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10 Useful API Tools For Website Development. Various Tools For Different Types Of Sites

written by: •edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 5/24/2011

Whether you're looking to create the next great hub for musical artists, create an SMS portal for wordwide SMS messaging or you simply want to create widgets and mashups for your website these 10 API tools can help you reach your websites ultimate information providing goals.

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    1. DataMash - Mash Up API for integrated Widget Operations

    DataMash in it's most basic terms is a "hub" for all of your sites online content. The program worked by createing a service side software chip that can keep track of a users "mashets" which are in essence groups of widgets that are updated whenever content changes.

    Using the DataMash program users can "widgetize" any piece of information including websites, documents (excel and others) or applications you're already using. Users can then create new connected Mashets using any of the thousands of Mashets posted on this site.

    It's basically a way to interconnect your data among various widgets.

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    2. Web Shots Pro - Websites Screenshot API

    The screenshot process for Web Shots Pro couldn't be any more simple than it alread is. Essentially a webpage URL is sent to the program, which is then put together using a combination of Apache/mysql/php and other custom software, the site is then sent back to the user in thumbnail form. That's the most simplistic look at how the program works.

    Using the companies API developers can easily create screenshots for website directories, website review sites and for virtually any other purpose they can dream up. The program even offers full error checking so goofed up or missing pages do not display as incorrect images.

    Plans start at $5 per month, which should be enough for users to give the program a try and see if it meets the needs of their websites.

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    3. The Echo Nest - Music Related API

    This is a must have API service for any web developer in the build process for a music related site. Echo Nest provides artist feeds that are crawled constantly to provide the most up to date possible information for virtually every artist. They also offer a "recommend songs" API that is super intelligent, providing recommendations that actually make sense for each artist/band on your pages.

    The Echo Nest API's are so intelligent that their programs can even analyze incoming music tracks and output relevant information about each song in terms of musicality such as "Pitch, Rhythm, Timber" and other important content structured information.

    If you want your music site to stay up to date then taking the time to use Echo Nest API's will be well worth your efforts down the road.

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    4. Clickatell - Wordwide SMS Delivery API

    Send SMS Messages in singular or bulk form using a variety of worldwide delivery methods. Clickatell covers over 775 networks in more than 200 countries. The program isn't a simple plug and play and forget API, there are costs associated with the various delivery platforms. They do however provide "Ready-made scripts to help you connect to our gateway through your chosen programming language.

    This could be a great option for providing cheap online worldwide SMS capabilities for site visitors or for connecting your worldwide employees through a robust messaging system.

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    5. Pushpin - Mapping API

    If you want to embed maps on your website, while adding your own layers of information (various pushpins) you can accomplish your goals with Pushpin. The program uses a simple to program JavaScript API to create scrolling maps and the documentation for adding your own layers of information is simple to follow with plenty of suppoty.

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    6. Shopping.com API

    If you have a product review website and you want to show pricing for the products you review, while earning a CPC for each user click, then the Shopping.com API is a must have application. The program can be accessed by approval only, which you can get by signing up for the Shopping.com partner program and applying through the available API sign up section of the partner admin area.

    Using the Shopping.com API users can display multiple stores and their prices for each product, provide Shopping.com provided descriptions for each product and even pull in additional user reviews through the program to complement your sites own user and expert reviews.

    This API also offers several scripts that can be purchased by outside programmers so your site can take advantage of plug and play scripts based off of the Shopping.com API.

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    7. MediaWiki API - Travel, Dictionary and News API

    The MediaWiki MeAPI can provide information to your sites users for over 2 million different topics. The API offers access to Wikitravel, Wiktionary, and WikiNews.

    If you want to pull up the most recent information on a variety of subject and you want that information to be constantly updated this is a great API.

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    8. Facebook API - Social Networking API

    Try finding a blog or website that isn't using Facebook connect or other aspects of the popular social networking website. The most popular ability of this API to date is probably the Facebook Connect option now found on many blogs. Using Facebook Connect users can sign into their Facebook account in order to leave comments on various blogs. They can also invite their friends to the blog/website and even share their comments on their Facebook profile.

    The options available with the Facebook API's are endless and the documentation provided by Facebook is second to none. If you're serious about social network marketing you need to integrate Facebook API's on your website.

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    9. FeedBurner API - Add "Flare" To Your RSS Feeds

    The Google FeedBurner API is a great way to add new functionality to all of your Feedburner Feeds. An already integrated example is the ability to include Digg, StumbleUpon and other social networking sites to your feed as it's delivered. Using the API developers can create their own "Flare" which could be anything from showing related posts in the feed to anything else developers can dream up.

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    10. YouTube API

    The YouTube API is great if you want to pull up videos from your websites own channel, recent videos in certain categories and other types of videos including: Video titles, rating, length, tags, url, your favorites, your friend list and the thumbnail location.

    YouTube is as much a social networking site as Facebook so this is a great way to create a nice partnership between your own site and YouTube.