One of the key benefits that the cloud brings to developers is the promise of reducing the cost of hosting applications. “Pay per use” is mentioned by every cloud vendor, but that by itself is not a magic wand by which the bills get reduced. A typical pattern is to observe monthly bills, see which services ended up being costly, then look at re-architecting bits and pieces of the application. Google Cloud Platform, which is fast becoming a strong alternative to Amazon Web Services, wants to make the task easier by providing a billing API that provides programmatic access to your daily Google Cloud Platform usage and cost estimates.
ProgrammableWeb enjoyed another tremendous year in 2013. The year in APIs was filled with landmarks, innovation and massive expansion of the API economy. ProgrammbleWeb readers kept us busy, and four particular areas of interest prompted the most attention.
Google Compute Engine is now Generally Available to Developers. GCE offers Linux Virtual Machines, where you can host your applications, powered by Google’s infrastructure. The service was first announced at I/O 2012 and has seen consistent announcements in terms of features, performance benchmarks, security and a host of network infrastructure capabilities over the year.
Google Cloud Platform is positioning itself as a major player to help mobile developers get off the block fast. While the platform was complete in terms of its Compute Engine (IaaS), App Engine (PaaS) and cloud services (Storage, Big Query, etc), developers still had to do the work of connecting the pieces. If you were a mobile developer who wanted a quick starter application in the Google cloud, you had to figure out the pieces. Similarly, if you were looking to expose your app engine applications as a bunch of REST-based services that would scale to heavy loads and work across multiple mobile devices, you had to work on your application to do so.
There are over 1,000 social APIs in the ProgrammableWeb directory. The big names in that list, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Twitter, are also amongst the most popular public APIs overall. Since other API providers look to these leaders for examples in engaging with developers, I thought it would be useful to see how each uses a common communications medium. That’s right, how do the social APIs use social media themselves?
Google Chrome is phasing out all plug-ins based on the Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI) starting January. NPAPI has a long and rich history. Developed for Netscape 2 in the late 1990s, NPAPI went on to become a popular cross platform plug-in. It was used by many web browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera, Konqueror and Google Chrome.
Google has announced the release a new production version of the Google Visualization API which includes several brand new features including timeline charts, donut charts, map data refresh for geoChart, customizable tick values and labels, and other chart improvements.
Google has announced the launch of the brand new Google Analytics Metadata API which returns the list and attributes of columns (dimensions and metrics) generated from the Google Analytics reporting APIs.
So long as your name isn’t Microsoft, YouTube wants to make it easier for you to develop apps that integrate YouTube videos. On Friday, YouTube significantly increased the allowable quota for its Data API. The move comes one week after the video service blocked Microsoft from relaunching its Windows Phone YouTube app.
For a couple of years at least, Buffer fans have been clamoring for the social media service to integrate with Google+. Why can’t we schedule posts to our Google+ Pages?, they asked. The answer was because Google had not released a Google+ write API yet.