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Grocery List & Recipe Manager

Version 1.0 Grocery List and Recipe Manager is an intuitive app that lets you manage your own recipes while also allowing you to import...

November 6, 2014 by Adrian DSouza

Friends' Events for Facebook

Friends Events does exactly what the name says. It shows you all the events that any of your Facebook friends are going to attend in...

October 19, 2014 by Sebastian Vogelsang

True Knowledge API lies at the heart of real business model

Semantically powered question answering start-up True Knowledge today made its Semantic Search API available for public consumption, taking the next step on the company's journey out of beta and providing a clear steer as to the way in which they intend to generate revenue.As the company's press release notes,"True Knowledge offers two distinct API services for developers: the 'Direct Answer API' and the 'Query API.

April 13, 2009 by

HttpMaster Express

HttpMaster is a development tool to automate testing of web sites and services, including RESTful web services and API applications,...

September 28, 2014 by Borvid

Skytap making a home in the clouds

I've been remiss in posting about Skytap. They spent some time with me prior to my trip to Citrix's bash in Scottsdale, AZ, and I've not found time to post about that interesting conversation about their new Skytap web services API.

September 22, 2008 by

Gmonkey - The Gmail GreaseMonkey API

Gmail has already gained a relatively large market share considering that it requires significant effort to switch mail services, and keep everyone you know in the loop. The new version of Gmail -- which was more of a back-end update -- has given developers access to an easy Greasemonkey API that makes developing plugins or changing the appearance of Gmail a breeze.

January 3, 2008 by

Marc Andreesen digs into the Platform

As Danny highlights in the latest instalment of This Week's Semantic Web, Marc Andreessen has once more demonstrated that he's not content with co-authoring Mosaic, sneaking around in the 24 Hour Laundry and driving social networking Ning-style. Far from it, as he continues his recent practice of blogging thoughtfully on issues facing the industry of which we - and he - are part. Yesterday's post, The three kinds of platforms you meet on the Internet, touched on a number of issues that we've addressed here on Nodalities before, and it is well worth both reading and thinking about.As Marc suggests in his introduction; “One of the hottest of hot topics these days is the topic of Internet platforms, or platforms on the Internet. Web services APIs (application programming interfaces), web services protocols like REST and SOAP, the new Facebook platform, Amazon's web services efforts including EC2 and S3, lots of new startups talking platform (including my own company, Ning)... well, 'platform' is turning into a central theme of our industry and one that a lot of people want to think about and talk about. However, the concept of 'platform' is also the focus of a swirling vortex of confusion -- lots of platform-related concepts, many of them highly technical, bleeding together; lots of people harboring various incompatible mental images of what's about to happen in our industry as a consequence of various platforms. I think this confusion is due in part to the term 'platform' being overloaded and being used to mean many different things, and in part because there truly are a lot of moving parts at play that intersect in fascinating but complex ways.”How true. The Platform space is a great one to be in and it's brimming over with opportunity and potential; so much so that we're one company staking an awful lot upon the detail of our Platform vision. Traditionally sloppy use of language, however, has led to a situation in which unnecessary confusion is now associated with a superficially straightforward term. Some of this confusion is introduced by innocent drift in the evolving usage of a word, but far more is down to the unfortunate fashion for everyone jumping on the bandwaggon and unleashing a 'platform' of their own. At least we've been using the Platform label for our own endeavours in this area for a number of years.In his attempt to introduce some clarity, Marc's post reiterates his basic definition of an internet platform; “A 'platform' is a system that can be programmed and therefore customized by outside developers -- users -- and in that way, adapted to countless needs and niches that the platform's original developers could not have possibly contemplated, much less had time to accommodate. We have a long and proud history of this concept and this definition in the computer industry stretching all the way back to the 1950's and the original mainframe operating systems, continuing through the personal computer age and now into the Internet era. In the computer industry, this concept of platform is completely settled and widely embraced, and still holds going forward. The key term in the definition of platform is 'programmed'. If you can program it, then it's a platform. If you can't, then it's not.”Check.He then offers three 'kinds' or 'levels' of Internet platform, being careful to stress that one is not necessarily better than those it supersedes; “I call these Internet platform models 'levels', because as you go from Level 1 to Level 2 to Level 3, as I will explain, each kind of platform is harder to build, but much better for the developer. Further, as I will also explain, each level typically supersets the levels below. As I describe these three levels of Internet platform, I will walk through the pros and cons of each level as I see them. But let me say up front -- they're all good. In no way to I intend to cast aspersions on what anyone I discuss is doing. Having a platform is always better than not having a platform, period. Platforms are good, period.”Marc's three levels are;Access API “Architecturally, the key thing to understand about this kind of platform is that the developer's application code lives outside the platform -- the code executes somewhere else, on a server elsewhere on the Internet that is provided by the developer. The application calls the web services API over the Internet to access data and services provided by the platform -- by the core system -- and then the application does its thing, on its own.”Plug-in APISuperficially very similar to the 'Access API', but the host application (such as Facebook) into which a developer's application connects does the vast majority of the work around marketing; “Facebook provides a whole series of mechanisms by which Facebook users are exposed to third-party apps automatically, just by using Facebook.”Runtime Environment “In a Level 3 platform [such as Salesforce], the huge difference is that the third-party application code actually runs inside the platform -- developer code is uploaded and runs online, inside the core system. For this reason, in casual conversation I refer to Level 3 platforms as 'online platforms'.” “Put in plain English? A Level 3 platform's developers upload their code into the platform itself, which is where that code runs. As a developer on a Level 3 platform, you don't need your own servers, your own storage, your own database, your own bandwidth, nothing... in fact, often, all you will really need is a browser. The platform itself handles everything required to run your application on your behalf.”And there's more, and it's interesting stuff that Marc has clearly thought about long and hard.Reading - and rereading - Marc's post, though, I kept coming back to ideas touched upon in two posts of mine about the relative openness of different Platform solutions; “Facebook and Talis might very well be offering 'Platforms', but they're quite different in intention. Facebook's platform seems to be all about making the Facebook site as rich, compelling and sticky as possible; everything is sucked to one point. The Talis Platform, on the other hand, is about providing developers - wherever they are - with the tools and capabilities to easily link and manipulate data across and through the web. The former sits heavily 'on' the web, and feeds upon it to suck ever more into its maw. The latter is truly 'of' the web, giving a distributed community of developers and users powerful new capabilities to enmesh their applications, and to deliver capabilities at the point of need.”Regardless of its position in Marc's levels, I truly hope and believe that the Internet platforms of long-term viability will be those that embrace the Network rather than feeding rapaciously upon it; those that are of the web as we are trying so hard to be.A Platform should give the developer a helping hand. It should lift them up and provide them with a set of tools that make it easier to concentrate upon and deliver their core value whilst the Platform worries about the day-to-day mundanity that is mere context [to paraphrase Geoffrey Moore]. A Platform should enable the developer to realise the benefit of those tools and capabilities in places and manners of their own choosing, rather than expecting or requiring the developer merely to expose their assets within the bounds of whatever site(s) the Platform chooses to offer. Platform providers who realise and embrace that will be the ones to succeed.

