Today in APIs: API Call in Drawing, APIs Killed Business Development, and 16 New APIs

Greg Bates
Feb. 25 2013, 01:00PM EST

Use an API call to win a startup pack. How the API killed business development jobs. Plus: Stop writing REST API clients, Twitter App reaches token limit, and 16 new APIs.

API Call Required to Enter Drawing for Startup Pack

Got startup? Get pack. 250 "Startup Packs" for developers are being offered by Startuppack, a nonprofit brainchild of entrepreneur Matthieu Vaxelaire, who is passionate about business and, clearly, supporting them launch. The idea is to create bundles of tools useful to developers in startups and offer them free based on a drawing. There's just one catch: you have to prove your geeky mettle by  applying via an API call.

Noting that last giveaway featured more packs, this time giving fewer packs meant he could offer better tools, Natasha Lomas at Techcrunch explains,

"Startup Pack is back. After giving away 1,000 bundles of free web tools to newly established startups last October, the entrepreneur who set up the giveaway has gone ahead with a second, developer-focused Pack — with fewer packs up for grabs but a larger range of freebies on board."

Among other tools, the pack includes Amazon Web Services ($1,000 worth), github (12 months free) , and Zencoder ($250 worth of cloud video encoding).

APIs Killing Business Development Jobs?

Justin Benson, CEO of Spreedly, suggests that business development people, the expensive folks hired to explore and propose partnerships, are a dying breed, being forced out by APIs. In How the API Killed Business Development, Benson tells the story of how he first noticed this trend back in 2007.

"We were in the Bay Area and Facebook was getting a lot of attention. We thought this [compression of high quality video] could be something really valuable to them and looked at setting up a meeting to discuss “how we could partner.” We had good connections and got to their CFO at the time.

My CEO was shocked when the response was, “We have an open set of API’s if you want to partner.” That was the beginning and end of the conversation. That wasn’t how things worked up until that point but it was obvious it was the way it would work more and more going forward."

Benson thinks that's the right answer 75% of the time because business development people were expensive and produced "dubious results." But, he admits, there are cases where start ups find that "anchor tenant" that propels them forward, as Microsoft did during its early days in working with IBM.

API News Your Shouldn't Miss

16 New APIs

Today we had 16 new APIs added to our API directory including a social messaging service, a biodiversity event information retrieval service, an email marketing service, an epa event photo album information service, a customer intelligence and analysis service, a metal song lyrics generator and an airline passenger services system. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

ConnectYardConnectYard API: The service provides messaging, both one-to-one and one-to-many, via social media platforms -- Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn -- in addition to more traditional SMS text messaging and email. It allows the sender to assign individual recipients to groups called "yards" for shared management of communications. For example, an instructor can create one or more yards composed of students in a course to allow messaging between individuals, project groups within the course, or all students. Notification options allow delivery of time-sensitive information via the methods most convenient to both sender and recipient.

API methods support managing user accounts and group memberships, with notification options selected for each. Methods support creation, updating, distribution, and deletion of message content. Reporting functions provide full analytics about service usage and communication success.

Convention on Biological DiversityConvention on Biological Diversity API: The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international treaty that seeks to sustain the rich diversity of life on Earth. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD) was established to support the goals of the Convention and currently maintains the CBD website.

The CBD website hosts a great deal of information relevant to its cause, including a calendar of biodiversity-related events and a list of NFPs. NFPs (National Focal Points) are points of contact within governments for communications regarding the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The CBD website hosts an API that lets users search for Events or NFPs by selection criteria or to retrieve one in particular by using its UniqueID. This API functions using SOAP calls issued in XML format.

DelivraDelivra API: Delivra is an email marketing software firm that also provides professional consulting, design, and other services to its clients. Customers can integrate their own applications with Delivra's software using the Delivra API.

Through the API, users can manage accounts settings, mailing list membership, email templates, subscriptions, and scheduled mailings. They can also record website activity that results from a mailing and retrieve a history of bounces, click-throughs, unsubscribes, and other such results.

European Parking Association Photo GalleryEuropean Parking Association Photo Gallery API: The European Parking Association (EPA) is the umbrella organization for all European parking associations. Its purpose is to facilitate cooperation and information exchange between its member associations and to exert influence on measures and resolutions relating to parking and urban mobility. The EPA maintains an online photo gallery documenting its major events. Developers can retrieve information about the photo albums within this gallery using the SOAP-based Photo Gallery API.

iProfileiProfile API: The service provides tools for tracking customer behavior and collecting and analyzing customer data to identify sales leads and measure market potential. Its data collection functions contribute to market analysis that identifies and prioritizes the most attractive potential customers. It also suggests strategies for engaging those prospective buyers to generate sales.

API methods support access to the provider's repository of operating profiles for prominent B2B market participants, including individual decision makers with direct influence on purchasing decisions. Methods support data analysis across more than 50 measures of customer activity to identify the most likely buyers and their key concerns.

