Today in APIs: Bulletin Seeks Best SMS App and 10 New APIs

Greg Bates
Nov. 12 2013, 02:00PM EST

Bulletin announces a developer contest to find the best SMS-enabled App. Airbnb experiments with "Isomorphic JavaScript" apps for richer end user experience. Plus: Use the Shareaholic API to boost traffic, the risks and rewards of the API era, and 10 new APIs.

Bulletin.Net Holds November Contest for SMS-Enabled App

Bulletin.Net, the SMS company that delivers its services via the SaaS model, is launching a contest to find the best SMS-enabled app that uses their API. The guidelines are simple: you must use the Bulletin API for SMS and you must submit it by 11:59 PM PST November 30.

As the announcement states,

"Our first challenge is to create an application that successfully integrates with Bulletin. We are looking for something both innovative and useful that also pairs well with our software."

On the entry form are ideas for inspiration, including a parent/teacher app and an SMS identity verification system. And there are goodies to inspire as well: 500 free messages plus a free virtual phone number for a year, and several services to help promote your app. More about the API itself is also available without registration. To learn more about the contest check out ProgrammableWeb's recent coverage by Eric Carter.

The Isomorphic JavaScript Revolution: Running on Both Server and Client

Consider three stages in the evolution of JavaScript: Prehistoric times when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, every end user request for a page was sent back to the server, which then dished out a new page. Then we came down from the coding trees to develop the single-page app, where apps like Gmail could respond to a user without making that round trip back to a server. Data is fetched locally from an API. The great advantage is that response is instantaneous. But a funny thing happened on the way to... to wherever we are going.

As Spike Brehm points out in a post at nerds.airbnb, when web pages are built locally on the client side and not on the server side, we run into problems. One of them is SEO; since web crawlers don't crawl pages created on the end user's browser, and only on the server side, they can't be indexed and don't show up in searches. Performance can also be slowed if the server doesn't serve up a full page of HTML, waiting for JavaScript to do it. Then there are compatibility issues that can create maintainability problems. View logic or application logic ends up getting duplicated between client and server, not always in the same language, a drawback that often does not clearly appear until after the app is fully deployed.

Brehm says the answer, the third step in our coding evolution, is to build the app on both sides of the server/client side divide, as pictured above:

"In this world, some of your application and view logic can be executed on both the server and the client. This opens up all sorts of doors — performance optimizations, better maintainability, SEO-by-default, and more stateful web apps.

With Node.js, a fast, stable server-side JavaScript runtime, we can now make this dream a reality. By creating the appropriate abstractions, we can write our application logic such that it runs on both the server and the client — the definition of isomorphic JavaScript."

For more, consider attending Brehm's workshop at DevBeat on Tuesday, November 12 in San Francisco, or at General Assembly on Thursday, November 21. There, you can hack a Node.js isomorphic-tutorial app to get yourself up and running in the world of isomorphic apps.

API News Your Shouldn’t Miss

10 New APIs

Today we had 10 new APIs added to our API directory including a comprehensive cloud-based marketing platform, a Canadian automobile policy and claims database, a Canadian personal property claims data service, an oil and gas production facility reference data service and a web form and data collection service. Below are more details on each of these new APIs.

Adobe Marketing CloudAdobe Marketing Cloud API: Adobe Marketing Cloud is a comprehensive, integrated marketing solution composed of services such as Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Social, Adobe Experience Manager, and Adobe Media Optimizer. These allow marketers to manage, track, and optimize their campaigns and promotional materials. The Adobe Genesis service allows users to consolidate their online marketing tools in a central location. The Adobe Marketing Cloud also provides a collaborative user interface and dashboards that update in real time.

The Adobe Marketing Cloud provides developers with an Enterprise API and a Partner API. The Enterprise API is designed for use by Adobe Marketing Cloud customers. It provides programmatic methods for collecting, importing, exporting, and running reports on customer data. The Partner API is designed for use by Adobe Genesis partners, allowing them to use integrated data to improve their businesses.

CGI AutoplusCGI Autoplus API: CGI is a business information and technology company. One service they provide is Autoplus, a database of Canadian automobile policy and claims information. Its records span more than 15 years and include 40 million policy records and 30 million claims. This information can be accessed using a driver's license or a policy number. Reports can be obtained at different levels of detail, ranging from Autoplus Classic to Autoplus Platinum. Users may access CGI Autoplus using the internet, web services, the API, or a host-host connection.

CGI HITSCGI HITS API: CGI is a business information and technology company. One service they provide is the Habitational Insurance Tracking System (HITS), which gives insurers access to a majority of the personal property claims data for Canada. This includes 55% of data for Quebec and 98% for the rest of Canada. The HITS data allows people to identify bad risks before taking them on and find patterns of suspicious claims. When no claims information is available for an insured property, HITS can estimate a score based on neighborhood information and demographics. Users can access HITS data by logging on to the CGI website or using its web services, API, host-to-host, or batch methods.

DNV Reference Data ServicesDNV Reference Data Services API: Det Norske Veritas (DNV) is a Norway-based risk management company for high-risk global industries. They provides all kinds of services, including advising, assessment, certification, materials testing, training, software development, and more.

The DNV Reference Data Services allow users to retrieve ISO 15926 Reference Data. This includes relationships, classifications, and metadata on different kinds of equipment, objects, and events relating to oil and gas production facilities. This data can be accessed through the RD4 browser, or it can be retrieved programmatically via SOAP API.

Form Assembly Form Assembly API: Form Assembly is a web form and data collection service that allows users to build web forms using a simple GUI and collect customer data more efficiently. The Form Assembly APi uses REST calls and returns JSON or XML. The Form Assembly API allows users to interacting with user accounts and exporting data. An account is required with service, SSL, an API Key, and OAuth2.0 are used for authentication.

namebaynamebay API: Namebay provides domain name registration services, including a reseller program. The namebay API allows developers to programmatically manage reseller services. The API exposes user accounts, domains, contacts, name servers, and more through HTTP POST commands. The API also supports several SOAP commands.

spotXchangespotXchange API: SpotXchange is a video advertising exchange where ad buyers bid on video ad inventories. The site services more than 400 million actions per day.

The spotXchange API allows users to access reports on user account data including, revenue reports, traffic reports, advertiser level reports, and referrer level report. The API uses REST calls and an OData service structure. An account is required with service.

Treasu.re PlatformTreasu.re Platform API: Treasu.re is a real-time mobile photo broadcasting platform. It is creating an ecosystem for all 80,000 camera apps. The service aims to make mobile photos more open and integrated online as well as provide attribution to the photographer and app from which the photo came. The Treasu.re API allows mobile app developers to ad hooks to the app to share photos with the Treau.re service. An account is required with service.

Worldtime.ioWorldtime.io API: Worldtime is a time service that provides localized time for anywhere in the world through a search tool. The site includes the search function, different time display options, information about daylight savings time, and other functions. The Worldtime API uses REST calls, and is comprised of an IP address to time service, and a latitude to time service. These allow the user to integrate time information services into third-party applications. An API key is required with service.

Writeapp.meWriteapp.me API: Writeapp is a text edit platform that allows users to create, organize, and publish text. The service stores notes privately but also allows them to be made public. The Writeapp API uses REST calls and allows users to access the data within the Writeapp as well as build alternate user interfaces. An account is required with service and API keys are used for authentication.

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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