Today in APIs: Facebook, Bloomberg, RESTful Quandaries and 28 New APIs

Sure, Facebook filed for an IPO today, but it also provided developers some great guidance on using real-time features in the Facebook API. And while Bloomberg's lead news story is the Facebook IPO, in the API world it's probably more interesting to look at Bloomberg's new open Platform. Plus: why we can't agree about REST, API-related job growth and a whopping 28 new APIs.

Facebook Real-time Updates Tutorial

Did you know there is a Facebook Real-time Updates API? It can help you get instant access to your users' new information, as well as save some unnecessary API calls, according to Facebook's how-to:

We often see developers querying the Graph API each time a User logs in to their apps to Fetch information and update their records. This presents several issues and has a huge hit on performance.

Instead, we encourage you to use the Real-time Updates API that we designed especially for this purpose, allowing developers to subscribe to changes in data in Facebook. Rather than Polling Facebook’s servers, your app can then cache data and receive updates whenever the data changes.

The post goes on to provide more details and example PHP code.

Bloomberg loves PDFs

Bloomberg launched its open platform and it's full of PDF Documentation and fact sheets. At least they mean well:

Bloomberg intends to work with its customers and the open community to further enhance and extend this powerful technology for financial applications.

Via Richard Minerich and Tim O'Reilly

No REST, All Weary

If you haven't read a good REST argument in awhile, there's one brewing over on Hacker News. "How not to write a REST API" picks on documentation from one newcomer, but we've seen it a lot. One commenter aims to be a voice of reason:

We're so spoiled that now we're complaining about the APIs we do get? I would have died for stuff like this ten years ago when using data from other sites involved scraping, harassment, and trickery. Just like not everyone can produce a beautiful, accessible, standards compliant website, not everyone can produce a perfectly REST API. I give them kudos for opening up their system, or at least attempting to.

And on Twitter, a nice little ditty from @thesethings:

When the moon hits you eye/ and there's no API / MAKE-A SCRAPER

API News Your Shouldn't Miss

28 New APIs

Today we had 28 new APIs added to our API directory including an application Integration platform, cab booking service, fantasy sports platform, Chinese cancer information database, cloud hosting and storage service, nordic business search directory, photo editing service, SEO campaign management service and visual search service. Below is more details on each of these new APIs.

Boomi AtomSphereBoomi AtomSphere API: Boomi is a provider of on-demand integration technology. It's AtomSphere product is a Platform as a Service that lets users connect applications in the cloud with applications on-premise in any combination. With the service, users can build, deploy and manage connections directly from the web. The AtomSphere API adds programmatic access to functionality that is otherwise accessed through the service interface. Functionality includes deployment and execution of processes, generating widgets, listing widgets and more. The API uses both REST and SOAP and responses are formatted in XML.

Catch-A-CabCatch-A-Cab API: Catch-A-Cab is an online and mobile application that offers booking services for cabs and private transportation in the United Kingdom. Users can book cab transportation and track cab drive time.

The Catch-A-Cab API allows developers to integrate the functionality and data from Catch-A-Cab with other applications and sites. Public documentation is not available; access comes with a developer account. API: offers a fantasy sports platform for users to create and manage fantasy teams for football, baseball, and other sports. Users can create and join leagues for competition, draft players, make player transactions through the season, and compete in playoffs.

The API allows developers to access and integrate the data and functionality of with other applications and to create new applications which developers can offer to the community. Some example API methods include returning draft information and status, player information, team information, and scores and standings.

China Cancer DatabaseChina Cancer Database API: The China Cancer Database is a repository for information about the incidence, mortality, prognosis, therapy, and prevention of cancer. It was established by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology to create a uniform and nationwide cancer database. Specific information can be retrieved using SOAP APIs.

Documentation for the China Cancer Database is available in both Chinese and English.

DEA NumberDEA Number API: The subscription service provides search-based access to the official database maintained by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency of those certified under the Controlled Substances Act to handle controlled substances. Hospitals and medical facilities can lookup DEA numbers to verify appropriate access to fulfill doctor prescriptions.

API methods support submission of provider information and retrieval of a valid DEA number and information for that registrant, including location and license validity and expiration date.

