What if all the shopping malls in your locality got together and agreed to create a directory (or confederation) of stores that all agreed to easily, ethically and securely share information about your shopping preferences with each other. The moment you walked into the little boutique or large department store, they’d already have your information and be able to serve your needs.
Wouldn’t it make your shopping easier? Wouldn’t you be inclined to shop at certain stores and not others?
Well The Small Business Web, created by five companies, is something like that. It’s a directory of web based business services who have public API’s (Application Programming Interface). Why is this important?
Public APIs enable developers (programmers) to easily access the data (or features) of the application.
For example, PayPal does not only enable commerce through it’s system only from it’s web site, but developers can integrate PayPal’s payment processing through other web sites. Taking this example further EventBrite uses PayPal for payment processing. EventBrite built a powerful event management service and simply added on PayPal, instead of spending money creating their own payment authorization service.
The Small Business Web is a great place to look for hosted applications, especially if it’s important to you to be able to exchange data between services.
Maybe you have all your contact information in one service. Wouldn’t it be great if you could easily have another service, such as your accounting information, access this data, instead of having to manually re-enter it?
Founders of The Small Business Web include some of the leaders in small business services:
Michelle Riggen-Ransom, BatchBlue Software; Sunir Shah, FreshBooks; Ben Chestnut, MailChimp, Paul O’Brien, Outright; Sonny Byrd, Shoeboxed
If you’re looking for another great source of online apps that integrate, check out Google Marketplace