API as Product Companies Join Forces

Adam DuVander
Oct. 31 2011, 03:12PM EDT

The Urban Airship API will now be a whole lot more geo-aware. The push notification company has acquired SimpleGeo and its suite of APIs, which include Storage, Places and Context. The move brings one of the biggest names in the trend of APIs as products into another big name in the movement.

Urban Airship's announcement explains how SimpleGeo will expand the types of solutions its customers can build:

We've learned that our customers (brands, retailers, etailers, media, social networking sites, games and others) want more than just generic tools. Instead of building blocks they want a complete solution that can be used by the entire company to help engage, monetize, locate and understand their mobile user base. Urban Airship will fold in the SimpleGeo product suite to offer a complete set of solutions for our ever growing customer base. Urban Airship is now the leading platform for mobile cloud services in the market. This is a fantastic win for both Urban Airship and SimpleGeo customers and investors.

The news was first reported by Uncrunched and confirmed by Urban Airship and SimpleGeo posts.

The trend of APIs as products is something we've been following for some time. No longer does an API need to support a service. The API itself is the service. These two companies have been prime examples, each called out in our analysis when ProgrammableWeb hit 3,000 APIs.

SimpleGeo launched to great excitement, but has struggled with its approach to pricing. The company most recently switched off its free plan, but provides free trials at all levels.

With the acquisition, SimpleGeo's products will be moved under the Urban Airship brand, though that will likely take some time. 13 SimpleGeo employees will also join Urban Airship, according to ReadWriteWeb.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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[...] notification startup Urban Airship is closing the doors on all three APIs from the geo infrastructure company it acquired in October. The data behind one of the APIs, SimpleGeo Places, will be maintained by Factual and become part [...]