The API Scorecard

Hover over any cell for details. Click a cell, row or heading for more.

 Amazon APIs
Advertising     • 41      • 3      • 4      •
Answers         • 29  
Blogs     • 35      • 5        •
Bookmarks         • 161      •
Chat     • 18      • 19     • 28     • 3     • 11     •
Classifieds     • 67      • 5    
Database      • 10     
Desktop     • 13      • 3      • 13  
Events     • 43        • 41      •
Hosting      • 77     
Identity     • 5      • 0      • 3     • 3 
Mapping     • 2539      • 0      • 136     • 11     •
Music         • 3      •
Office     • 19          •
Payments     • 12     • 4      • 37       •
Photo     • 36      • 1      • 632     • 3     •
Presence          • 0 
Search     • 136     • 7     • 0      • 145      •
Shopping      • 0      • 224       •
Social     • 5         • 4     •
Storage      • 91        • 0     •
Video     • 686        • 25     • 29     •
Voice     • 18       • 28     • 3     • 1 
Widgets     • 101      • 4      • 13      •
    All     114/3843     34/622     41/357     25/303     57/1165     32/73  11344/7422

As they say, you can't tell the players without a scorecard.

What is this?

This is a tool for tracking and understanding how the web itself is becoming the next development platform. Programmers are starting to write applications "on Google" and "on Amazon" the same way they used to write "on Windows" and "on Unix". Many of the industry's largest players are creating new, competing APIs. This tool allows you to visualize the major APIs, compare them, and drill-down to learn more about them.

On the X axis are 6 major API vendors, the first 5 are sometimes referred to as GAMeY. There is also an Other column. On the Y axis are the primary types or categories of APIs being offered. If at any Vendor/Type intersection there is an API, it will display a checkmark and show the number of mashups using that API as cataloged here at ProgrammableWeb (a subset of all that exist).

If you click on a cell you will be taken to the profile page for the API. Included there are also tabs for Mashups, Related Links and Comments.

How often is this matrix updated?

Every day. New mashups are added to ProgrammableWeb daily and APIs nearly as often. This grid reflects the latest data.

Is API X in the right place?

All of the APIs do not fit into the tidy classification buckets that a grid like this encourages. For example, Google Base used to appear under Classifieds but it is now under the newer Database category. What happens when an API fits multiple cells? For now, it gets duplicated in each, as is the case with Skype which does both Voice and Chat. Or what about Voice vs. Chat -- often these are supported by the same API such Skype or Google Talk. For now these appear in both cells, but perhaps the cells should be combined into one and given a name like Messaging. Or Identity, which is broadly applied for now, but should Authorization, Authentication, etc. be treated distinctly?

It is likely that some of the APIs might be re-classified based on feedback or even changes to the APIs themselves. What about the categories? These will inevitably change over time, mostly with additions. What about the mashup count? As with the mashup stats, it is not all mashups for every API but is the subset cataloged here.

Note that many of the providers offer services in some of those cells but do not offer an API for it, therefore it's not listed here.

What are the planned enhancements?

Some initial ones: support of multiple APIs per cell, such as Yahoo! who now have Yahoo! Photos and Flickr; additional mashups, especially in those categories that are under-represented such as widgets.

Are APIs by type and mashup quantity sufficient criteria for a scorecard?

This is a starting point. Over time other measures will be factored-in. Suggestions welcome, see next item.

What if I have ideas or suggestions about this?

Feel free to send us feedback.

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ProgrammableWeb
APIs, mashups and code. Because the world's your programmable oyster.

John Musser
Founder, ProgrammableWeb

Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.