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Open Exchange Rates relaunched (part 2)

Yesterday I launched the next phase in the Open Exchange Rates API project! This handy blog post will fill you in on all the latest and upcoming changes, and let you know exactly what you need to do to stay on top.

First of all, huge thank you to all the developers, researchers and businesses who have been building things with the API, some from the very beginning. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to speak with hundreds of you, and it’s amazing to see all the cool things you’re working on. Really impressive.

What’s New at Open Exchange Rates?

Due to recent developments, I’ve had to remove all the data from the GitHub repository and implement App IDs on the API. Everything else is continuing and improving as normal. You can sign up here. More details:

  • Cut-off Date: Starting from August 1st 2012, an App ID will be required to access the hourly rates, but you have a little bit of time to update. My apologies if you missed the updates – there’ll be a ‘grace period’ so you have more to update apps, sites and projects. Don’t panic.
  • Free/Paid Accounts: Open Exchange Rates will always stay free for personal and small-scale use, but if you’re using it in an app, business or commercial project, I’d be pumped if you signed up for a paid plan (starting from $10/month). The fees are there to support, improve and expand the service, and offer premium features/higher usage allowance to those who love it.
  • Rate Limits: Yep, I hate them. Still, I need to make sure that 0.1% of people aren’t spoiling the fun for everybody else. The monthly allowance figures I’ve specified for each plan are there as a guide (soft-limits) and you don’t have to worry about being suddenly blocked for going over – I’ll get in touch to discuss options if your usage goes way high. Email me to discuss your needs and I’ll make sure you’re looked after.

What happens after August 1st?

For the next three weeks App IDs are in beta. They will be required after 1st August 2012:

  • For the whole of August, requests made without an App ID will be served rates that are only updated once-daily, at midnight (no hourly updates). This is so that existing apps and services will continue to work without problems – they just won’t be as up-to-date.
  • Final ‘switch-off’ (the date when every request needs an App ID) will happen in a few more months, only once I’m satisfied that nobody will be hurt.
  • A lot of iOS/Android app developers who use Open Exchange Rates have expressed concern that their users might not update their app to the new version in time – for this reason I’m working with some of these developers to ‘whitelist’ requests from smartphone apps for a few extra months, so that no apps break. I’m not sure how feasible this is, but I’ll keep you all posted.
  • In short – Sign up here and I’ll make sure you and your users aren’t left hanging.

What “Pro Features” Come With a Paid Account?

Free accounts will always be able to get the hourly and historical (‘EOD’) exchange rates, and the list of currencies, in JSON format (with JSONP support). The update frequency may even increase to 30- or 15-minute intervals!

Paid accounts are designed to offer an even better service, in return for a small monthly or yearly fee (starting from $10/month). This helps me to spend more time actively improving and expanding the API.

At the time of writing this, the available and planned Pro Features are as follows (expected completion dates are in italics – and might change):

  • Higher usage allowance (not strictly limited, but a useful guide) – available now
  • SSL support – access the API data over HTTPS – available now
  • Ability to only allow requests to specific IP addresses – end of July
  • Additional currency metadata (currently discussing with users) – August
  • XML and CSV support (if there’s demand for it) – August
  • Additional FX rate info (e.g. highs/lows/changes) – September
  • Querying by different ‘base’ currency than USDOctober
  • Date-range and specific currency queries – October

This isn’t a complete or final list – I’ll be talking to all current and future customers to find out the most sought-after features, and building them. Let me know if you have any suggestions or questions.

You can signup for a pro (or free) account here. There are a few options.

Showcase of Apps & Projects

I’m still working on a showcase of apps, sites and projects that use Open Exchange Rates. If you want yours included, email me!

Final Notes

Thanks again to everyone who has supported and encouraged the organic growth of the API! Best of luck, and if there’s anything I can do, get in touch.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter to catch all the latest Open Exchange Rates updates.


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