Today in APIs: Airpair Coding, API Security, and 10 New APIs

Greg Bates
Mar. 04 2013, 01:08PM EST

Airpair links coders with entrepreneurs. Combining API security and Hadoop. Plus: HackColumbia codes for student problems, GSMA adds OneAPI Exchange to cellco armory, and 10 new APIs.

Airpair Links Coders and Entrepreneurs

Founded by Jonathon Kresner, Airpair aims to help startups improve their software using experts. As Sarah Perez reports in Techcrunch, Airpair is a small organization,

"Airpair, a newly launched service which connects entrepreneurs and expert developers over remote online sessions, aims to help startups build better software and speed their time to launch. The idea’s name, which brings to mind “pair programming” techniques, offers its users one-hour screensharing sessions where developers will help review your code, brainstorm architecture, assist with problems, and more."

Airpair doesn't build your code. That's a role for services like Elance that creates a marketplace for hiring people to complete specific projects. Instead, Airpair aims to connect you to exactly the right expert for your project. Think: advice and help, not temp agency.

Combining API Security and hadoop

Riddle me this: can you improve Hadoop security without actually modifying it? If you're working with it and you said "no," you need to give Blake Dournaee's Intel Security Gateways blogpost a close read. The trick is to use an API manager as a gateway. Start with the picture below, a graphic illustration of how the enhanced security works. And it is in addition to existing security--Hadoop to its credit already comes with Kerberos SPNEGO authentication, at least most distributions do.


As Dournaee explains, this model gives you a great deal of flexibility and control,

"All of the policy enforcement is done at the HTTP layer by the gateway and the security administrator is free to rewrite the API to be more user friendly to the caller and the gateway will take care of mapping and rewriting the REST call to the format supported by Hadoop. In short, this model lets you provide instant Enterprise security for a good chunk of Hadoop capabilities without having to add a plug-in, additional code or a special distribution of Hadoop."

Dournaee also details some of this flexibility. You can lock down the standard WebHDFS REST API so that only specific users can gain access. There are added authentication methods made available. And it can strip and redact Java exception traces carried in the WebHDFS REST API responses, along with other capabilities.

API News You Shouldn't Miss

10 New APIs

Today we had 10 new APIs added to our API directory including a biochemical system simulation service, a latin america travel site, an ip location and information service, a metabolic molecule database, a mobile location services and a suite of bioinformatics services. Below is more details on each of these new APIs.

CopasiWSCopasiWS API: CopasiWS is a suite of APIs based on COPASI software for simulating biochemical systems. In addition to converting and validating files for use, users can find the steady state of a dynamic system or determine a system's trajectory. One API quantifies the effects of reaction rates on chemical concentrations, while others calculate the sensitivities of biochemical models and their responses to parameter changes. All CopasiWS APIs make use of the SOAP protocol.

DespegarDespegar API: Despegar is a travel agency specializing in Latin American destinations. Visitors to the site can search for hotels, flights and more and find the lowest prices. The API provides access to the data stored by Despegar. Data includes availability of accommodations, hotels, booking, airports, currencies and more. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in JSON.

GeoIPsGeoIPs API: GeoIPs.com is an application that offers users IP tracking data, web tools and geographic resources. The service lets users identify IP addresses in real-time. The API lets users trace their website visitors by providing their geographic location and IP related information. Developers can integrate the data with their own sites and applicatilns. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML and JSON.

Golm Metabalome DatabaseGolm Metabalome Database API: The Golm Metabolome Database (GMD) offers a collection of APIs that provide programmatic access to the GMD's search functions. These APIs allow users to search for metabolites by inputting GC-MS spectral data consisting of a retention index and mass intensity ratios. Metabolites that don't yet have reference mass spectra included in the GMD can be characterized by the predicted presence or absence of functional groups. There is also a search API specific to the GoBioSpace database, which is part of the GMD. The GMD APIs operate over SOAP, GET, and POST protocols.

GSMA OneAPI Zonal PresenceGSMA OneAPI Zonal Presence API: The GSMA is an association of mobile operators worldwide. Representing more than 800 mobile operators in more than 220 countries, the GSMA supports the standardizing, deployment and promotion of the GSM mobile telephone system. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.

The GSMA OneAPI is a set of APIs that expose network capabilities over HTTP. The OneAPI Zonal Presence interface allows a Web application to query a ‘Zone’. A zone is a cluster of one or more Femtocells to which end user phones may be connected. With the Zonal Presence API you can determine the number of users in a zone, be notified of entries to/exits from the Zone, and the user path taken through the Femtocells in a Zone.

HUSAR Bioinformatics LabHUSAR Bioinformatics Lab API: The HUSAR Bioinformatics Lab at DKFZ provides a large number of freely available APIs. Many of these are useful in aligning DNA, RNA, or protein sequences. Alignments can be pairwise or multiple, local or global. Some of the APIs help visualize sequences or alignment results. Others edit biological sequences to make them more comprehensible to researchers.

One large group of APIs is dedicated specifically to working with nucleic acid sequences. Some analyze sequence composition or codon usage, while others locate specific genes, motifs, or CpG islands within a sequence. One group of these APIs focuses on translating DNA sequences to proteins and vice versa. A handful of others focus on working with sequence profiles. Still more look for primers, repeats, restriction sites, or transcription factors. A few others allow the user to play with sequence mutations.

Yet another group of APIs works exclusively with proteins. A few APIs in this category focus on identification and profiling. There are some that assess secondary and tertiary structure, while others focus on determining protein composition and motifs. A couple are designed to simulate mutations in proteins.

A handful of miscellaneous APIs provide background information on sequences, alignment methods, available databases, and other relevant subjects. One simply returns the current EMBOSS version number.

All of HUSAR's services are based on EMBOSS freeware and possess their own individual WSDL endpoints.

LevelUpLevelUp API: LevelUp is an online and mobile payment service. Users can set up their own QR code that allows them to pay various merchants via scanning the QR code. LevelUp also offers users savings when paying with the LevelUp application. Merchants can integrate the LevelUp system with their point-of-sale systems to accept LevelUp payments for goods and services.

The LevelUp API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of LevelUp with other applications, such as point-of-sale systems and to create new applications. Some example API methods include accepting online payments, accepting mobile payments, and retrieving reporting information. Interested developers should sign up here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEJOVkZTcU81cTYtVC1....

RokuRoku API: The service streams video from affiliated providers via wireless or wired network connections to television sets and other video display devices. Applications can establish public or private channels, paid or free of charge, to provide media content to end-user devices. The provider's SDK supports creation of code that, when uploaded to the service, will retrieve and display media resources.

API methods support detection of device models, authentication of end users and account management, control of user interactions with the platform, and grouping of categories, episodes, etc. with navigation to desired content. Methods also support handling of media resources, including specification of playback formats and streaming from designated sources.

Tenki WeatherTenki Weather API: Tenki is the website of the Japan Weather Association. The Tenki API provides users with weather information such as the forecast, UV and pollen information, umbrella index and more. This data can be integrated with a user's web site or application. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML and JSON.

VemringdeVemringde API: Vemringde is a service that lists phone numbers from unwanted callers. With the vemringde.se API, users can search for information about issues in the database and use it in their own applications. An example use would be to help to block sales calls on an IP phone or mobile phone. The API consists of two parts, the List API lists the most common numbers on vemringde.se. The Search API provides information about any number in the database, it works much like a normal number lookup. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML, JSON, Text and Vcard.

Greg Bates A writer for Programmableweb since 2012, Greg is a freelance writer and a maniacal editor of dissertations and term papers. - Follow me on Google+

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