Five Top Quality APIs

By  on  

It's easy to think about creating beautiful UIs for presenting data when you don't consider the effort that goes into gathering and serving the data itself. Here's the thing -- thanks to apilayer, you can focus on your UIs and not the pain of API creation. No need to worry about licensing, load balancing, and rate limits when these five amazing APIs provide you everything you need!

exchangeratesapi

Having reliable exchange rate data is critical to maintaining a global eCommerce or financial website. Not only is real time exchange rate data important, but so is historical data. A few examples of using this amazing API include:

https://api.exchangeratesapi.io/v1/latest?access_key=###

/*
{
    "success": true,
    "timestamp": 1519296206,
    "base": "EUR",
    "date": "2021-03-17",
    "rates": {
        "AUD": 1.566015,
        "CAD": 1.560132,
        "CHF": 1.154727,
        "CNY": 7.827874,
        "GBP": 0.882047,
        "JPY": 132.360679,
        "USD": 1.23396,
    [...]
    }
}
*/

Opening your online store to a global audience is oftentimes as easy as the right API, and exchangeratesapi is the tool to make global commerce easy!

pdflayer

No one ever asks you to send them an HTML page -- PDFs are much more valuable in that they are easily portable, still indexed by search engineers, and industry standard documents. pdflayer is an excellent solution for converting websites to PDF format:

http://api.pdflayer.com/api/convert
    ?access_key=####
    &document_url=https://davidwalsh.name/resume.html
    &document_name=DavidWalshResume.pdf
    &owner_password=M00T00l$FTw!

Automated, quality PDF creation has long been a goal of web engineers and pdflayer has made it happen!

screenshotlayer

Everyone knows the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" -- that also extends to the engineering world where a UI expert like myself would prefer to see the problem than have it described to me. Enter screenshotlayer:

http://api.screenshotlayer.com/api/capture
    ?access_key=####
    &url=https://davidwalsh.name
    &viewport=414x736
    &fullpage=1
    &format=JPG
    &delay=1

Whether you're looking to create screenshots for automation, clients, historical views, or bug reports, a solution like screenshotlayer is perfect!

serpstack

The search engine business is a billion dollar industry, from placement to analytics. serpstack allows you to continuously track your search engine placement through a variety of options, ensuring that the decision you make for your web app are data-based and intelligent:

const axios = require('axios');
const params = {
  access_key: '####',
  query: 'mcdonalds'
}

axios.get('http://127.0.0.1:8000/serp.php', {params})
  .then(response => {
    const apiResponse = response.data;
    console.log("Total results: ", apiResponse.search_information.total_results);
    apiResponse.organic_results.map((result, number) =>
      console.log(`${number+1}. ${result.title}`));
  }).catch(error => {
    console.log(error);
  });

Data-based SEO is a way to prove to your clients and employers that you've done excellent work. Also remember that rivals are gunning for your search engine placement -- monitor that placement and don't let them get the upper hand!

mailboxlayer

Email marketing is a thriving business but only when you have reliable email addresses -- if not, you risk being blacklisted by email service providers. mailboxlayer validates email addresses so that you aren't sending valuable messages into the void!

curl https://apilayer.net/api/check?access_key=####
    &email=SOME_USER@davidwalsh.name
    &smtp=1
    &format=1

{
  "email":"SOME_USER@davidwalsh.name",
  "did_you_mean":"",
  "user":"SOME_USER",
  "domain":"davidwalsh.name",
  "format_valid":true,
  "mx_found":true,
  "smtp_check":true,
  "catch_all":null,
  "role":false,
  "disposable":false,
  "free":false,
  "score":0.96
}

apilayer brings the heat when it comes to fantastic APIs. As a front-end engineer, I rely on experts in the API industry to do amazing work so that I can do amazing work. If you need reliable APIs for critical workflows, consider these five API providers to improve and enhance your apps!

Recent Features

  • By
    JavaScript Promise API

    While synchronous code is easier to follow and debug, async is generally better for performance and flexibility. Why "hold up the show" when you can trigger numerous requests at once and then handle them when each is ready?  Promises are becoming a big part of the JavaScript world...

  • By
    CSS Filters

    CSS filter support recently landed within WebKit nightlies. CSS filters provide a method for modifying the rendering of a basic DOM element, image, or video. CSS filters allow for blurring, warping, and modifying the color intensity of elements. Let's have...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    MooTools CountDown Plugin

    There are numerous websites around the internet, RapidShare for example, that make you wait an allotted amount of time before presenting you with your reward. Using MooTools, I've created a CountDown plugin that allows you to easily implement a similar system. The MooTools JavaScript The CountDown class...

  • By
    HTML5 Context Menus

    One of the hidden gems within the HTML5 spec is context menus. The HTML5 context menu spec allows developers to create custom context menus for given blocks within simple menu and menuitem elements. The menu information lives right within the page so...

Discussion

  1. Great – I didn’t know serpstack, which helps me a lot in some projects.

    However, mailboxlayer was already tested in some projects and I have to say the results are often not accurate. 10minutemail, tempmail etc. worked are not recognized as Disposable: False – which is wrong.
    Also, if a domain does not exist, the first call needs sometimes 5-10 sec.

    There are a few open source libraries like voku/email-check which are working a lot better.

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!