Today in APIs: Google Takes on AWS, Developer Support and 4 New APIs

Google's Pay-Per-Use API Services Challenges Amazon.  Another secret to building APIs is developer support. Plus: Making a case for retail and APIs, Codeproof API makes MDM Integration easier, and 4 new APIs.

Could Google Grab Business from Amazon's Cloud Services?

Google Cloud PrintThat's what Chris Potter, co-founder of ScreenLight says in Techcrunch. Google's leveraging of its economies of scale and global reach put it in an ideal position to develop cloud services on steroids. But, Potter cautions, it can't just do what Amazon does on the cheap and expect to outflank the competition.

Rather than competing head-on, perhaps a better strategy for Google would be to build on its strength of developing highly scalable web and mobile applications. While all of its competitors focus on selling infrastructure as a service, Google could pair that with pay-per-use API services that could be linked together by developers to build upon.

Potter then goes on to detail how they could serve up APIs to speed development time in a way that essentially curated them to make the process less painful than what is available today.

If every entrepreneur just read and took to heart those four words out of the article, "rather than competing head-on", the world would be a better place.

Developer Support Key to Great APIs: More than Cookies and Milk

3scale Service Management
3Scale's fourth installment of Building Great APIs, written by Steven Willmott, makes the case for developer support. While he acknowledges that great support is hard to identify, he suggests three goals:

  • Allow developers to make rapid progress – i.e. “it took me 15mins to start pulling results and make magic happen in my App – awesome!”.
  • Have self-service, easily navigable help Documentation when things aren’t quite working – i.e. “Couldn’t figure it out immediately, but I searched the help and these two forum posts solved it – no need to call anybody!”.
  • And… lastly, If these fail, they have knowledgable, friendly and responsive support team members who can fill in the gaps in a timely manner – i.e. “Joe from support got back to me right away and solved my problem”.

He further delineates types of support, from non human elements such as documentation and code samples, to human elements including great coders who can communicate well, complex out-of-the-box thinking, and recognizing that 80% of your business will succeed on 20% of the most successful integrations.

API News You Shouldn't Miss

4 New APIs

Today we had 4 new APIs added to our API directory including a multi-language drop down service, campaign Platform for roleplaying game masters, vacation rental service, multi-user syncing service. Below is more details on each of these new APIs.

LonelydropsLonelydrops API: Lonelydrops allows users to create multi-language drop down lists for web projects. The service allows menus to be created and saved online so users don't have to keep additional configuration files or databases. The API uses JavaScript calls requires a JQuery Library to run on a web browser.

Obsidian PortalObsidian Portal API: Obsidian Portal is a tool allowing roleplaying game masters to create campaign websites for tabletop games. The Obsidian Portal API offers a variety of methods designed to make it easier for developers to make cool stuff to be used at the tabletop and enhance the gaming experience. Responses are JSON or XML formatted.

RazorCloudRazorCloud API: RazorCloud is a vacation property management service that sources content from its property management service to distribute information and increase revenue for both suppliers and distributors. The RazorCloud API includes a wide range of services including: Get real time availability of properties, get rental prices, access image galleries, create reservations, get financial transactions from the host ledger, and many more. The API has both REST and SOAP components and will return XML and JSON.

SyncloudSyncloud API: SynCloud is a multi-user syncing service that can by added into iOS CoreData applications. The APi is free while in beta development. An account is required to use of the service and the API package will need to be downloaded.