In computer programming, an application programming interface (API) is a set of subroutine definitions, protocols, and tools for building software. In general terms, it is a set of clearly defined methods of communication between various components. A good API makes it easier to develop a computer program by providing all the building blocks, which are then put together by the programmer.
An API may be for a web-based system, operating system, database system, computer hardware, or software library. An API specification can take many forms, but often includes specifications for routines, data structures, object classes, variables, or remote calls. AWS REST API, Windows API, and ASPI are examples of different forms of APIs. Documentation for the API is usually provided to facilitate usage and implementation.
Just as a graphical user interface makes it easier for people to use programs, application programming interfaces make it easier for developers to use certain technologies in building applications. By abstracting the underlying implementation and only exposing objects or actions the developer needs, an API simplifies programming. While a graphical interface for an email client might provide a user with a button that performs all the steps for fetching and highlighting new emails, an API for file input/output might give the developer a function that copies a file from one location to another without requiring that the developer understand the file Now you have a good idea of what an API is, I’ll tell you that I’m more an API consumer than a producer. In other words: I use existing API’s available on the Internet.
This is by far the most efficient way since there are litterally thousands of public API’s publicly available on the web. There is an API for practically every application you can think of!
I first started with Yahoo! Boss as a hobby project. A few months later I had an automatic Site creator, which was configurable by just entering the concept (or phrase) which the site should be about, as well as the language it should be published in. It then took the concept and generated a dynamic portal around the concept. This included Photos, (local) news and a graphical overview. Please note that the Clustering Search Demo elsewhere on this site makes use of public Search API’s from Yahoo! Wikipedia, Indeed and NCBI.
Just like Yahoo! Boss, 99 % of the API’s available use a REST type Interface. This is more or less the standard for modern API’s.
The table below lists of major active open API’s:
|Addison Lee QuickBooks API||Transportation||||Boost your product by integrating Europe’s largest minicab fleet. Use our API to show estimated pick up times, give price quotes and make bookings on demand or in advance.||Addison Lee|
|APIs.guru||Various APIs||||A collection of over 700 machine-readable OpenAPI_Specifications||APIs.guru|
|Open Cloud Computing Interface APIs||Cloud computing IaaS, PaaS, SaaS||||Flexible boundary-level RESTful interface to cloud computing infrastructure, applications and control||Open Grid Forum|
|New York Times APIs||News||||Article search, best sellers, campaign finance, community, most popular, real estate, movie reviews, NY state legislature, Times newswire, tags, people||New York Times|
|Fitch Finance Data API||Financial Data||||48 years of historical equites market data in Tick, Second, Minute and day resolutions||Fitch Finance|
|SciVerse Application Platform||Science, technology, and medical (STM)||||Framework and content APIs for SciVerse product suite: ScienceDirect, Scopus, HUB||Elsevier|
|Networked Help Desk||Issue tracking systems||||An open standard providing a common API for sharing customer support tickets between separate instances of issue tracking systems using JSON and REST||Zendesk|
|NFL Arrest API||Sports, Crime||||A RESTful API with data for over 15 years of NFL Arrests. Data is organized by player, team, crime, and position!||NflArrest.com|
|Postcodes.io||Addressing Geolocation||||UK Postcode (reverse) geolocation API.||Postcodes.io|
|Matchbox.io||Addressing Standardization and Geolocation||||US Address and geolocation API.||Matchbox.io|
|SamEnrico API||eBooks, ePubs, eZines & ePapers||||Full catalog of free eBooks, eZines & papers for download.||SamEnrico|
|SecurityTrails||Domain Name System, IP Addresses||||Current and historical Domain Name System (DNS) records, current and historical WHOIS information, associated domains and other Internet Intelligence Data.||SecurityTrails|
|InterWorx API||Web hosting, control panel||||Documentation and full API for the InterWorx Control Panel, including Nodeworx and Siteworx.||Interworx|
|Moreify SMS/CALL API||Text Message Marketing / Verification||||Send Newsletter/Promotions for bulk SMS or just verify customers with a simple PIN verification CALL.||Moreify.com|
|SimpleTexting||Text Message Marketing||||Send, Receive, Keyword manipulation for the SimpleTexting mobile marketing platform.||SimpleTexting|
|The GuardianOpen Platform||News||||Content API, politics API, data store||The Guardian|
|Google Code||Search and advertising||||AdSense, AdWords, feed, language, search, blog, news, patent, video, earth, maps, base, buzz, contacts, YouTube, feedburner|
|Social networking||||Graph, authentication, social|
|Yahoo! Developer Network||Search and advertising||||PlaceFinder, YQL, YAP, OAuth, OpenID, contacts, mail, messenger, content||Yahoo!|
|USASearch Jobs API||Government Jobs||||Federal job listings from USAJobs, state and local government jobs from a variety of sources||USA.gov|
|Mashery||Various APIs||||Mashery’s API management offerings include strategic consulting & developer support to help you build your business.||mashery.com|
|Quandl API||Open Data||||One API to access data for finance, housing, demographics, more||Quandl|
|GEARS API||MDM||||Monitor and manage devices||OPSWAT|
|Metascan Online API||Multiscanning||||Scan files for malware with 40+ engines||OPSWAT|
|SDKS.IO||Open APIs||||Large repository of auto-generated SDKs for Open APIs||APIMatic.io|
|Sphere Engine||Saas, Skill testing||||Solution dedicated to automated skill testing in recruitment,programming contests and education.||Sphere Research Labs|
|London Theatre Direct||Ticket API||||APIs allowing the booking of London and Broadway theatre tickets||London Theatre Direct|
|INQStats API||Open Data||||Demographic and statistical data of all countries of the world||inqubu.com|
|MyChat API||Instant messaging||||MyChat REST API integrates corporate messenger, audio, and video calls||nsoft-s.com|
|Barcode Finder API||Shopping||||Product search by UPC, EAN and ISBN||barcodefinder.com|
|izi.TRAVEL API||Audio tour, Storytelling||||API provides access to the large collection of city and museum multimedia guides||izi.TRAVEL|
|Storm Glass API||Marine Weather||||Global Marine Weather data from multiple weather institutes via one single REST API.||stormglass.io|
|HouseCanary Analytics API||Real Estate||||Real Estate Data and Analytics||HouseCanary.com]|
|Feedster API||News||||Searchable RSS feed collection with user management.||Feedster|
What I can do for you
- Create flexible and automated websites using public API’s like Yahoo! BOSS .
- Create Mashups
- Any other idea you may have!