EdgeCast CDNEdgeCast CDN API: The service provides a content delivery network (CDN) to store, stream, and deliver rich media assets and other data with high performance and large capacity. It is designed to enable e-commerce, optimized web application performance, and broad access to licensed media and other content. Applications supported include media and entertainment, gaming, and live events.

API methods support Authentication, rights and access management, and cache management for rapid performance.

EniroEniro API: Eniro is a search directory for businesses and services in the Nordic region of Europe. Businesses and service providers can place ads and users can search for businesses and services in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Poland.

The Eniro API allows developers to access and integrate the content and functionality of Eniro with other applications and to create new applications. Example API methods include searching and retrieving information and listings by keyword, company name, proximity, and geography. Login is required to view documentation.

FlauntRFlauntR API: FlauntR by FotoDesk is an online application for image and photo editing, storage, sharing, and printing. Users can upload their images and photos, apply effects and other editing techniques, and create images for social networks.

The FlauntR API allows developers to access and integrate the content and functionality of FlauntR with other applications and to create new applications. Some example API methods include managing account information, accessing photo asset information, and uploading photos and images.

GetYourGuideGetYourGuide API: GetYourGuide is a website service for travel tours and activities. Users can book their travel tours and activities for upcoming trips. GetYourGuide offers tours and activities by geography and location, categories, and activity type.

The GetYourGuide API allows developers to access and integrate the content and functionality from GetYourGuide with other sites and applications. The API returns lists of activities from GetYourGuide based on location. Public documentation is not available.

Link EmperorLink Emperor API: Link Emperor is an SEO campaign management software. It can be used for automated link building and focuses on the areas of Keyword Research, Keyword Management & On-Page Optimization, Link Building, and Tracking & Reporting. The API allows users to create a fully automated link building service. Currently the API can retrieve link building requests and their details and fulfill those requests. It uses HTTP calls and responses are in XML.

ListiMonkeyListiMonkey API: ListiMonkey is a service that allows users to get Twitter lists and searchers emailed to their inbox. Users enter the lists they want emails about, filter by keywords if they choose, and enter the email address they want the Twitter lists sent to.

The ListiMonkey API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality and data of ListiMonkey with other applications. Some example API methods include creating new alerts, accessing lists for specific users, and managing email alerts.

MdotMMdotM API: MdotM is a mobile ad network that provides application promotion and monetization services through advertising. The API lets users access the platform's functionality such as tracking conversion events, retrieving account history, campaign performance data, audience statistics and updating campaign parameters such as bids, targeting and caps. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in JSON. Data API: Muzu is a free music video site where users can watch, create and share their music video playlists. Users can also create their own free personalized music tv channel built upon multiple video playlists. The data API exposes the site data in order for developers to integrate with their own sites and applications. API users can search the database, return artist details, channel details, video details, images and create vanity names for artists. The API uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML and RSS. Player API: Muzu is a free music video site where users can watch, create and share their music video playlists. Users can also create their own free personalized music tv channel built upon multiple video playlists. The player API allows users to control and interact with the player through JavaScript calls. Functionality such as play, pause stop and much more are available and the API allows users to integrate the player into their own sites.

PicitupPicitup API: Picitup is a visual search service and visual data management provider. The service lets users search by similarity and exact features and also performs automatic color extraction and automatic creation of visual catalogs. The Picitup API offers various methods that offer functionality such as sorting items on a web site by color, similarity and catalog product type. Full documentation is not publicly available. API: The service offers users a platform to deliver livestreams focused on gaming. On the site, users can upload gaming related videos without size or length limits and they can create livestream channels to broadcast their games and tournaments. The API lets developers query information from the database. This data includes user and collection lists, stream status, mobile files and more. It uses RESTful calls and responses are in XML and JSON.

RNAfoldRNAfold API: RNAfold is an interface for RNA folding and sequence design. It can be used to calculate secondary structures of RNA sequences. RNAfold is available as a web console or as a SOAP API.

RNAforesterRNAforester API: RNAforester is a tool for comparing RNA secondary structures. It supports the computation of pairwise structures and the multiple alignment of structures. RNAforester is available as a web console or a SOAP API.

