We focus a lot of energy on real-time data here at Streamdata.io, but because streaming isn’t always about real-time, so we also work to regularly pay attention to interesting historical sources of data. One interesting source of real-time, as well as historical data is over at auction API platform eBay, who as one of the leading API pioneers, has a wealth of data available via its platform. As we were StreamRanking some of their APIs, we also came across the find completed API endpoint for the eBay Finding API.
The eBay Finding API completed endpoint, “searches for items whose listings are completed and are no longer available for sale by category (using categoryId), by keywords (using keywords), or a combination of the two. Keyword queries search the title and subtitle of the item; they do not search descriptions.” Providing a pretty rich way to understand what products, brands, and industries are thriving on eBay for any given period of time. Helping provide a pretty important snapshot of the commerce that is occurring both online, and offline, across many different global markets and industries.
We’d like to spend more time playing with the endpoint, to understand the underlying schema, and scope of data that is available. However, we are currently focusing most of our energy on real time data from APIs that have a high StreamRank™, helping identify the low hanging fruit when it comes to streaming data, and delivering event-driven architecture on top of existing APIs. We wanted to highlight the opportunity for the mining of historic data that exists over at eBay, an outlet for market insights that might get overlooked in the current socially dominated alternative data landscape. We will circle around in a couple of months, and take another look at the opportunity around historical data, by then we will have documented other sources of data similar to eBay, helping expand the playing field for archival data.
Like many other API provider, eBay has many different API endpoints. It is easy to make assumptions about what an API providers offer, based upon our limited understanding of what they do. We find that APIs provide a much more honest look at what companies offer when it comes to data, content, and other resources. APIs get at the root of what a company does, distilling down their operations into individually usable API paths. Which makes it well worth the time it takes to profile and review each API providers, generation OpenAPI and Postman Collections for each API, helping us understand the granularity of what they offer. Making API discovery in the current landscape much like a large-scale mining effort, where you have to invest the energy into moving a lot of rock before you find the gems, and remembering to leave no stone untouched as we are looking for valuable data across the API landscape.