Posts Tagged ‘mashups programmableweb yahoo google lucent’

Lucent buys ProgrammableWeb.com

Just when you thought there was no money to be made in the mashup space (with major players exiting left and right) along comes this rather surprising news story (full PRNewsWire link).

Alcatel-Lucent Acquires Leading Web 2.0 API Repository ProgrammableWeb
“Alcatel-Lucent today announced that it has acquired ProgrammableWeb, the technology industry’s universal source for Web APIs (application programming interfaces) used by application developers to build web, mobile, and other connected applications that serve consumers and the workplace.”

I know John Musser, founder of ProgrammableWeb.com as a result of our mutual interest in mashups, our joint membership in the New York CTO Club, and from having written/collaborated on a few articles (also here and here) for PW back when my book was released. He’s a great guy who has done a lot for this new paradigm. I personally have used PW’s API and News RSS feeds to provide content for this site from its inception. John is apparently staying onboard to “continue to oversee the repository’s operation”; I hope is able to keep the site independent and objective with its new corporate oversight and structure.

So, it’s great to see some money being made in the mashup space, but I have to admit my first reaction  was, “Lucent?!?!”. Let’s face it, it’s not like they’ve even established a toe-hold in the mashup space when you consider what major players like IBM, Microsoft, Google, and Oracle have done (and in some cases, un-done). Why would Lucent suddenly enter the space in what seems like such an unconventional manner: Buying a mashup directory instead of new tools or services?

The press release gives us a window into their thinking:
“If you look at any organization that launches an API, you quickly realize that the one thing the most successful APIs have in common is a vibrant developer ecosystem,” said Laura Merling, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent’s global developer strategy. “Our goal is to protect the uniqueness and independence of ProgrammableWeb as an API repository and developer resource, while adding beneficial technologies and service provider relationships to the mix for everyone’s benefit.”

It seems that Lucent also was attempting to build a PW competitor of sorts with it’s Open API Service. Acquiring PW and its resources is a great way for them to build our their API repository by leveraging the work already done by John and his team.

Thinking about this deal, I can’t help but recall what Yahoo! looked like in the mid 90’s.
Back then, Yahoo was a simpler place, dedicated mostly to web-search against an index that was almost entirely hand-assembled. If any of us had the chance to acquire Yahoo! back then at a reasonable price (I have no idea what Lucent paid for PW, btw) wouldn’t we have jumped at the chance?

Fast-forward to 2010, and PW today is to mashups and APIs what Yahoo was 15 years ago to search. Lucent is clearly betting that API directories will experience some similar level of growth, and in this acquistion they saw a key opportunity for  getting in on the ground floor.

In the Search arena, we eventually saw many of the dominant players ousted and new giants emerge. Will we see the same in the mashup directory space? ProgrammableWeb only has about 2000 APIs in its directory. And like Yahoo!’s, it is a directory that is largely manually assembled. It’s logical to assume someone will eventually figure out how to automatically assemble similar content (perhaps using mashups!)

Will Lucent be able to keep ProgrammableWeb from suffering a decline like Yahoo’s? If the answer is “Yes”, PW could become the next Google when it comes to APIs and mashups.

  • Teleco.IO
    Teleco.IO offers an API for telecommunications services to help manage their industry. The API allows asset management and reporting, enabling providers to search, order, and provision their telecom assets throughout an entire data lifecycle across multiple networks. Currently in a private beta, interested parties can request API access from the Teleco.IO website. Date Updated: 2014-12-19 […]
  • Inquiry
    Open311 allows developers to create third-party apps to report and view citizen neighborhood issues such as potholes to graffiti and more using a city's 311 reporting system. Now on version 1, the RESTful Inquiry API is the tool used to query the 311 database. HTTP GET calls can be sent to the API to list […]
  • Clearent
    Clearent is an integration tool for eCommerce, combining sites, shopping carts, mobile interfaces, payment processing, and Point of Sale applications to create comprehensive payment-enabled eCommerce applications. The API is compatible with shopping carts such as ZenCart, OpenCart, OSCommerce, and custom user applications. Using the Clearent API, providers can process sales, authorizations, captures, refunds, and voids. […]
  • Google Enterprise License Manager
    Located within the Admin SDK, the Google Enterprise License Manager API enables enterprise developers to programmatically manage their licenses. The API can be used to revoke a license, return a specific user's licensee by inputted product SKU, create and assign licenses, list all licenses associated with a specific product, and reassign SKUs with licenses. The […]
  • FT Headline
    Financial Times is a business intelligence service that extracts vital information critical to business news. The FT Headline API enables developers to create a newsfeed of relevant real time business news for integration into 3rd party websites or applications. These headlines can be ported into existing CRM, newsletters, and information portals. Date Updated: 2014-12-16 Tags: […]
  • migme
    migme is a social media service that offers chat, microblogging, and entertainment integrations to increase monetization through marketing and user onboarding. The RESTful migme API allows access to it's 9 million user base, enabling programmatic social media functionality, such as the acquisition of comprehensive user profile information, and the ability to invite friends, make a […]
  • Yes or No
    The simple Yes or No API is made for automating boolean decision making within mobile environments. API calls will return a "Yes", "No" or "Maybe." Returns include fun links to comical Gifs, such as Hugh Laurie or Client Eastwood nodding in approval, or Jim from the Office excitedly mouthing "Yes!", or an uncomfortably slow camera […]
  • W3C Vibration
    The Vibration API is a simple browser-based device API documented by the W3C Device APIs Working Group. The Vibration API enables developers to trigger the vibration mechanism in a hosting device, such as a smartphone. The vibration length and pattern of the vibrations can be customized. The API offers simple tactile feedback, not fine-grained control. […]
  • W3C Battery Status
    The Battery Status API, documented by W3C, is a browser-based API that enables web developers to discover the battery life of a hosting device. This enables web application features to be dynamically catered to a device's battery status, improving power-efficiency and user experience. The API dependences include EcmaScript and WebIDL version 2. The Battery Status […]
  • DOJ Law Jobs
    The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Law Jobs API distributes available government legal job openings and vacancy announcements, sourced from the Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management. This digital distribution channel exists to make job openings more transparent to the public. This API is also the main data source for the DOJ law jobs mobile […]