RNAshapesRNAshapes API: Given an RNA sequence, RNAshapes can help determine its probable shape. RNAshapes computes a small set of representative structures of different shapes as well as accumulated shape probabilities. It also offers comparative predictions of consensus structures.

RNAshapes is available as a web console, a downloadable program, and a SOAP API.

SiterSiter API: Siter is a service that allows users to make phone calls based on domain names rather than phone numbers. Users assign phone numbers to their domain name that other people can call. Siter offers web and mobile applications.

The Siter API allows developers to access the functionality of Siter. The API method allows users to add site names, domain names, and email addresses related to their phone number. Documentation available as a downloadable pdf.

STANDS4 DefinitionsSTANDS4 Definitions API: The service provides word definitions from the provider's online multilingual dictionary. It allows applications to perform word and lookup to generate definitions or translations, comparable to the same provider's abbreviation lookup service. Possible applications include term lookup within search results.

The API methods accept the term to be defined and return the definition along with part of speech (noun, verb, adjective, etc.) and an example of the word in use.

SwiftCDSwiftCD API: SwiftCD manufactures on-demand, custom CDs and DVDs and ships them worldwide. CDs/DVDs can contain software, music, catalogs, etc. SwiftCD's SOAP API provides a way of transmitting orders of products from SwiftCD. The API allows users to submit orders and check the status of those orders.

TelPagesTelPages API: The service provides registry services for the .tel top-level domain. It provides a search service for domains currently registered under .tel along with ability to register new domains. Additional services include traffic analysis and branding assistance.

API methods support submission of simple queries for matches to submitted domain name strings as well as complex queries specifying a personal or organizational name, location, or business type. Results returned include information for all .tel domains matching the submitted query.

TelVue PEG.TVTelVue PEG.TV API: TelVue's PEG.TV is a hosted, cloud-based live streaming and video-on-demand service developed for community and hyperlocal broadcasters. The PEG.TV platform places no limits on the amount of viewers, content quality, or video duration. The player can also be branded to reflect the content provider's logo and color scheme. The PEG.TV player itself is equipped with features such as video chapter support, keyword video search, ad management, and linking to hosted or external files.

The PEG.TV API operates over HTTP, and allows manipulation of the player's behavior through parameters passed in URL's. This exposes the functionality to play individual videos, change the UI mode of the player (e.g. full or mini), and queuing a playlist.

Toronto Budget DataToronto Budget Data API: Canadian development and design company Uproot, in conjunction with the City of Toronto, has developed a REST-based API for accessing and retrieving Toronto's budget data. Using this Web Service, anyone can take advantage of methods that expose the functionality to query a database containing Toronto's operational and capital budget data.

Users can slice and dice the data as they please - operational data can be queried by department or expenditure/revenue types, while capital budget data can be looked up holistically or by any one of the 44 wards of Toronto. Additionally, there is a Toronto Wards KML Overlay for Google Maps that can be incorporated into applications or mashups. This API returns data in XML and JSON, and is available to use freely for any means.

VHXVHX API: VHX is a service that brings online videos together from around the web. Users can discover, share and watch videos as well as create their own personal dashboards. The VHX API lets users access their accounts via other web sites or applications. The API can be used to read and write videos to accounts, create video playlists and embed a player into a site. It uses RESTful calls and responses are formatted in XML and JSON.

WordReferenceWordReference API: The service provides word lookup access and provides the English-language definition. It also provides word pairs to match equivalents in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and a number of other European languages. Some Asian languages also are supported. A thesaurus Function is also available to match submitted terms with synonyms.

API methods support submission of the term to look up and the two-letter code for the national language dictionary to consult. The API returns an English language definition, or an equivalent word in the non-English language specified by the request. For some terms, it will provide alternative translations in addition to the primary translation.

YubikeyYubikey API: The service provides two-factor authentication by combining a cloud-based one-time password (OTP) validation service with a USB plug-in, the Yubikey, that sends a time-variant, secure login code. Requests are processed through five frequently synchronized data centers with global coverage, so responses are not dependent on location.

API methods support submission of an application's previously registered Yubikey code and return a one-time password for use in authenticating the user.