HackTO APIs

Just in case you have not been staying in the loop: HackTO is this weekend on Saturday April 14. Registration is still open but will certainly close very shortly, so if you have been hesitating to get your ticket, this is your last chance!

The API line up for HackTO is looking great! So to get you started in thinking about the application(s) you will be building on Saturday, here is the API line up in alphabetical order. Enjoy and come prepared! There will be a couple of additions in the coming days, so check back often and as always, at HackTO you are not limited to only using the provided APIs. You can build your application with any APIs you wish to use, provided you use at least one of the HackTO APIs.

Atomic Reach

Atomic Reach is a social content platform that helps brands looking to leverage content marketing to drive engagement, brand awareness and sales conversions. As a social publishing platform, Atomic Reach lets users leverage content from multiple contributors and use it to build more engaging web sites. Content creators can use Atomic Reach to distribute their content to a variety of places. Their API lets developers create their own applications to integrate with and extend the Atomic Reach platform.

context.io

Context.IO is leading a new wave of innovation on email. Conversations, collaboration and document exchange happens in email on a daily basis. Context.IO provides a unique email API that makes it easy for application developers to retrieve that information and leverage it in applications such as CRM, document management, collaboration and project management. Check out Context.io API documentation and examples before Saturday!

Context.IO API documentation: http://context.io/docs/latest
Get a free Context.IO API key: http://context.io/#signup
API Explorer: https://console.context.io/#explore
Context.IO on GitHub: https://github.com/ContextIO

 

FreshBooks is an online invoicing service with a few goals in mind: easy & fast record keeping, simple billing, and safe data.  It’s no wonder they have over 3.5 million clients! With this kind of client base, FreshBooks opened up their API to 3rd party developers to create their Add-on Store, where developers can create and promote applications that integrate directly with FreshBooks clients’ accounts.

The FreshBooks API site gives a brief overview of the service before it goes into more detail about authentication, application-specific billing, webhooks, and their various endpoints. They also provide links to API libraries published by other developers in Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, and others, making connecting to the API a snap.  The Sample Code page also helps quite a bit, with examples for authentication, plugins, third-party apps, and their own internal integration code as well.  FreshBooks uses OAuth for authentication, similar to other modern API platforms, and has full documentation and examples to get you set up.

Examples of applications that have been built with the FreshBooks API can be seen on their add-on community page, and include project management, customer management, accounting, expense, time tracking, lead generation, marketing, payment gateway, productivity, and eCommerce software packages.  FreshBooks also maintains a developer blog, tips page, and google group for fielding any API / development questions.

 

Shopify is an ecommerce platform that hosts 20,000+ online stores used by millions of users around the world.

The Shopify API is implemented as JSON or XML over HTTP using all four verbs (GET/POST/PUT/DELETE). Each resource, like Order, Product, or Collection, has its own URL and is manipulated in isolation. In other words, the API follows the REST principles as much as possible.

If you are wondering about what kind of applications you could develop using the Shopify API, well wonder no more, Joey DeVilla who will be providing support for the Shopify API on Saturday is giving you a head start with his blog post!

 

soundcloudSoundCloud provides a platform for content creators to share audio content on the web. SoundCloud currently has over 10k registered applications using their API with about 300 promoted and accessible applications in their app gallery. Visit the gallery for some inspiration and to see what other developers have built with the SoundCloud API.

There are over 10 million users of SoundCloud, a huge number of whom contribute content. You can become familiar with the SoundCloud API ahead of Saturday by reviewing their documentation and available SDKs.

The SoundCloud API is built with the design principles of REST in mind, exposing SoundCloud resources like tracks, sets and users which can be accessed and manipulated using the HTTP methods GET, POST, PUT and DELETE. SoundCloud aims to provide all features which are available on SoundCloud.com itself through the API as well. And the SoundCloud team even has a developer manifesto! Bravo!

TinEye is providing 2 APIs: MobileEngine and MulticolorEngine (formally know as PixMatch and Piximilar). These two APIs are image recognition based APIs which allow searching by images.

MobileEngine uses mobile variants of the same algorithms that power TinEye. MobileEngine is designed to find a match for mobile phone picture in a collection of original/target images. It can find duplicate and altered versions of images using fingerprint based searching algorithms. It can find images that have been cropped, resized, rotated, flipped, obscured, blurred etc. Some examples of use are to match a book cover to a collection of covers. Same with CDs & DVDs, stamps, currency etc. It works with rigid flat objects but not 3D soft objects like clothing, fruit or family pets!

The MobileEngine API can be integrated with any mobile application. For HackTO this API image collections is not pre-populated which means that if you want to develop and launch a mobile image search application integrated with this API, you will need to create a database of images for your search. The TinEye team and their documentation can assist you with that prior to the start of HackTO. Get in touch.

MobileEngine is delivered over HTTP as a REST API with responses delivered in JSON format. Each operation is completely atomic, meaning that given a request, other requests will wait for the first request to complete before they are processed. All responses from the API will have these keys:

  • status: indicates the status of the request, can be one of ok, warn, fail
  • method: the method that was called
  • result: list of results for the method
  • error: list of errors from the API

The main methods for MobileEngine are:

  • add: Used to populate your collection. There is one collection for everyone so please use a prefix with your images if you want to make sure that they will not be overwritten.
  • search: Used to search against your collection and returns matches. Optional search parameters are min score, max number of matches and horizontal flip.
  • delete: Delete images from your collection by passing a filename.
  • list: Lists the images in your collection

Full documentation for the API will be provided at the start of HackTO.

