By on February 14, 2011

Did your Valentine just cancelled on you? Fall in love with our API

Developer Valentine (tinypay)Reposted from the Tinypay blog

If you’re reading this, my guess is that you didn’t get to have a Valentine date tonight. No worries. At least you have enough time at hands to check out our API that’s launched in private beta today!

You can check out all the details of our API on our newly launched developer blog. But first, let me tell you a little story.

The story of our API

The ideas of our API go way back. We’ve started working on it back in July 2010, when we didn’t even know which way to go with our service – let alone with our API.

At first, we only thought in words that we re-imprinted in our brains: “iPhone. iPhone. iPhone.” and then entire sentence was formed: “We want to create an iPhone app which will enable you to do… EVERYTHING!”.. “Everything?”, someone asked. “Yes.. EVERYTHING!” So, we began talks of how EVERYTHING should look like, and after 3 weeks of designing countless iPhone UI flows… we pretty much decided to build EVERYTHING (which was: our entire service) from scratch again.

That lead to the creation of V2. V2 was build from the ground up to be an ecommerce platform – instead of just a website. Inspired by the story behind the new Twitter interface, we decided that we, too, should create internal API’s for every function on our website. That’s what we did and it was pretty awesome because now, everything you can do with our website, is now (theoretically) also possible with our API.

But taking an internal API public is easier said than done. Security, scalability, application management, rate limiting, documentation etc. are all things you need to consider when building a public API. These are all things that we’re not very excited about because it is not our core business – it’s not what we DO.

Since the beginning of our company our philosophy has been that we shouldn’t do stuff which others are already good at. You can see the best example of that in our extensive use of PayPal services. We build on top of other cool services instead of trying to reinvent the wheel over and over again. So we’re thankful that we were able to find a cool service whose core business actually is standardizing and distributing APIs: Mashape.

Mashape is essentially a marketplace for APIs – and the cool stuff about that is that once you’ve learned how a single API works, you know how all their APIs work! Their aim is also to support every single language, and they already have libraries available for JSON(p), PHP, Ruby, Python, Java and Objective-C! Thanks to Mashape, we can offer an entire API platform from the start, and they’re busy with adding new features every single week.