London-based cloud platform Import.io, is launching its data exchange for connecting suppliers with users via a single API.
Founded in June this year, the company grew from Kusiri, the data aggregator used by large companies to manage information. Import.io takes the underlying technology from Kusiri and adds a web layer so that more people can access information for research and to make applications.
Import.io lets developers find, simplify and import the data they need while also providing data owners with a clean method for publishing, monetising and distributing their data.
Rich Wilson, VP of sales and marketing at Import.io describes the service as AWS for data. He says that it’s a neat way to set things up, while you’re still making decisions about the shape of an app but you know you will still need data:
“It’s a single API for any online data. So if you have a data requirement and you’re not sure where you will get that data from you can use our API and the tools we provide to connect to that data and pull it out.”
Import.io allows users to make applications that are loosely coupled to sources and can be swapped from one source to another with no need to recompile, redeploy or pay extra.
Connectors can either be real-time, or push-based crawlers. The company’s real-time connectors query on demand, either using an API, or playing back a browser sequence, and then extracting and mapping the data to the schema. Its crawlers take a section of the web, extracting and mapping data, and pushing it back into applications for indexing or storing in a RDBMS or Hadoop.
Because Import.io’s underlying data was already arranged via Kusiri, the company was able to test with pre-beta customers. Initially aiming for five companies to work with, its reputation, even at this early stage was enough that it had to close the doors to willing guinea pigs when 22 turned up requesting access. Not bad progress for a company that was only founded in June.