Another Successful DC API MeetUp
On June 24th 2013, Apiphany and Chief hosted another successful DC API User Group in DC. Join us next time for an evening of great conversation, good food and beer!
Apiphany at APIDays in San Francisco!
Apiphany attended API Days on June 22nd, 2013 in San Francisco. Great sessions with a good crowd!
Fair and square pricing
Because simple pricing just makes sense, Apiphany is introducing a new “fair and square” pricing model for our Global API Delivery Platform. Learn more.
As some of you know, Apiphany was a sponsor of DCWEEK 2012, a week-long conference in November that brought together designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and social innovators of all kinds. Thank you iStrategyLabs and Tech Cocktail for organizing that event.
In addition to sponsoring the conference, our team had an opportunity to speak on a panel. In our presentation, 5 Crucial APIs to Know About, we covered a range of topics, from what an API is, to building a business on an external API. It was definitely a fun and interesting conversation.
Preparing for the talk was quite a task, since it meant choosing those 5 Crucial APIs from almost 8 thousand registered on http://www.programmableweb.com. After some serious consideration, I decided to highlight "utility" APIs – APIs that you can use asΩΩ construction blocks to build applications. Of course, there are a lot more than 5 APIs in that space, so I decided to group them into five sets: Mobile Backend-as-a-Service APIs, Telephony APIs, Email and Communication APIs, OCR \ Text APIs, and Monetization APIs. Let us deep dive into each of these groups.
If you are mobile developer, you should be aware of Mobile Backend-as-a-Service APIs. Those APIs handle common tasks and free yourself to focus on the front-end that your users value. The set of features that are part of the package varies from provider to provider, and may include the following modules: Access Control, User, Data, Social Integration, Push Notifications, Chat, and Messages. All those components are available as REST APIs, so you can easily use them from mobile or web applications without a need to build and support your own backend. Here is a list of some Mobile Backend-as-a-Serviceproviders:
What I like most about the next group, Telephony APIs, is that they give developers easy access to cool functionality. Several years ago, it would take years to build a telephony system. Now you can build an application that uses SMS as a two-way communication channel. It took only couple of hours for me to build SMS-based services that accept your destination place, call Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County API to get transit options, and return them back to the user. Isn't that cool? Here is the list of some telephony API providers:
- Embarke API
- Deutsche Telekom Tropo API
- AT&T Call Management API
I'm pretty sure almost every application needs an ability to communicate with customer via e-mail: notifications, confirmations, alerts, etc. Email and Communication APIs are powerful APIs that allow you to send, receive, track and store email effortlessly. I like the way Mailgun defines it – "Email for developers." Developers do not need to worry about the headaches of managing an email server, because these companies do:
The OCR \ Text group is slightly different from the previous group. These APIs allow innovation and creativity, exposing high-technological intellectual property via an API. Check these API providers to learn more:
- Online OCR API
- ABBYY Cloud OCR API
- WiseTrend OCR API
- WashingtonPost Trove API
Last but not least, there are Monetization APIs. Using these APIs, developers can easily set up billing, process credit card payments, implement in-app purchases, store cards, and do direct payouts to bank accounts while still avoiding PCI requirements. They have different pricing structures, ranging from flat fee, to revenue sharing, to transaction number volume, to a combination. Find list of some monetization API providers below:
- Dwolla API
- Chargify API
- PayPal API
- Amazon Flexible Payments Service
Many APIs solve different business and technical problems. You can leverage them to speed up time to market, reduce risk and take advantage of a product that is built by a team of professionals in that specific area. APIs fuel a new economy by brining B2B to the next level. We call it the API Economy. In my next blog post, I will try to give our view on what the API Economy means and how it will impact the way people do business. Stay tuned.
Co-founder and CEO @APIphany
Thank you for your interest in API management services and the Apiphany API Delivery Platform. Our service is unavailable to new customers at this time as Apiphany has been acquired by Microsoft and is joining the Windows Azure family of cloud services. For more information, please visit the Windows Azure blog.
If you are interested in learning more about API management services in Windows Azure, please contact the team at APImgmt@microsoft.com.
Evgeny, Vlad, and the Apiphany team