What is Data Unbound?
Data Unbound is a training and consulting company that helps organizations access and share data effectively. The value of your data, when it is scattered throughout multiple databases and applications, grows if you can make it all work together. This value increases further when you leverage your information resources with the vast world of data on the Web. Our specialty is helping you to use APIs (application programming interfaces) to integrate data across your organization and beyond.
Data Unbound can help you navigate the entire world of data:
- We work with you to diagnose and solve all your data problems.
- We help your organization analyze its IT processes and implement a strategy to maximize the interoperability of data systems.
- When you need to access data from the Web, we offer ways to integrate information into workflows.
- When you need to exchange data with your partnering organizations or developers, we select standards, develop architectures for APIs, and implement project plans to facilitate that communication of ideas and data.
Harnessing the Power of APIs
Data Unbound provides world-class expertise in using APIs to bring data together. APIs are designed to be the official channels for computer programs to access the data and services of a program or website. Although there are APIs for operating system, applications, and programming toolkits, the APIs with perhaps the greatest potential are "web APIs," those for websites and web applications.
Organizations ranging from Fortune 500 corporations and major non-profits to scrappy startups have deployed APIs to allow their data to be integrated into other websites and applications. Some examples:
- Google: The Maps API is responsible for the proliferation of Google's maps to tens of thousands of websites. With the popularity of the Maps API, Google began offering APIs to many more of its offerings, including YouTube, Google Search, Documents, AdSense, Calendar, and App Engine.
- Salesforce parlayed its customer relationship management system into a major business platform via its APIs.
- The New York Times provides an API to give access to millions of its articles dating back about three decades.
- Etsy, a site for artists to sell handmade goods, released an API to support work by third-party developers who had already been driving useful traffic to Etsy.
- Twitter has built an empire of third‐party services that uses its API; the traffic to the API is an order of magnitude greater than that to its own regular website.
How APIs Can Benefit You
APIs and mashups—the applications that combine APIs from various sources—are fundamentally transforming the design of enterprise websites. Every site of significance will eventually have an API. Instead of having to build all the functionality or compile all the data yourself, APIs allow you to leverage existing assets—yours and others'. Where opportune, by letting others access some your data and functionality through APIs, you increase the value of your data and services by enabling others to rely on you in new, creative, and profitable ways. Moreover, you can prototype and build powerful applications faster because you can reuse data and code from other people's websites.