The first offering available through Penton’s API store is a SOAP/XML Price Digests API that provides access to pricing information for a variety of power equipment, including autos, commercial trucks, trailers, and recreational vehicles. Client applications using the Price Digests API supply either a VIN number or make and model. The API responds with pricing data, including MSRP, current retail pricing, and trade-in pricing ranges. To ensure the accuracy of pricing data, Price Digests API can accept additional information, namely mileage and model year, which is incorporated into Penton’s valuation calculation.
With the Price Digests API, Penton is targeting a number of industries, including insurance, transportation, and finance. For instance, insurance companies can use the API to assist in underwriting and claims, while finance groups can use Penton’s data to calculate trade-in values and structure financing arrangements. Pricing for API access is based on volume and the level of equipment coverage required.
To assist customers in integrating its Price Digests API into their applications, Penton has created a portal with documentation and code samples.
Data providers must offer APIs
The Price Digests API is the first addition to Penton’s API store — but it won’t be the last. According to Penton Chief Data Officer Richard Stanton, "We ... see our API marketplace as a natural progression to our offerings. This strategy allows us to create fast, reliable APIs to build a new revenue channel and spur innovation. As trailblazers in the information services space, one of our biggest opportunities is to deliver content and data to our audiences anytime, anywhere through APIs."
Stanton’s statement reflects the fact that APIs are creating new revenue opportunities for data providers. In today’s economy, data is a competitive advantage and more and more companies are looking to acquire data from third parties that they can use to help their businesses. Increasingly, this requires bringing third-party data into existing applications, where it can be used alongside internal data and data from other third parties. The best way to bring third-party data into applications in a seamless, scalable fashion is by using APIs, so as companies become comfortable integrating APIs, data providers will realistically have little choice but to create API offerings like Penton has — or risk losing business to competitors that do.