This new daily ProgrammableWeb feature brings you the latest from the world of APIs, both on PW and from around the web. Let us know in the comments what works for you and where we can improve.
Facebook added subscriber data to its Facebook Graph APIand the Google AdWords API updated its SOAP validation. Wait, people still use SOAP? Plus, two sides to API frustration, a mobile app contest, HTTP API evolvability and six new APIs.
Facebook Adds Subscribers to the Graph
Last year Facebook introduced a new concept to its social network. Users can now subscribe to someone's public messages without going through the friend request dance. Now those lists of subscribers are available via the API from both directions: who an authenticated user is subscribed to and who is subscribed to the user.
Facebook describes the feature:
We are now providing the ability of reading a user's subscribers and subscribees list via the Graph API. To access this information, your app is required to have the user_subscriptions permission for the user, and friends_subscriptions permission for their friends' info.
Google Getting Strict on SOAP
Yes, yes, SOAP is still seeing wide use, despite most new APIs using REST. It is especially popular in the enterprise, where the tools make SOAP much less complicated. In a .NET environment, for example, accessing or creating SOAP services is essentially drag-and-drop.
Google AdWords likely remains SOAP for a similar reason: many of its highest volume users likely use applications built on the SOAP API. Now there's a big update to validation of the SOAP body and another coming soon for SOAP headers. Google describes the effects of validation:
The stricter validation will trigger a SOAP fault for any SOAP Headers that do not match the XML Schema defined in the WSDL. This may cause your application to see more errors such as those referenced in our previous blog post. This validation will enable developers to better detect bugs in their application that were previously silently ignored.
If you use any applications built on the AdWords API, you'll want to make sure their developers are aware of the changes.
API Frustrations: No Docs and Developers That Pull the Pin
A couple choice quotes about APIs came through my Twitter stream that I have to share. The first from Sigbjørn Dybdahl:
I'm working a lot with APIs these days and I still cannot understand why some companies make it so hard getting hold of their #API docs.
The other, I assume, is from the provider side, via Colin Scott:
My thoughts on API design go along the lines of "We gave you a grenade *and* a pin. If you choose to remove the pin, good luck with that."
API News You Shouldn't Miss
- Submit your app to AppCircus SXSW
- HTTP API Evolvability has some thoughts on designing APIs for change. Via Marko Tunjić
- SDKBridge Answers "Why We Write API Documentation
- Wall Street Journal Metro Card Usage Map uses the Google Maps API. Specifically, it uses styled Google Maps. Via Court Passant
- Rome2Rio is a travel mashup to find your way anywhere in the world. Via Paul Walker
- Using Amazon Elastic MapReduce with DynamoDB
- One more day to save on Munich automotive apps conference
Six New APIs
Today we had 6 new APIs added to our API directory including a payment interface service, microstock photographer solution service, real-time video and social media advertising platform, and website performance and optimization services. Below is more details on each of these new APIs.
Developer Garden ClickandBuy API: Developer Garden provides API's for a variety of telecom and marketplace services, including ClickandBuy, a one click online payment gateway. ClickandBuy is designed with the intent to handle the charging or payment aspects of online transactions, leaving users free to concentrate on selling and shopping.
The API gives programmatic control over initiating, canceling, and refunding transactions with ClickandBuy. Additionally, the API exposes methods for executing, processing, and managing batch transactions. This is a SOAP-based API that charges fees based on account activity and transactions.
LookStat API: LookStat is a service for microstock photographers. LookStat provides processing services for photographers for upload into microstock image sites, such as analytics, keywords, and submission.
The LookStat API allows developers to access and integrate the data and fucntionality of LookStat with other applications. The LookStat API provides four API calls: logging in, retrieving earnings by time, retrieving uploads by time, and retrieving photo metadata and information.
SnappyTV API: SnappyTV is a platform that allows companies and organizations to create and push real-time social media advertising based on what is happening on TV, such as prime time shows, sports events, and breaking news.
The SnappyTV API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of SnappyTV with other applications and to create other applications. Some example API methods include integrating video features in applications and creating real-time clips. Public documentation is not available; interested developers should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Yottaa Partner API: Yottaa is a service for website owners to improve website performance and speed. Yottaa also offers tools for website owners to monitor their website performance and speed. Yottaa's services work on various facets of websites, including data, code, and image optimization, security optimization, and visibility.
The Yottaa Partner API allows developers to access and integrate the user information data and functionality from Yottaa with other applications. Some example API methods include accessing user account information, deleting user accounts, getting a list of user sites, and retrieving site usage data.
Yottaa Public API: Yottaa is a service for website owners to improve website performance and speed. Yottaa also offers tools for website owners to monitor their website performance and speed. Yottaa's services work on various facets of websites, including data, code, and image optimization, security optimization, and visibility.
The Yottaa Public API allows developers to access and integrate all of the public information generated by Yottaa about website performance. Some example API methods include accessing any public information about site URLs that Yottaa has collected, accessing user set public benchmarks about URLs, and accessing reports about website performance that Yottaa generates.
Yottaa User API: Yottaa is a service for website owners to improve website performance and speed. Yottaa also offers tools for website owners to monitor their website performance and speed. Yottaa's services work on various facets of websites, including data, code, and image optimization, security optimization, and visibility.
The Yottaa User API allows developers to access and integrate the information and settings of user accounts from Yottaa with other applications. Some example API methods include accessing user set benchmarks, managing user set benchmarks, adding sites to user accounts, and accessing all sites of a user.