Today in APIs: How "Couch Commerce" is changing things, Facebook App Center Early Results and 25 New APIs

Kevin Sundstrom, Managing Editor, ProgrammableWeb
Aug. 15 2012, 01:09PM EDT

Facebook tells us about the impact that its new "App Center" is having on how users consume Apps. "Couch Commerce" is a big deal. Plus: A payments network takes on Google, Facebook makes it easier to find sample apps and 25 new APIs.

How "Couch Commerce" is changing things

Monetate posted an article today that illustrates how tablet shoppers are changing online sales. Some of the findings are interesting to say the least. Here are a few:

  • 119 million tablets will be sold in 2012 (70% iPads)
  • 348% increase in traffic from tablets in one year (Q1 2011 - Q1 2012)
  • 2012 tablet user growth by age:

In addition, I would love to hear how Monetate knows that 70% of tablet shoppers use their tablets on the porch.

Facebook App Center Early Results

Facebook built an App Center to “give people a central place to discover high-quality social apps.” In a recent release, facebook announced that over 150 million people used the App Center in the last month. The numbers seem to show that the App Center is a hit for both casual users and developers.

API News You Shouldn't Miss:

25 New APIs

Today we had 25 new APIs added to our API directory including a street address validation service, a mobile games discovery and marketing service, a phone conversation management app, a cd-rom burning and shipping service, a product sales order fulfillment service and a secure payment processing service. Below is more details on each of these new APIs.

AddressDoctorAddressDoctor API: The service verifies street and delivery addresses as submitted and corrects them to standard format used by shipping services. Addresses as entered are compared against updated reference data to confirm that the delivery location actually exists, and format correction helps to expedite shipments by maintaining compliance with package handling systems. Available supplemental content includes geodata or demographic information for the specified location.

API methods support interactive verification of a delivery address specified in the request and return confirmation that it exists and its correct format, including basic geocoding information. Batch verification methods provide the same functions, plus checks against records of deceased persons and change-of-address filings along with consumer classification information.

AppLiftAppLift API: AppLift is a mobile games discovery and marketing service. Their goal is to be a mobile affiliate network that is soley focused on games. Advertising affiliates can use the API to track, analyze and optimize mobile game app installs and post install events. The API or an SDK can be used to track conversions to any traffic source, marketing channel, creative type or other variable.

ClarityClarity API: Clarity is an app for individuals to network over the phone. It is meant to connect people seeking to impart or receive advice. The Clarity features allow individuals to schedule their conversation by time, subject, and person. Speakers can also use in-built payment functions to charge clients for their time. Others can also use a URL linked to users’ account to schedule conversations with them. The Clarity.fm API exposes user information and profile functionality. It is RESTful API that returns JSON-encoded data.

CustomCDCustomCD API: The service provides fulfillment and delivery of orders for information and file-based products sold via e-commerce or other digital retailing operations. It stores the content files that make up the digital product and generates a customized CD-ROM to be shipped in completion of the seller's order. Fulfillment services can complete sales for music CDs, photo or media products, software, and games.

API methods support management of digital product files stored by the system and submission of completed order information specifying product purchased, with ability to customize files included, and customer including delivery address. Methods generate production of a custom CD with required disc artwork and packaging via print-on-demand, followed by shipping to the purchaser. The API also gives summary information about products generated as well as individual orders, including current fulfillment status, history, shipping and re-shipping data.

Dropship.comDropship.com API: The service provides inventory management and shipment/delivery services to fulfill orders placed with an e-commerce or other retailing application. The selling platform completes the purchase and sends shipping information to the service, which generates shipping documents, packs the products purchased, and sends them for delivery. Existing integrations with popular e-commerce platforms are available.

API methods support submission of product and customer information, including delivery address, for fulfillment of an order. Methods provide response messages indicating order status, which can be relayed to customers with order confirmation and in response to status checks. Methods also support retrieving and updating product inventory information.

