A Web API
is typically a defined set of HTTP request messages along with a
definition of the structure of response messages, typically expressed in
JSON or XML. While “web API” is sometimes considered a synonym for web
service, the Web 2.0 applications typically have moved away from
SOAP-based web services towards more direct REST-style
communications.Web APIs allow the combination of multiple services into
new applications known as mash-ups.
APIs modify the way of content and services are influenced and
consumed. Web developers can take benefit of 1000s of APIs to add more
content or functionality to their site. We’ve compiled a list of 10 most
useful APIs you can consider using for your web site or application.
The Google Chart API
is a tool that lets people create a chart from some data and embed it
in a web page, most developers resort to PHP libraries, Flash Components
or jQuery based solutions. A lot of these components and libraries
require some knowledge of configuration. Google creates a PNG image of a
chart from data and formatting parameters in an HTTP request. Many
types of charts are supported, and by making the request into an image
tag, people can simply include the chart in a web page.
it was an internal tool to support rapid embedding of charts within
Google’s own applications. Google Graph API is a simple, free, URL based
API that allows you to generate, download and save 9 types of charts.
line, bar, pie and radar charts, as well as Venn diagrams, scatter
plots, sparkling, maps, google-o-meters, and QR codes are supported.
PlaceFinder is a great web service that supports world-wide geocoding
of street addresses and place names. It allows developers to convert
addresses and places into geographic coordinates (and vice versa). This
allows web site owners to deliver online content to desktop and mobile
users based on their physical location, e.g based on the user’s street
address, you can show nearby places like stores. PlaceFinder supports
building-level address recognition in over 75 countries, and as well as
points of interest, airports, cities, and other place names.
is a privately held technology company based in Portland, Oregon.
Janrain offers software as a service solutions for commercial businesses
and websites to connect their sites to the social web. Janrain’s
flagship product enables a website’s users to register or login with
their existing social network accounts and share content from the site
or their activities with friends on multiple social networks. JanRain
(formely RPX) is an Open-ID sign on service provider. It allows your
visitors to sign-in to your site with their existing accounts on
Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo!, LinkedIn or other networks and then
publish their comments, purchases, reviews or other activities from your
site to multiple social networks.
the AJAX Language API, you can translate and detect the language of
can enable transliteration on any text field or text area in your web
page. The language API is designed to be simple and easy to use to
translate and detect languages on the fly when offline translations are
You can choose which of the 52 languages to display
in the Administration Panel. The list of languages can be shown as text
(in the native language of each language), as flag icons, or as both.
Flag icons can be confusing and sometimes misleading so I recommend the
is a powerful yet simple API that adds Voice, SMS, Twitter, and IM
support to the programming languages you already know. This will allow
you to bring real-time communications to your apps. There are many ways
you can use voice or sms in your web application, for example – verify
phone number, allow visitors to record a voice message and save it
S3 provides a simple web services interface that can be used to store
and retrieve any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web.
It gives any developer access to the same highly scalable, reliable,
secure, fast, inexpensive infrastructure that Amazon uses to run its own
global network of web sites. The service aims to maximize benefits of
scale and to pass those benefits on to developers.
is an online discussion and commenting service for websites and online
communities that uses a networked platform. The company’s platform
includes various features, such as social integration, social
networking, user profiles, spam and moderation tools, analytics, email
notifications, and mobile commenting. It allows your visitors to choose
their identity (Facebook Connect, OpenID, Twitter) when they leave a
comment. New comments or reactions from social media network are updated
in real-time. DISQUS is available as plugins for popular blog platforms
like WordPress, Drupal or Blogger.
WebFont API uses CSS3’s @font-face to add web fonts to your site.
Currently limited only 18 different font-families. Google WebFont API
provides by far the easiest implementation for custom typography. All
you need to do is simply hotlink to their style sheet link and then call
the font in a CSS style. The major advantage is that by using
StyleSheet served from Google’s CDN, you can save a lot of bandwidth and
improve your page load speed.
is a service for webmasters to include advanced website screenshot
technology to their websites. This is pretty useful for links pages like
directory or portfolio pages by giving a visual cue for your visitors.
(Build your Own Search Service) is Yahoo!’s open search and data
services platform. The goal of BOSS is simple: to foster innovation in
the search industry. Developers, start-ups, and large Internet companies
can use BOSS to build web-scale search products that utilize Yahoo!
Search technology and data. By combining your unique assets and ideas
with our search technology assets, you can build innovative experiences
that delight your users. BOSS is offered with a low flexible usage fee
based on the type of queries. BOSS gives you access to Yahoo!’s
investments in crawling and indexing, ranking and relevancy algorithms,
and powerful infrastructure.