Be a Lord of the Domains with the DomainTools API

DomainTools, a leader in domain name research and monitoring, has updated its DomainTools API that allows developers to tap into domain data and get access to comprehensive domain records. In addition, you can also use the API to actively monitor everything about a domain including trademark and registrants.

Mark Kendrick announced the API in a blog post and gave a snapshot of how the extensive data built by DomainTools has now being provided via its API. The service is extensive and well organized so that you can pick and choose the kind of information around which you would want to build your application. The API provides access to whois lookup, domain history, hosting history, reverse IP lookup, name server report, among others.

The API is REST based and it supports both JSON (default) and XML as its data format. Two kinds of Authentication are supported by the API. First, Open Key Authentication, is where you pass in your username and API Key as request parameters. The other one is a more secured mechanism called Signed Authentication in which you pass your username, an HMAC signature of your request and the current timestamp.

The API does not come with a free quota. Pricing involves a monthly subscription fee in addition to access charges. Refer to the pricing page for individual pricing of the APIs. However you can try out the sample queries for the DomainTools domain for free.

A sample Whois lookup returns the following JSON:

    "response": {
        "registrant": "DomainTools, LLC",
        "registration": {
            "created": "1998-08-02",
            "expires": "2014-08-01",
            "updated": "2010-08-31",
            "registrar": "CHEAP-REGISTRAR.COM",
            "statuses": [
        "name_servers": [
        "whois": {
            "date": "2011-08-02",
            "record": "Domain name:\n\nRegistrant Contact:\n DomainTools…"

The DomainTools API is a comprehensive API that covers almost any information that you might want about a domain. If there was a free quota for developers, the company would probably see more of them take the API for spin and develop some interesting applications.

Be sure to read the next API article: Find A Clinical Trial For What Ails You