MulticolorEngine searches an image collection using one or more colors. TinEye will be providing a two APIs for the MulticolorEngine:

  • A read-only API (http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays_flickr/) pre-populated and loaded with 3 million Creative Commons Flickr images. You will not be able to add or delete images from this collection.
  • A blank r/w API (http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays/) that you can load up with any images you like

(These links are not live but will be the day of HackTO!) To get a feel for the capabilities of the MulticolorEngine, visit the Idée lab.

MulticolorEngine is also delivered over HTTP as a REST API with responses delivered in JSON format. The main methods are:

  • color_search: Used to perform a color searches against the collection and return any matches with scores. You can specify up to 5 colours with weights in RGB or hex format.
  • extract_colors: Given an image, extract up to 10 colours and their dominance.

MulticolorEngine also supports full meta-data searching but we’re recommending you not to get into this unless you really need to – it is still in beta!

TrendSpottr is a real-time viral content discovery service that identifies the most timely and trending information for any topic or keyword. Trendspottr core technology analyzes real-time data streams such as Twitter and Facebook and spots emerging trends at their earliest acceleration point — hours or days before they have become “popular” and reached mainstream awareness. TrendSpottr serves as an early warning system and is being used today by leading news agencies and media companies, social marketing platforms and social media users to identify emerging news, events and issues that have high viral potential. TrendSpottr is available as a free-to-use service at http://trendspottr.com and as a partner application on the HootSuite platform.

The TrendSpottr search API allows you to query the TrendSpottr service to request current top trending information from twitter or Facebook for a given search parameter or twitter list specification and retrieve the results in JSON or JSONP format. Results include currently trending URLs, hashtags, sources and phrases. There is a full description of the API, including documentation and a sample PHP file, available .

 

twilio

Twilio, the cloud communications company, is reinventing telecom by merging the worlds of cloud computing, web services and telecommunications. Twilio provides a telephony infrastructure web service in the cloud, allowing web developers to integrate phone calls, text messages, and IP voice communications into their web, mobile, and traditional phone applications.

While HackREGINA featured a fun voice-to-search and search-to-voice interface, I imagine we’ll see a lot more clever integrations like this at HackTO. Interested in what sort of other projects have been built with Twilio? Check out their project gallery.

You can find all the details on Twilio’s API from their quickstart page.

 

WordPress.com just released a RESTful API that lets you interact, explore, and create great content with the millions of blogs and users on the WordPress.com network. Using OAuth-based authentication, you can access or create posts and comments or Follow and Like on behalf of users. Use the Freshly Pressed endpoint to access the best content, handpicked daily, being created across the network.”

To get inspired, check out some example applications (latest example is the Windows 8 app): http://en.support.wordpress.com/apps/

This API will be fully presented by Mo Jangda who is a veteran of our hackathons and a HackTO previous winner!

The Yellow Pages API seems pretty basic – 4 endpoints, a handful of options which makes a great API to start working with. But don’t let that fool you! The depth of their dataset if pretty awesome. The YellowAPI provides 4 basic endpoints for developers – FindBusiness, GetBusinessDetails, FindDealer, and GetTypeAhead.  It starts off as a pretty standard business look-up tool and from there, you get access to all of the rich, curated data from the Yellow Pages dataset, including phone numbers, business categories, product information, videos, photos, business logos and much more.

Combine the above with rich documentation and you get an awesome API!  Using their “I/O Docs”, you can easily test out calls to the API from the browser, seeing exactly what your query should look like and what the resulting XML or JSON will be.  Extremely helpful to developers! In addition, YellowAPI offers a handful of SDKs for quick integration:  iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby.

Visit the App Gallery to get an idea of some of the rolled out applications and to start planning your app development!

 

 
  • HackREGINA Location Sponsor

    Innovation Place - Innovation Place is home to approximately 40 clients in six buildings, employing more than 1,600 people.

  • HackREGINA Event Sponsors

    iQmetrix Software - At iQmetrix, we create great experiences for retailers, their employees, and the end consumer.

    GB Internet Solutions - We’re proud parents to GasBuddy.com and OpenStoreLoyalty.com, and while we don’t like to play favorites, the GasBuddy app has over 30 million downloads!

  • HackREGINA Community Sponsors

    YellowAPI - Our curated local search API is built off of the strength of the Yellow Pages database of over 1.5 million geo-localized business listings and associated rich content.

    Canadian Youth Business Foundation - Are you an aspiring young entrepreneur, aged 18 to 39, with a solid business idea? Are you looking for the financial support and expert advice that will help you bring your great business idea to life? The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) can help.

  • HackREGINA API Sponsors

    eHealth Saskatchewan - eHealth Saskatchewan employees and consultants are committed to making a difference for Saskatchewan residents by supporting health care providers through making important clinical information available electronically.

    Cashtie - InComm’s new Cashtie API opens up access to retailers point of sale (POS) systems, allowing any approved developer to sell online goods to consumers at these high value retail locations—opening up the possibility for web and mobile applications to accept cash payments for virtual goods, services and utilities at top retailers.

    Twilio - Twilio powers the future of business communications, enabling phones, VoIP, and messaging to be embedded into web, desktop, and mobile software.

    Wit - Wit allows you to build a Siri-like speech interface for you app in 5 min! It's an API that turns speech or text into JSON.

    Windows Azure - Add a cloud backend to your apps in minutes, enabling your apps to reach every user on every platform. With support for popular languages and open REST APIs, you’ll be ready to integrate Windows Azure into your apps in minutes. Use any of Windows Azure’s APIs to complete your hacks. You’ll need to activate a FREE trial or your MSDN Windows Azure benefits prior to using Windows Azure.

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