The Latest News On The API Economy
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There are now a number of backend-as-a-service companies focused on mobile developers. We list 6 backend APIs that help with common mobile tasks, including the Cocoafish API, which was today acquired by Appcelerator. But it's a much bigger ecosystem, as shown in the infographic below.
Amazon just dropped prices on its popular Amazon S3 API, which provides storage to much of the web. The service will pass 1 trillion objects stored this year. With that volume comes opportunities to lower the costs, as we've seen from other companies whose entire product line includes APIs.
Our API directory now includes 97 cloud APIs. The newest is the Yubikey API. The most popular, in terms of mashups, is the Twilio API. We list 335 Twilio mashups. Below you'll find some more stats from the directory, including the entire list of cloud APIs.
The most popular API in our directory, the Google Maps API, has been called anti-competitive in France because its basic version is free. A new app built on the AngelList API lets you slice and dice startups by location and market. Plus: genealogy programmers converge, Stripe adds webhooks and 11 new APIs.
Pusher has established itself as a leading service for delivering WebSocket messages to connected clients via its simple, RESTful Pusher API. This especially suits application developers working with languages and platforms that struggle to maintain and scale persistent connections. We remove the need to roll a custom solution and work with complex and unfamiliar technologies, and ensure the benefits of a hosted service can be achieved. We've recently added support for WebHooks, which provide a different sort of real-time solution.
Roll-your-own API service Usergrid has been acquired by API management company Apigee. Usergrid could potentially help Apigee reach out to mobile developers increasingly finding themselves needing APIs to interact with their apps. It's part of a trend of developers not only being API consumers, but also API providers--at least privately to their own apps.
Heroku is at the end of its first full year as part of Salesforce.com. During that year, the number of applications running on the platform has grown eight fold to over 800,000. Byron Sebastian, Heroku's CEO, said that much of this growth has come from an increasing presence of enterprise customers, many of whom are new to the API-driven Platform-as-a-Service offering that Heroku offers.
The company tracking cloud spending will now let you spend money on its service. Cloudability believes that with more businesses are moving to the cloud, monitoring the costs is becoming important. Now it's put a price on that importance, including a free plan that will track up to $2,500 per month on more than 80 services, including AWS platforms like Amazon EC2. Of course, there's a Cloudability API so you can get at your data however you want.
After Facebook announced that apps can be deployed to Heroku, the cloud platform saw tremendous growth. It's on pace to add five times as many applications in 2011 as it had last year, likely fueled by being the only cloud service supported from within Facebook. The two companies introduced a new concept in developer relations, the "click-to-cloud" sample app.
Box.Net is on a mission to increase adoption of its file storage service with consumers. After successful adoption of its service with enterprise customers, it is clearly determined to woo mobile device owners by providing them with large amounts of free space (50GB!). To make it easier, it is partnering with device manufacturers like LG to provide the free space seamlessly via the Box.net API.
Back in May I wrote about the race for either unified APIs or API standards to bridge the growing number of APIs in specific industries or areas. Unified APIs are created by a third party provider to bridge multiple APIs, while API standards would potentially create an industry-wide standard of how APIs should operate.
Sometimes the API world can get a little meta. Cloudability is a startup focused solely on helping companies determine how much they're spending in the cloud. Now the company is entering public beta, which includes launching its Cloudability API. That makes the service another API for APIs.
Mashery has expanded its API management solution to operate on-premise, within your company's firewall, with a new offering dubbed Mashery Local. Until recently, providers could only deploy Mashery’s API traffic management tools in the cloud. With the new Mashery Local customers has more flexibility, which could see more APIs from larger enterprises.
Facebook is partnering with cloud hosting service Heroku to make Facebook application deployment more plug-and-play. The new service likely uses the Heroku API to allow developers to instantly have a basic Facebook app running in minutes instead of hours or days. Facebook's app wizard lets you choose from Heroku's supported languages, then pre-populates an app with working examples of common tasks using the Facebook API.
Last weekend at the AT&T Mobile Hackathon I had a pleasure of checking out the MongoLab's MongoDB service. In short: it was a delight to work with. I fell in love with that technology. It worked exactly the way I thought--MongoDB architects got it right. After spending a good part of the day fighting my hibernate configuration in JUnit I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that Mongo keeps their documentation and design accessible with plan old object and simple REST calls to its MongoLab API.
Hackathons have been a staple in Silicon Valley tech culture for quite some time, but recently we have seen seeing hackathons evolve outside of the valley -- from Los Angeles to Prague. The format of the Hackathon is pretty straightforward: You bring together a group of developers in a room, give them a topic to code around, then they break into teams and begin hacking for usually from 24-72 hours. On the final day, theypresent what they’ve built. Winners usually go home with cash, prizes, and of course notoriety.
Online seller Amazon has a whole suite of Amazon APIs that are focused not on its books and other products, but instead on letting developers use Amazon infrastructure. These Amazon Web Services (AWS), as they're called, provide cloud-based computing and storage services like Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3. Amazon's annual contest recently opened up to the entire world. The top winner will receive $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in AWS service credits.
So, you're trying to share some files with someone who only has access to an old version of Word. Or maybe that Microsoft-hating friend of yours who only uses WordPerfect. Perhaps you want that old-school ebook to be an epub, rather than .lit. For any of these problems, there are desktop apps that work, of course. However, sometimes you want to be able to do that within a program. If so, Doxument and the beautiful Doxument API are what you need.
EVE Online, the internet spaceship game that puts all of it's players into one virtual universe, recently announced plans to license and monetize its EVE Online API. The proposed license would allow developers to make money from apps using the API in return for an annual fee. The details of the new licensing program were released by game developer CCP shortly after it's annual fanfest in Reykjavik, Iceland. EVE's player community quickly attacked parts of the license, prompting CCP to suspend the changes until later this summer when some of the concerns can be addressed.