The Rise of APIs
The design, development and consumption of APIs have grown exponentially in the past few years. Today, there are device APIs, browser APIs, native APIs, web APIs. APIs are used to power websites, mobile applications, to connect applications and devices together like mobile phone apps and smart TVs.
>APIs are an important tool for web developers and developers of mobile applications. They have also become a new must-have marketing tool for many types of businesses especially technology-driven companies, products and services.
In the article "Welcome To The API Economy", Roberto Medrano, Executive VP of SOA Software, aptly compares the current rise of APIs to the rise of web pages back in the 1990s:
"Think back to the 1990s. It was a disruptive time for traditional business models, beginning with the rush for a Web presence, followed by the shift from bricks and mortar to so-called "clicks and mortar." Today, application programming interfaces – commonly known as APIs – are the new must-have for business, representing the future of customer and community engagement with far broader implications than traditional Web-based business models."
APIs can be used to create very complex applications and mashups, or to create fairly simple, interactive widgets that can be integrated into existing websites and mobile applications.
Below are links to some fairly popular APIs that can be used to add cool features and functionality to web sites and other applications. Visit the ProgrammableWeb API Directory to find many more APIs.
Google Chart Tools
Powered by the Google Visualization API, Google Chart Tools features a variety of charts that can be integrated into websites and other applications. Chart types include aArea, bar, column, line, pie and many more.
Facebook Graph API
The Facebook Graph API presents a view of the social graph by uniformly representing objects (people, photos, etc) and the connections between them such as friend relationships and shared content. Facebook provides an expanded version of the social graph via the Open Graph.