Metal MakerMetal Maker API: Metal Maker is a service for metals bands that have trouble coming up with quality lyrics, song titles, or album titles. By using state-of-the-art heuristic algorithms, Metal Maker provides an endless supply of modern metal lyrics. This service is free for public use; however, if any content generated by Metal Maker is used for an album, a small Metal Maker logo should be printed on the back of the album cover. Metal Maker's functions are available for integration with other applications using its SOAP-based API.

Radixx InternationalRadixx International API: Radixx provides state-of-the-art Passenger Services Systems (PSS) to more than thirty airlines on five continents. Radixx can provide solutions to replace a current reservations system, or it can add functionality or distribution channels not offered by a current system provider.

Radixx Air provides a comprehensive tool set that enables airlines to create and manage their offerings to customers. This includes the ability to establish a flight schedule, allocate seat inventory to flights, create fares and fare rules, and manage the conditions under which products will be offered to market.

Many airlines need to be able to connect their core PSS to a variety of external systems. Radixx Air offers a comprehensive API that allows third parties - such as website design companies, tour operator systems, payment gateways, and more - to access services from the PSS.

RoyBoyDealsRoyBoyDeals API: The service provides information local price discounts, coupons, and other deals offered by sellers in a particular city. Each day for each location where it offers service, it reports an offer sponsored by a restaurant, bar, or other business. Contact the provider to determine where the service is active.

API methods support submitting a query specifying a city or other location as latitude and longitude along with the desired data format, either XML or JSON. Methods return a single offer with the sponsor's ID value and URL along with a URL for the service itself that provides basic information. Returned data specify the product offered, price and other terms, start and end dates for the special offer, etc.

RushWebRushWeb API: RushWeb is a national clearinghouse for the courier and transportation industries that is designed to help people find courier services that meet their needs. Shipping and courier companies can register with RushWeb to have their services included in customers' searches. RushWeb provides a SOAP-based API through which persons from a registered company can manage orders that people have submitted through RushWeb.

SelecTrucks Email SignupSelecTrucks Email Signup API: SelecTrucks, part of Daimler Trucks North America, sells quality used trucks. All trucks sold — from medium to heavy duty — must first pass a rigorous inspection and reconditioning process. People can sign up to receive email updates from SelecTrucks directly through the website or programmatically using the Email Signup API. The latter method uses SOAP calls issued in XML format.

STEPStoolsSTEPStools API: The service provides information about prescription medication suitable for pediatric patients based on diagnosis, age, body size, and other relevant conditions. Its knowledge base covers a full range of illnesses and prescription medicines used to treat them, including rounding of dosages and adjustment of formulations appropriate for small children.

API methods support search across the knowledge base by illness or health condition, medication, and patient characterstics. Methods return a ranked list of recommended formulations and doses for matching medications, with allowance for patient age and body weight. These recommendations are scored. Rankings reflect recommendation scores determined by the medication matching algorithm.

Swanand Mokashi Quote Of The DaySwanand Mokashi Quote Of The Day API: Swanand Mokashi is the founder and CEO of Malaika Consultants LLC, a software consulting company that also offers web design and web hosting services. On his website, Swanand provides a Quote Of The Day API, which returns a random funny quote and its author. This service can be integrated into a website or application using SOAP calls issued in XML format. Code samples for the API are provided in VB, C#, Perl, and 4D.

Treparel KMX for OEMTreparel KMX for OEM API: Treparel's KMX for OEM is a service that provides users with advanced search, analysis, and discovery capabilities for extracting information from text. In this way, it reveals hidden patterns and locates desired information in unstructured data sources such as email, application notes, blogs, social media, content management systems, research, and patent libraries.

KMX provides an open platform so that users can leverage its functions within existing technology environments. The KMX for OEM REST API enables rapid integration that is scalable, secure, and flexible.

VillarentersVillarenters API: Villarenters is a worldwide vacation property rental company. Spain is their biggest destination with over 3,500 villas available, but their total offerings include over 28,000 holiday homes in 76 countries. Listings contain plenty of information, often including past customer reviews. Every property is bookable and payable online.

The Villarenters API lets users search for properties as well as retrieve property images, reviews, and availability details. These functions are accessible using SOAP calls issued in XML format.

WhoisXML Brand AlertWhoisXML Brand Alert API: The service provides search for domain names either newly registered or newly available to be registered matching a particular string over a specified time period. It highlights domains using words or character strings of interest within the .com, .net, .org, .biz, .mobi, and .us top-level domains. It is intended to spot registrations similar to a company's brand name or any trademarks it maintains.

API methods support submission of one to four terms to match and a time limit (either start date or number of days in the past) with a maximum of 12 days prior to the current date. Methods then search for domain registrations or drops with full or partial matches across the most common top-level domains.

WhoisXML Reverse WhoisWhoisXML Reverse Whois API: The service provides a listing of web domains registered by a specified person. A search can target partial names or multiple names to identify the desired set of domains. Both current registrations and historical information are available.

API methods support submission of a domain search query specifying at least one registrant name, or part of a name, possibly including wildcard characters to control the accuracy of matches in search results. Methods support search for current or historical registrations or both. The API also supports registration of currently available domains discovered in its search results.

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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