November 1, 2007 by

Google retreats back to Web 1.0

In withdrawing its seminal search API, Google signals its failure to emulate the success of Amazon in monetizing API services. Will Google now face up to its true destiny or will it retreat further into Web 1.0 business models?

December 20, 2006 by

Mashery: Syndication services for a world gone meta

Mashery, an API management service, will measure the popularity of application programming interfaces. Helping developers jumpstart their API business, Mashery's services will enable a much wider range of pricing options for the data enhancements transforming networked markets.

November 6, 2006 by

Open AIM APIs and Location Services

The Open AIM Program enables developers outside of AOL to write official AIM custom clients, plugins, and bots. AIMCC is a comprehensive set of APIs, each targeted at different types of applications and a wide variety of developers. Within the API are the Location Services where users can opt-in and share location information with people on their Buddy Lists.

July 11, 2006 by


Mashery is a new startup committed to making it easier to build, deploy and use mashups. Over the next several months, we'll be launching a number of services for mashup developers and API providers. Come join us in our Mashup University session to get an early look at what we're working on, and to talk to us about what you'd like to see Mashery incorporate in its future releases.

July 10, 2006 by

Placebase commerical alternative for Google Maps

Placebase launched a commercial alternative to Google Maps, Pushpin LE. It "embraces" the Google Map API, but unlike Google it offers non-advertising, non-branded or customer-branded maps, licensing for any application, service level agreements and support services.

April 2, 2006 by

eWeek: Exchange 12 has competitors, execs insist

Reaction among some competitors to Exchange12 beta 1 announcement...TimBray, a Sun Web technologistand the co-inventor of XML, told eWEEK that while some of Microsoft's softwarewas excellent, "I cannot say that Exchange falls into that category,"whether from a technical engineering or feature-set perspective.whoa.;) Several comments about Microsoft's long-forgotten plan to port Exchangeto SQL, circa 2003, with a new spin:"A lot of theoriginal advantages that we were going to get from going to a SQL-typestore we already have in Exchange now. While this was very attractive fiveyears ago, the bar has been set higher today, as we will have 64-bit inExchange 12, we will have better failover and disaster recovery and wehave a Web services API," he said. Huh?  I'msure I can find a few quotes about the benefits Exchange expected froma SQL base.  Also, why did SharePoint move away from the Exchangestore architecture so quickly?  Julie Farris of Scalix offers herperspective:The Exchange message store, based on theJet database, is prone to corruptions and is difficult to manage and maintain,she said, adding, "This is a long-standing, known problem, and plansto replace the Exchange message store have been iteratively postponed."At the same time, Exchange upgrades have come to mean a perpetual rearchitectureof customers' e-mail environments, she said.Link: eWeek:Exchange 12 has competitors, execs insist> (via PeterO'Kelly)

December 19, 2005 by

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