We all know that Applications Programming Interfaces (APIs) rule the web (and if you don’t know, you really need to come out from under the rock you’re hiding under)! There are literally millions of APIs out there that help to extend the functionality of your web-based applications and open doors to data and analysis that, not too long ago, were not available to the average developer.
First, what’s an API? API stands for Application Program Interface (API), a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. An API specifies how software components should interact with each other. The most popular API framework is REST (REpresentational State Transfer) which dictates how data is sent to the API and returns a predictable formatted response (typically in JSON or XML). Below are a few APIs you should consider checking out:
Great Business APIs
AlchemyLanguage Features (http://www.alchemyapi.com/)
AlchemyAPI offers 12 API functions as part of its text analysis service, each of which uses sophisticated natural language processing techniques to analyze your content and add high-level semantic information. A few useful functions include sentiment analysis (determining the positive or negative attitude, opinion or feeling toward something, such as a person, organization, product or location), entity extraction (identifying people, companies, organizations, cities, geographic features and other typed entities from HTML, text or web-based content), and text extraction (focusing on key text to within a web page and returning embedded links which makes it possible to use for web crawling applications). Great for: market research and social media analysis.
Tropo (created by Cisco Systems) makes it simple to incorporate automated communications like sms and automated calling into your application, connecting your code to the phone network with both voice and messaging. You use the web technologies you already know and Tropo’s powerful cloud API to bring real-time communications to your apps. Just by connecting to the Tropo API, your app can perform such functions as calling a phone number, accepting a call, sending text messages, receiving text messaging, and transferring and rejecting calls. The best part – you get to try it for FREE! Great for: any app that requires real-time correspondence and communication.
Fun APIs (because you need to have fun sometimes)
Hoppit API (http://www.hoppit.com/developers)
The Hoppit API answers the ongoing question “So…where should we go out to eat tonight?” by giving you access to the restaurant “Vibe” data, available for 20 U.S. cities. Filter restaurants, bars, and coffee shops by type of Vibe (e.g. Cozy, Hipster, Romantic) and scenario (e.g. with a Date, with a Colleague, with Children), as well as by price, cuisine style, and meal (e.g. Brunch). The app is currently available for New York, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Miami, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Denver. Great for: travel, lifestyle, food, social, local dining applications