Infogroup: Powering a Real-time Data Platform with Flexible, Intuitive APIs
Infogroup powers and verifies the world’s top search engines. With data and marketing solutions proven to increase customer acquisition and retention, the company manages over 25 billion records in support of thousands of marketing campaigns for clients around the world.
Challenges and opportunities
In recent years, Infogroup has recognized a growing need to provide developers with real-time data for location- and time-specific applications.
”Traditionally, we would deliver data using tapes, DVDs, and hard drives,” says a director of product management at Infogroup. “That’s simply not acceptable anymore. APIs have become crucial for providing quick, accurate information to our active community of developers.”
Infogroup had been using SOAP-based APIs internally since 2006, but those initial releases were bulky and difficult to integrate. The company has since launched its first open API, called Infoconnect, which enables developers to connect to a real-time data platform called the InfoGroup Data Axle™. Today, all of the company’s APIs are RESTful, with responses written either in JSON or XML.
Before Infoconnect, developers would need to buy a full license to Infogroup’s data, receiving information on 15 million businesses shipped to them on a hard drive. Now they can work on an on-demand basis, accessing only the data necessary to create or enhance applications.
Despite Infogroup’s migration to RESTful APIs, some clients continue to work exclusively with SOAP. Infogroup solved that problem by working with Apigee to create a SOAP wrapper for its new RESTful APIs.
“We use everything the Apigee platform has to offer,” says a director of product management at Infogroup. “In our experience, up-and-coming developers aren’t even touching SOAP, because REST is where APIs are going. Apigee has helped us stay ahead of that curve while continuing to meet the needs of all our clients.”
Screenshot from developer.infoconnect.com
APIs have been a game-changer—not just for Infogroup, but for its community of external developers as well.
“This is the data delivery mechanism of the future,” says a director of product management at Infogroup. “We can provide real-time updates to our data, thus enabling our clients to take full advantage of our APIs. If a restaurant closes, for example, we’re able to expose that information immediately so they can tailor results to meet their customers’ needs.”
- Meeting a growing need for real-time data for developing location- and time-specific applications
- Moving away from traditional methods of delivering data via tape, DVD, and hard drive
- Embracing APIs as a crucial method for providing quick, accurate information to an active community of developers
- Providing real-time updates to proprietary data, enabling clients to take full advantage of APIs
- Exposing business-specific information—a restaurant closure, for example—in a timely manner so clients can tailor results accordingly
- Giving clients the option to access only the data they need, when they need it