Windows Releases Azure SDK + Task-Based Asynchronous API
Azure, the Windows platform for the public cloud, provides three methods for the basic cloud function of executing applications: virtual machines, websites, and cloud services (see graphic).
As Scott Seely, Developer on the Windows Azure Service Bus Team blogs, Azure has
"recently released a new version of the Windows Azure Service Bus Client SDK via NuGet. Currently marked as v2.0.0-beta, the SDK APIs have improved to offer System.Threading.Tasks.Task based versions of all asynchronous APIs. This means that you can write asynchronous code that mere mortals can read. If you are curious about which classes got the treatment, the answer is simple: we updated everything! Anywhere you saw a Begin/End pair, you now also see an Async version of the method. The updated SDK is compiled against .NET 4.0, so it will work with Visual Studio 2010 as well as Visual Studio 2012."
The SDKs fit as one category in 11 that comprise Azure: Execution models; data management; networking; business analytics; messaging; caching; identity; high-performance computing; media; commerce; and of course the SDKs. Along with Azure's 10 other components, the SDKs have advanced, in this case from only supporting .NET to supporting virtually any language. To take another example, the SDKs also provide client libraries that help you create software running outside the cloud that uses Windows Azure services.
Billtrust Expands API for Bill Tracking
Billtrust, which provides billing solutions for B2B, B2C and billing solutions for utilities and municipalities, has expanded its API by incorporating SmartTrak into its SaaS-based accounts receivable automation platform.
According to the press release, SmartTrak tracks delivery of bills through the US postal service,
"Billtrust’s API now offers nearly a dozen value-added Web Services to customers and third-party developers. ...By displaying such information in a customized, consolidated view, users can dramatically improve their AR productivity."
The aim is to help customer service teams, collection staff and the internal accounting departments. SmartTrak can verify when a statement reached a recipient's post office, and track the movement of business return envelopes.
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9 New APIs
Today we had 9 new APIs added to our API directory including a digital currency exchange service, worldwide carpool finding service, crime-related information and resources, cash card payment system, electronics replacement parts store, italian financial information service, sanction tracking web service, social and collaboration website for german students, collaboratively generated global phone directory, . Below is more details on each of these new APIs.
AlphaPoint API: AlphaPoint is a New York based digital currency exchange that offers its users a trading platform with cold storage, and the capacity to implement high-frequency trading strategies among other features. The AlphaPoint API allows users to create an account, get user IDs from a cell phone number, verify a phone number, log in, log out, create and cancel orders, get instruments, get public trade logs, and several other calls. The service uses REST calls and returns JSON. An account with service is required and SSL and API tokens are used for authentication.
Carpoolworld API: Carpoolworld is a service for helping people find rideshares anywhere in the world. The site allows people to create trips, search for trips by origin or destination, and contact potential travel partners. Carpoolworld makes all of its functions available to developers using a REST API with responses returned in XML format.
Chicago Police Department CLEARpath API: The CLEARpath website is provided by the Chicago Police Department to help community members learn more about their districts and local events as well as how to protect themselves against crime. It also allows people to report crimes anonymously, get reports, and chat with the department. The CLEARpath REST API provides programmatic access to the website's functions and information in JSON format.
DoneCard API: A DoneCard is a type of cash card that can be used for online, mobile, and in-person transactions. The card does not require a bank account and can only be used to spend as much money as is placed on it by the cardholder. The DoneCard API allows users to manage card transactions and orders, get card details, and to verify their cards and transactions.
Encompass Parts Distribution API: Encompass Parts Distribution sells replacement parts for consumer electronics, appliances, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), computers, and more. They have more than 60 years of experience and are an authorized parts distributor for many popular brands, including Sony, Hitachi, Toshiba, Panasonic, and Samsung.
Encompass Parts Distribution provides its users with a SOAP API that allows them to retrieve supported manufacturers, models, and part numbers and information. The API also lets users create orders, check an order's status, cancel items on an open order, get invoice information, and request to return items on a given invoice.
Progetica API: Progetica is an Italian financial consulting firm based in Milan. They engage in activities such as financial education, tools development, and the diffusion of information via newspapers, websites, books, etc. The Progetica website is offered in both Italian and English.
The Progetica SOAP API allows users to retrieve informational slides from the website. These slides cover topics such as portfolio analysis, mortgages, and pensions.
Restricted Party Screening API: Restricted Party Screening is a compliance web tool that consolidates international interdiction lists to ensure that customer transactions do not violate regional, unilateral, or multilateral regulations by dealing with denied, debarred, and/or restricted parties. Examples include known terrorists, terrorist funding organizations, or parties guilty of trade violations.
The Restricted Party Screening API provides a RESTful interface for searching the database of restricted parties. Single search and multiple record search are supported. An API key is required and responses are XML formatted.
StudiHelp API: StudiHelp is a German website where students can meet and collaborate online. Students can search for study buddies or experts in specific subjects as well as just chat and discuss common interests. Users can also get news relevant to their university or city through the site.
StudiHelp hosts a SOAP API that allows users to search the website for a given term or for other users. The StudiHelp website is provided solely in German.
Truecaller API: Truecaller is a collaboratively generated global phone directory supporting number and name lookup, call filtering, social connections and more. The Truecaller API provides developer access to the Truecaller directory allowing automated reverse number lookup via HTTPS GET calls. API Key required.