ProgrammableWeb's Most Interesting APIs in 2017

ProgrammableWeb is a leading source of news, information, and keeper of the largest directory of Internet-based application programming interfaces (APIs). So as the year 2017 comes to a close, we are the natural choice to reflect on the surging API Economy of the past year, and the APIs that peaked the interest of developers, providers, readers, and our own researchers.

During 2017 over 2280 APIs have been added to the ProgrammableWeb API directory. In our SDK and Sample Code directories over 4360 and 3375 profiles were added, respectively including dozens from Google, Microsoft, Mapbox, Paypal, IBM and Amazon as well as hundreds from startups, smaller businesses, and Independent developers. Many of these APIs and much of the other related content was added by our users, and much was added by our own team of researchers.

As the ProgrammableWeb directory grows, our editorial, research, and backend teams continue to fine-tune and tweak the database to keep up with the evolution of APIs. The nature of the tweaks depend upon many things, but suffice it to say we look over a lot of API documentation to determine trends and try to keep the directory useful for both API providers and API consuming developers.

Details such as ways to describe how an API works (in our database, pertinent fields are API Type, API Architectural Style and API Scope) help set our directory apart as being highly beneficial to the API economy.

Sometimes the directory and database updates involve adding new buzzworthy categories. For example, due to popular demand, Blockchain, Digital Asset Management (DAM), Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and eSports were added to the ProgrammableWeb directory this year.

Speaking of popular API categories, Social and Financial APIs continue to dominate our directory. And while Financial, ECommerce, Enterprise are categories that never stop growing, Data and Analytics were singled our as the two of the fastest growing categories (see chart below) in the directory during 2017.

Number of APIs added during 2017
(as of November 8, 2017)
Artificial Intelligence89

But on to the main reason for this article, which is to feature this year's most interesting APIs. Like last year, our methodology for choosing the APIs in this story involved a combination of interest shown by website traffic, social media buzz (such as Twitter mentions), popular categories, choice picks from our team of API researchers, and a dartboard. The APIs are divided into the following sections for readability: Application Development & DevOps, Big Data & Data Analytics, Business & Productivity, Cognitive Computing, Entertainment, Lifestyle, & Education, Finance & Banking, Health, IoT & Environment, Mapping & Location, Security & Privacy.

Did we miss anything obvious? What APIs did you find interesting this year? We encourage readers to add their favorites in the article comments or Tweet them to us @ProgrammableWeb, and we'll retweet them!

Be sure to read the next Application Development article: ​Google Adds New Apps Script Development Tools for G Suite Apps