Saturday, August 23, 2008

Make your API's easy to play with

I'm looking at advertising API's and i've got a headache. Got a nice list from here, but ALL i want to do right now is test them out. I'm sitting here with my code calling some Amazon Web Services (excellent) and other simpler services but the Ad one is driving me nuts. Google's was way complex and involved signing up all over the place. Yahoo required me to be processed. Again Microsoft's looks fairly involved. (Update) Didn't realize that i need to use AdSense and not AdWords to actually get suggestions ! Never saw any pointers at the top of the AdWords. Anyway AdSense is a little better but it seems to return only HTML which kinds defeats the purpose of an API. I want to embed it my own way!

I want to pass some data and get some ads - maybe do something more in the future. More importantly i just want to test this just now. I don't want to commit to anything but things need to be simpler. I don't wanna spend hours registering, being verified and then coding against something far more complex than i need. I don't mind the complexity, but when i can't immediately see (and play with) what i need to do then, to me, it's complex.

Please - all - provide a sandbox for hacking. Make it open with an API key easy to get which allows X number of requests. Make the API simple - most could be RESTful gets for that. Make the reponse simple, but customizable.

I know from personal experience these things get complex quickly, but we need API's we can quickly run with.

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