Wordnik, which aims to be the most comprehensive online dictionary, has been hard at work for over a year with a clear focus on scaling its architecture and listening to developer feedback. The result is significant updates to the Wordnik API and a new developer portal to increase adoption of its API.
Wordnik laid out the details for developers in a blog post, including a behind-the-scenes look at its back-end changes, implementation language and API architecture.
Wordnik stands as a prime example of how companies have adopted use of NOSQL databases like MongoDB. Equally interesting is its adoption of Scala to implement their REST API. The API has undergone changes with more attention being paid to standardizing parameters and introducing API versioning to ensure that your client bindings will continue to function for a particular version even though the new version might introduce changes.
The new Wordnik Developer portal is minimalistic but focused on getting developers started as quickly as possible. To get going yourself, you will need to sign up and can refer to the full API documentation. There are Code libraries that are available in several languages. If you want to get inspired through sample applications that are powered by the Wordnik API, look at the Showcase apps. The best part about their documentation is the interactive API console that can use to test out their API methods. That is a great way to check out the API and something that we expect API providers to start providing it as part of their API release.
An interesting statistic that Wordnik released is that 60% of its API traffic was via Mobile applications. And proof of that was biNu, a company providing a dictionary app for 2G feature phones. Their application powered by Wordnik has seen 700,000 downloads since September last year. The number of reference applications or games that incorporate words are limitless and it is expected with the API moving into beta that developers have a real winner in Wordnik.