Hoover's Opens API With Data on Millions of Companies and Executives

Hoover's, the business information company, has released their own Hoover's API, aka "HAPI". This new API enables developers to create applications that utilize Hoover's database of 27 million companies and 34 million business executives (details at our Hoover's API profile). This is certainly useful data for a variety of enterprise applications.

Hoover's VP of Business Development Heidi Tucker gave a presentation titled "Hoover's - API Strategy - Open Access to Business Intelligence" at Mashery's recent Business of APIs Conference in San Francisco, CA. Heidi highlighted several current implementations of the Hoover's API:

  • CRM application with "company look up and list build" and "data enrichment upsell"
  • Address verification: Shipping department checks address info against Hoover’s to reduce bad address non-deliverables
  • Outbound telemarketing: Hoover’s info populates predictive dialer contact info
  • Web analytics publisher: Users see traffic and corresponding basic business information

Interestingly Heidi outlined some of the risks involved in opening up this valuable data via an API

  • Keys to the Kingdom
  • Search Results Relevancy
  • Scalability
  • Cannibalization
  • Brand Compliance
  • Reputational Risk
  • Pricing

Technically, the Hoover's API is SOAP-based with data returned in XML. There is a free testing API Key; production API keys are available for a fee. Pricing of the API can be done as: per user per month; per API call; or flat content license fee.

The API is well-documented. The WSDL is available for review, and the development team provides sample code for .NET, Java, and PHP developers. The Hoover's API Developer Blog and Hoover's API Forums are available.

As more and more of this class of valuable business data becomes available via open APIs we should expect to see new interesting enterprise mashups appearing soon.

Be sure to read the next Enterprise article: Enterprise Mashups: New Book Highlights the Patterns