10 Most Popular Database APIs

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and data go hand-in-hand. If a developer wants an application to tap into a particular database, using an API would be the ideal way to accomplish this.

Perhaps that's why the Database category on ProgrammableWeb is such a popular place for developers to visit. In this article, we provide a list of the ten most popular Database APIs from the past year according to page views on ProgrammableWeb. Each of these APIs arm developers with programmatic access to a variety of databases, including food and recipes, barcodes, geographic data, holidays, movies (such as Star Wars!) and more.

1. Spoonacular Food
The Food and Recipe APITrack this API is Spoonacular's Food, Recipe, Menu, Restaurant and Nutrition API which allows users to access over 360,000 recipes and 80,000 food products. The API enables users to search for recipes using natural language (such as "gluten free brownies without sugar"). Users can visualize recipe nutrition and ingredient lists, analyze recipe costs, find recipes by nutritional requirements, favorite ingredients, or what's in the refrigerator, classify recipes, convert ingredient amounts, and even compute an entire meal plan.

2. Open EAN/GTIN Database
The Open EAN/GTIN barcode number database lets users query barcode numbers and receive information about related products. The database contains EAN/GTIN/UPC/JAN codes and provides detailed information about the products that are tagged with such a barcode number. The Open EAN/GTIN APITrack this API lets users query the database from their own web sites and applications.

3. GeoNames
Geonames is a geographical database that allows users to extract information about places, such as weather, timezone and post codes. The GeoNames database covers all countries and contains over eight million placenames. Users can edit, correct and add new names using a wiki interface. Geonames APIsTrack this API provides a suite of webservices including fulltext search, place hierarchy, wikipedia, postal codes, reverse geocoding. The APIs use RESTful protocol and responses vary in format between XML, JSON, CSV, and TXT.

4. Recreation.gov
Recreation.gov stores information about federal recreation areas, facilities, events, activities, and more, in the Recreational Information Database (RIDB). This information has been made available through the RIDB Web Services API, which returns responses in XML and JSON.

5. Firebase
Firebase is a mobile web application Platform owned by Google. The Firebase API lets developers easily sync and store data in realtime. Developers can use the service to build their apps without having to manage servers or write server-side code. There are clients for Android, iOS and JavaScript (including bindings for Ember, React, Angular and Backbone). The API allows users to access the functionality of Firebase programmatically. The API supports standard CRUD operations on the data within the databases as well as querying of the data.

6. Calendarific Global Holidays
The Calendarific Global Holidays APITrack this API allows users to access Calendarific's calendar database and display the dates of public holidays and observances in applications. The database covers over 200+ countries worldwide, and it is constantly being updated and extended. Developers can choose a pricing model that fits their needs, and custom solutions are available. JSONP and CORS are supported.

7. binlist.net API
binlist.net provides public access to a database of IIN/BIN information. Issuer Identification Numbers (IINs), formerly called Bank Identification Numbers (BINs), are composed of the first six digits of a credit card number. An IIN can be used to identify a card's brand, type, category, country of origin, and issuing bank or institution. Users can query the binlist.net database to retrieve this information via binlist.net REST APITrack this API.

8. SubsMax Movie Subtitles
Submax.com allows users to find and download subtitles for movies and television series. This simple APITrack this API connects to SubsMax.com's database and returns relevant results based on the parameters the user sets. Parameters include the number of responses, the title, the language and year. API calls use RESTful protocol.

9. AniDB
AniDB (Anime DataBase) is a database of information on Japanese animation that includes shows, movies, episodes, characters, and more. This database is freely available to the public, and all AniDB users are able to add or edit information. The AniDB APITrack this API allows users to retrieve information from the database programmatically using REST, TCP, and UDP protocols.

10. Star Wars
The Star Wars API (SWAPI)Track this API provides programmatic access to a trove of databased Star Wars film information, including planets, spaceships, vehicles, people, films and species sourced from seven Star Wars films. For example, a simple GET HTTP request to the API will be able to return data associated with specific vehicles, returning "Luke Skywalker" from an inputted ID associated with the "T-65 X-wing."

Retrieve data about Star Wars films including characters with this API

Retrieve data about Star Wars films including characters with this API. Image: SWAPI

But this is just a tiny sample of the database APIs that are listed on ProgrammableWeb. To see the full list, head on over to our Database category for more than 550 APIs, 325 SDKs, and 115 Code Samples to peruse.

Be sure to read the next Database article: FaunaDB GraphQL API Now Generally Available