E-CashE-Cash API: E-Cash Systems provides South Africa with a secure online payment platform for online merchants. The E-Cash API is offered in two formats: Direct API through a securely hosted WSDL enabling direct integration via a web service, and redirect API integration that interacts with the E-Cash gateway via HTTPS. The API is available after contract setup and an application has been submitted and approved.

eKim eKart Fraud BustereKim eKart Fraud Buster API: The service, headquartered in Vietnam, provides a check for fraud in a pending e-commerce transaction and returns results including a recommendation to proceed with the transaction or close it out uncompleted. It analyzes information about the purchaser, including billing and shipping addresses, in comparison to IP address, bank identification number, and other variables. A component for IP-to-location helps to verify consistency of information provided by the purchaser.

API methods support fraud analysis for a transaction based on submitted customer email, phone, and shipping and billing addresses, as well as IP address and bank identification number of the payment card. Methods can return results of the fraud check with a recommendation to complete or block the transaction. Options include verifying the phone number and bank identification number and matching IP address to the purchaser's location.

eShopWorldeShopWorld API: The service integrates with e-commerce and other retailing applications to manage fulfillment and shipping, especially for international transactions. It calculates taxes and shipping rates in effect for cross-border sales and helps to manage delivery options and selection.

API methods support interaction with HS-rated product catalogs to define tax rates in effect for the selling and delivery jurisdictions. Methods also give access to shipping options available between sending and delivery locations with rate information and finalization of shipments. The API also provides for tracking international shipments and authorization of returns.

gdgtgdgt API: gdgt is a consumer electronics review site. They provide consumers information on gadgets and apps culled from numerous other sources on the web. The reviews, from reputable sites such as CNET and TechRadar, are aggregated and their scores averaged to provide balanced score. Users can browse by type of gadget and popularity or search by keyword. Their API exposes their data to developers by requrest for partnership.

Google Commerce SearchGoogle Commerce Search API: The service provides hosted functionality for product search to meet the needs of e-commerce retailers. It gives online store managers a customized search engine against their own specific product catalog and related product information materials. It includes familiar Google search features like sophisticated relevance ranking that can be adjusted by the store owner, query expansion to match synonyms of users' search terms, complex variant spelling of search terms, and targeted promotions based on result sets.

API methods support submission of a user search query and retrieval of matching listings from an online store's own product catalog. Methods work with the [http://www.programmableweb.com/api/google-shopping-search Google Shopping API] to support definition of product categories for the store's catalog, specification of spelling rules to ensure retrieval of the right results for similar query terms, control of promotions and product recommendations linked to search terms, and complex guidelines for filtering and sorting relevance ranked results. The API also allows clickthrough tracking to reveal customer behavior patterns based on search results.

Intel Developer Services BetaIntel Developer Services Beta API: Intel's Developer Services Beta introduces a suite of location-based Cloud APIs. The APIs provide an enhanced set of app development capabilities for developers wishing to add location-based features to their app. New and existing applications can be enhanced to be “location aware” with geographic mapping, routing, and point-of-interest location services.

LawToolBox DeadlineLawToolBox Deadline API: LawToolBox provides real-time, automatic update system to help those in the legal profession to keep up with the legal rule changes for courts across the country. The LawToolBox API allows users to program to the API to query for deadline information, available venues, and rule changes within venues. An account is required with service and pricing is available on request.

MbarMbar API: Mbar is a bar, terrace & café in the heart of Helsinki, Finland. The club offers a free, read only REST API for access to its program data, including event, artist and club series information. No API key is required and the data formats supported are XML, YAML and JSON.

Mountain News OnTheSnowMountain News OnTheSnow API: The service provides frequently updated reports of snow conditions, including new snowfall and related weather events, for ski resorts worldwide. It also provides information about resort facilities and activities useful for winter sports enthusiasts and vacation travel planners.

API methods support specification of a location or region to receive listings of ski resorts nearby and retrieval of existing and new snow reported by those facilities. Methods also support retrieval of resort profiles, photos and images, and special deals or promotions offered.

Open NotifyOpen Notify API: Open Notify is an open source project to bring digital notifications into the physical world. The software is used to monitor real world events and use them as a means of turning an LED light on and off. The API can track events such as when the International Space Station flies over a particular location, the current location of the International Space Station and a current top down view of the solar system with interplanetary spacecraft positions. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in JSON.

