Trying new APIs is tricky. You can spend hours setting things up, gaining permissions, and learning syntax before you even get to write one line of code. That’s why CodeNow.com is cool. In short, it allows you to try APIs before you invest too much time into them and, as an added bonus, it acts as a code repository.
The site is currently in private beta but it’s accepting users tonight.
Take a look at this screen:
In the left pane you have the code and in the right pane you have the results. This is a very basic piece Facebook call that returns a list of users. Once it’s part of CodeNow, however, you can run this code in a virtual machine or share it with one link.
Without having to do very much, you can change the code on the fly:
In short, you can basically experiment with almost any API, including services like Dropbox, Twilio, and Facebook. Then, if you’ve created something cool you can simply share it with others or keep it for yourself.
Founder Yash Kumar was a former Amazon employee and found the impetus to build the site when his boss came to him with a problem.
“A Product Manager came up to me complaining it took her 2 days to get a make a basic API call to Facebook. She had taken a programming class in college, but struggled with getting a basic app up and running. There are tens of millions of code literate users that struggle to overcome the basic barriers of setting up code and project environments. We plan to empower millions of such users to create, build and play with code,” he said.
CodeNow is the first AngelPad company to launch this year. They plan to monetize by offering API discovery by charging providers to take part. They are currently supporting Facebook, Twilio, and Dropbox and there are many partners on the wait-list for inclusion. They also include the API’s own sample code to ease entry.
Kumar used his experience at Amazon to build a system of virtual machines using AWS. They also sandbox code so developers can test apps without having to create official accounts. “Users don’t need to authorize and setup app keys or OAuth to run apps,” he said.
“CodeNow runs completely in the browser. There is nothing to set up. No software package, no Amazon EC2 server instance. Just type and hit run,” said Kumar. “We plan to empower millions of such users to create, build and play with code.”