendations and form other business or operational decisions.

According to Alex Williams in Techcrunch, Kinesis shards the data into 1,000 by 20, meaning 1,000 writes and up to 20 reads:

“AWS Kinesis streams thousands of data streams on a per-second basis. It allows developers to pull any amount of data, from any number of sources, scaling up and down as needed. The power of the platform comes with its capability to process data in a world where sensors are transmitting information in any number of ways, said Amazon CTO Werner Vogels at At AWS Re:Invent. Vogels made the point that there will be an increasing use of sensors to record data. With Kinesis, builders could look at the data and determine the best time to pour the concrete in the foundation.”

It will also simplify cluster operations because it scales automatically. Connectors enable integration with Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, and Amazon DynamoDB. But there are drawbacks. Its competitor Hadoop has an entire ecosystem behind it, making it more powerful than Kinesis. And open-source options are sprouting fast.

Explara Launches API Alongside Event Marketplace

Explara, the Indian event management platform, has launched a marketplace along with an API. The company claims to be off to a fast start, working with 20 partners to provide solutions.


As Vikas SN writes in India’s MediaNama, the API will be available free initially, and on a revenue sharing model thereafter:

“Explara has also launched a developer and marketplace program through which app developers, solution providers and service providers can offer their solutions and services through Explara platform APIs and integrations.”

The API access is through OAuth2 and the API is in three parts: event and registration, booking and publisher APIs. Hosting services will make it possible for developers to validate their apps.

API News You Shouldn’t Miss

11 New APIs

Today we had 11 new APIs added to our API directory including a universal application platform for smart devices, a multichannel marketing campaign management service, a themed placeholder text generator, a hitchhiking location reviews service and a data conversion & calculation solution. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

AppercodeAppercode API: Appercode is a universal application platform for smart devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and other smart devices. Appercode allows developers to unify platforms across devices for their applications.

The Appercode API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Appercode with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should email info@appercode for more information.

CopernicaCopernica API: Copernica is a service for creating, running, and tracking email and SMS marketing campaigns. It can help users collect information on contacts using web forms and surveys and then send mailings out to all recipients on file. Users may also filter recipients by interest, purchase, or activity. Copernica can set up automated, targeted, multichannel campaigns containing a series of personalized messages. Detailed statistics are provided for each mailing sent out. Copernica comes with a variety of generic integrations, but users may also create custom integrations using the Copernica SOAP API.

FilleramaFillerama API: Fillerama is a web service that generates placeholder text composed of quotes from Futurama, Star Wars, Dexter, The Simpsons, Doctor Who, and more. Fillerama is exposed through a simple API. Developers specify the number of sentences, the format, and the show from which quotes will be generated. The API responds with JSON or XML formatted text. Callbacks are supported via JSONP.

Hitchwiki MapsHitchwiki Maps API: Hitchwiki is a collaboratively sourced site for information about hitchhiking and other cheap forms of transportation. Hitchwiki includes a map with geolocated notes from hitchhikers, describing their experience hitchhiking in a given spot.
The Hitchwiki Maps API provides developer access to map data. Applications can programmatically access information on particular locations or retrieve a list of places that meet a specified criteria. Default information includes latitude, longitude, elevation, rating, and other geographic details.

Meniscus Real Time CalculatorMeniscus Real Time Calculator API: The Meniscus Real Time Calculator is a calculation engine that helps turn raw data into information that is meaningful and actionable. Meniscus offers various data solutions.

The Meniscus Real Time Calculator API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Meniscus with other applications. Some example API methods include returning groups, returning sub-groups, sending raw data to the calculator, and managing items. More information can be found here: http://www.apihub.com/meniscus-systems-ltd/api/meniscus-real-time-calculation-api.

NWCC Air-Water DatabaseNWCC Air-Water Database API: The NWCC (National Water and Climate Center) is a US government organization created to develop information and technology resources on snow, water, climate, and hydrology. The NWCC provides the Air-Water Database (AWDB) API, which allows users to retrieve data, metadata, 30-year normals, and water availability forecasts via SOAP calls.

PollfishPollfish API: Pollfish is a survey and poll creation service. Pollfish allows users to create, send, and track mobile surveys and polls to their customers, users, and anyone they want to gather responses from.

The Pollfish API and SDK allow developers to access and integrate the functionality of Pollfish with other applications. Some example methods include sending surveys, integrating monetization, and retrieving survey results.

Pony IpsumPony Ipsum API: Pony Ipsum is a My Little Pony themed placeholder text generator. The service is accessible through a REST API. Developers can specify the number of paragraphs or sentences, as well as whether the text will be all pony-themed or mixed with lorem ipsum text.

safedropsafedrop API: Safedrop is a web-based messaging tool that acts as a secure alternative to email. The safedrop API provides a RESTful interface for integrating the service. The API is able to return a list of safedrops, create a safedrop, show or update a safedrop, manage a safedrop’s recipients, manage a safedrop’s files, or send a safedrop to all recipients.

VorensysVorensys API: Vorensys provides background checks on potential tenants for landlords in the UK. Vorensys checks the credit history of the tenant’s previous addresses, follows up on references with the previous landlord, verifies income, and uses anti-fraud technology to identify bogus referrers. Reports are provided in plain English, without any unnecessary jargon. Developers can integrate Vorensys’ services into their own applications or websites via SOAP API.

ZowPow ToysZowPow Toys API: ZowPow Toys brings together physical toys and mobile technology. ZowPow Toys allows children to play with physical toys through mobile technology and applications to bring physical toys to life.

The ZowPow Toys API and SDK allow developers to access and integrate the functionality of ZowPow Toys with other applications and to create new applications. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should email developers@zowpow.com for access.

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