PropertywarePropertyware API: Propertyware is asset management software for real estate. It is intended for landlords, fee managers, and REO asset managers. The software comes in different packages for different sized operations. All of its features enable aforementioned parties to manage their portfolio, payments, and prospects. It also has in-built capacities to integrate with QuickBooks, Outlook, and Google Sync. The Propertyware API is available only Enterprise subscribers. It exposes integrative and developmental functionalities.

Quotes DaddyQuotes Daddy API: Quotes Daddy is an online quote library. It houses great sayings from past and present characters. The site offers a search bar that allows users to search by tag, quote, or author. Users can also subscribe to receive daily updates of quotes from a particular genre, such as Inspirational, Love, Friendship, and more. The Quotes Daddy API exposes the search functionality. It is a RESTful API that returns XML-encoded data.

RatchetRatchet API: Ratchet accepts Items (errors, warnings, etc.) via a RESTful JSON API. Developers can use the API to collect and analyze their applications errors and deploys. Ratchet understands "log levels" from debug to crtitcal and provides a dashboard to take care of the most severe issues first. Requests sent in POST but can also be sent using Python.

RentPostRentPost API: RentPost is a rental property management platform. It serves landlords, building managers, and tenants. For landlords and building managers, RentPost provices a dashboard with rent collection, work order, and payment system management. Tenants can use it to file maintenance requests, pay their rent, and more. RentPost offers a RESTful API that exposes integration and data management functions.

Review TrackersReview Trackers API: Review Trackers is a feedback monitoring system for businesses. Its platform allows aggregation of review sources for small, medium, and enterprise-sized businesses products and services. From there, each review can be resolved, categorized, and tracked. Review Tracker monitors sources for the user daily. The API is available to developers via partnership and exposes the aggregated review data and monitoring functions.

SkiWhere Global Ski Resort LocatorSkiWhere Global Ski Resort Locator API: The service provides directory listings for approximately 2000 ski resorts around the globe. It generates listings of the nearest skiing facilities for any position on Earth specified by latitude and longitude sorted by distance from the selected location.

API methods accept a request specifying latitude and longitude anywhere on the globe and return listings of the nearest ski resorts, with distance in miles from the specified location. Results come from a database estimated to list 25% of the ski facilities in the world.

Skizmo VINSkizmo VIN API: The service accepts a vehicle identification number (VIN) from a specific car or truck and returns decoded information about the make, model, and features at the time of manufacture. Information returned include the manufacturer and name badge, model name, year of manufacturer, engine and transmission installed, color of exterior paint and interior, etc.

API methods accept a correctly formatted alphanumeric string encoded by the manufacturer and recorded as a tag on the body of the vehicle. Methods decode the elements of this code other than the specific serial number and report basic information about the vehicle's original specifications. Enhanced information elements include fuel mileage (MPG), manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), cargo capacity, etc.

TicketscriptTicketscript API: Ticketscript is a free event ticketing software tool. Developers can use Ticketscript to integrate their website and Facebook page to Ticketscript's platform. From the platform, developers can mange all ticket selling aspects of their event by utilizing sales information, demographic information, and other information recorded by the Ticketscript software.

TraitPerceptionTraitPerception API: TraitPerception is a personality analysis tool. It is intended for businesses to gauge their current or prospective employees. Users connect their Facebook profiles to its analytical engine that will then comb it for quantitatively comparably data. The results are feedback reviews explaining the user’s personal strengths and weaknesses. It will also allow employers to rank prospective employees by trait. The TraitPerception API allows developers to integrate the analytical engine with other informational sources and back end communication systems.

UnataUnata API: Unata is a target marketing service. It offers businesses deep and extensive capabilities to monitor and target their online shoppers’ behavior. The shopping experience monitoring and marketing platform can be integrated with numerous mobile, web, and social media apps. This real-time platform is coupled with CRM software that is enhanced with analytical reports. The Unata API exposes the service calls functionality.

Kevin Sundstrom

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