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Wolfram Alpha Dev APIs

The recently launched Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine is to provide to ‘APIs’, or more specifically, methods of querying the system and retrieving results from web applications. The first query method essentially allows all types of search just as can be used on the Wolfram Alpha site, the second data method allows for more specific retrieval of results. Results are returned in XML format with a variety of choices for the representation of each ‘subpod’ of information.

In my opinion the query method which is currently documented and seems to be available to use is not actually as practically useful for web apps as the data method which is not yet documented.

It would be a very useful resource to integrate into an application where data on a specific subject such as statistics are required. For example the cities search on my website which simply queries an SQL database could be replaced with a Wolfram Alpha search allowing access to a much broader resource of information.

As the results are provided in XML format they will be easy to process using XML parsers or in the case of a platform like OpenLaszlo the data can be bound straight into the application.

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