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Popular web APIs you should know about

alexandrudanpop profile image Alexandru-Dan Pop ・3 min read

It's no secret in 2020, APIs are becoming more and more relevant for each software company. It is pretty common that the offering or product of a company is no longer an application, but an API.

Companies have shifted to building APIs, providing the features that would previosly only be available from their web or mobile application through APIs.

Nowadays, we have lot's of specialized API:

  • send emails
  • send & receive payments
  • SSO
  • Storage
  • Search
  • Location, etc

Basically, it's becoming more and more simple to build applications because we might already have lots of our requirements covered by some external API.

This is what I want to explore in this article, and if you like it please follow & gently smash the ❀️ & πŸ¦„ buttons.

Popular APIs

Identity providers & Oauth APIs πŸ§‘πŸ»β€πŸ€β€πŸ§‘πŸ½

Those are the APIs that help you get registration, access, logins, user management and SSO in an easy way:

Email & Marketing APIs πŸ“§

Payment APIs πŸ’°

Backend as a service (BAAS APIs) πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»

  • Firebase - this API can be used to build apps on top of google backend infrastructure "Firebase gives you functionality like analytics, databases, messaging and crash reporting so you can move quickly and focus on your users."
  • AWS Amplify - build apps on top of AWS serverless backend "AWS Amplify is a set of tools and services that enables mobile and front-end web developers to build secure, scalable full stack applications, powered by AWS".

Location APIs πŸ—ΊοΈ

AI APIs 🦾

Those are the APIs that can help you incorporate AI in your projects without requiring you to implement the deep learning algos yourself. Just call some APIs. Very convenient.

  • IBM watson - Chatbots πŸ€–, recommendations, computer vision, fraud detection
  • Azure cognitive services - lots of APIs from Text analytics sentiment, Computer vision aka detect things in photos or recognize face emotions
  • Google AI Platform - computer vision APIs πŸ‘οΈ, speach to text, recommendations

Search APIs πŸ”Ž

Those APIs allow you to do Google-like real time search, partial matching, fuzzy search

Technical blogs

  • DEV.to API
  • an example of what you can do - a simple HTTP request to get your DEV.TO articles in your custom blog:
fetch('https://dev.to/api/articles?username=alexandrudanpop')
  .then(response => response.json())
  .then(data => console.log(data));

Ok... I should probably stop here... the conclusion is - just in case you need something - you might find a very good API that can do it for you. Welcome to the API economy, where many companies are API first. Enjoy!

What are your favorite API's?

Share what APIs you like or use.

If you like this post follow me on Twitter where I post more cool stuff.

Posted on by:

alexandrudanpop profile

Alexandru-Dan Pop

@alexandrudanpop

I'm a freelance Software Engineer who loves working with Javascript, React and NodeJs. πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» I'm also a big Typescript fan! πŸš€

Discussion

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Weird this article should come up after I did some MailChimp API integration last night.

I'm also using Google's Natural Language API, and the YouTube API, both in Node, and have found both β€” and the one for MailChimp β€” to be be simple and straightforward.

 

Nice stuff! What are you using the Google's Natural Language API for? Extracting speech as text, or even trying to find out more sophisticated things like sentiment?

I think once you get your hands on a few APIs and use them, they become pretty easy to use.

 

At the moment, the NLP work is experimental, but the idea is:

  1. user saves a web page;
  2. choses to analyze the page via NLP;
  3. user chooses which entities (and sentiment, at some point) to save.

The entities are saved into a nested object in the document for the web page in Elastic, giving it extra value in terms of its search score, should the search phrase match.

But this is part of something much more ambitious I have in mind for the long-term development of the Under Cloud, assuming I have time to learn Machine Learning!

 

I'll add a few more:

  • News API - A Google API that provides you the news from various news media.
  • Whats3Word - Provides you a 3 words location based upon your GPS coordinates which makes it easy to share your location.
 
 

Interesting I already used some of those...such as Algolia, really awesome but quite expensive 😒 would love to explore some AIs ones in personal projects! Do they have some free tier for developers to play with?

 

Yes! Azure Cognitive services and the Google AI APIs can be used for free to some extent. Not sure of IBM Watson.

 
 

Haven't tried it to be honest. Do you see a cool use case for it? I think there's already lots of apps leveraging the twitter api for cross-posting or things like that.

 

I basically use that API to update my portfolio. :)

 

I think this is a great article. I recently started working on web apps and I have only used MapBox API, but now I know there are lot of APIs available out there. Thanks a lot