Wolfram Alpha launches Webservice API

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Wolfram Alpha launches Webservice API

Developers expected to build 'computational knowledge applications'.

Wolfram Alpha has opened up its code base to developers looking to build their own search tools for research purposes.

The company behind the computational knowledge engine claimed that it had made the application programming interface (API) available following widespread developer demand.

"I am pleased to announce the launch of the Wolfram Alpha Webservice API. The response to Wolfram Alpha, and the interest from the community in using the API to build innovative computational knowledge applications, has been staggering," said Schoeller Porter, technical development specialist in the Wolfram Partnerships Group, in a blog post.

"Since Wolfram Alpha launched in May, developers anticipating the release of the API have been sending us their ideas for how they want to use Wolfram Alpha in their applications. I stopped counting after the 2,000th idea crossed my desk."

A comment on the blog post asks whether this will pave the way for an iPhone app, but the Wolfram Alpha team has loftier ideas in mind for their platform, and predicts its use in commercial and business services.

"Clearly, a straightforward API that enables applications to access advanced computations based on trusted information, backed up by a supercomputer-class infrastructure, invites developers to explore ideas that were not otherwise possible," said Porter.

Potential applications for the tool include researching cancer through computational biology, improving web and meta-web search with computed knowledge, and "determining the optimal temperature for draft beer based on the current weather conditions".

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