APIs for the Internet of Things

Max Katz

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Building jQuery Mobile Apps with FullContact API

Getting FullContact API Key

I attended GlueCon Hackathon in May and met Robbie Jack, Developer Evengalist from FullContact. FullContact was one of the hackathon sponsors. Once the vendor presentations were done and attendees presented their app ideas, we started chatting and Robbie told me about FullContact API. On a very high level, you give FullContact an email address (or another piece of information) and it gives you back a lot of rich social information about this user such as name, gender, location, social media profiles, photos and much much more. As we were chatting, I said, let me build an app in Tiggzi app builder that uses FullContact API. Well, Robbie was quite impressed. I built this app in front of him in about 20 minutes.

Getting FullContact API Key
As with most API’s, the first step is to sign up, register an app and get an API key. FullContact is no different, the sign up process is very simple. I signed up for the Free plan and had my API key in a few minutes.



FullContact plans



Click to sign up.

Next you create an app (mine is called Tiggzi) and you will get an API key:



FullContact app and API key



That’s it and pretty simple.

The API that we are going to use is right here and looks like this:



For input, we are going to provide person’s email address.

Now let’s go to Tiggzi build the app that uses FullContact API.

Building a mobile app in Tiggzi

I first built the UI with jQuery Mobile components, then defined a FullContact REST service, and then mapped the service to UI. If you never tried Tiggzi before, sign up for the Free plan.

Building the UI with jQuery Mobile

I started with building the UI with jQuery Mobile components:



UI in Tiggzi app builder



  • There is an input field at the top to enter person’s email
  • Get It button will invoke a service that calls FullContact API
  • The rest is for displaying the result we get from FullContact
    • Name and person’s location are displayed
    • Photos collapsible block displays photos and name of the social network from which the photo was taken
    • Social Profiles collapsible block displays names and links to social media sites

This is how it looks when running the app. Bart Lorang is FullContact’s CEO.



Resulting app



Gelato/Orange mobile theme is used.

Defining FullContact REST API service

Next I defined a service that connects to FullContact API. The service that I used is this:



I already got the API key and email will entered from the page. This shows defining the service URL:



Defining REST service



Next I defined request parameters:



Defining request parameters



Next I had to define service’s JSON response structure. Tiggzi app builder comes with a very nice features that allows creating the JSON structure automatically. When we test the service to make sure it returns valid JSON, there is an option to define the service’s response structure by clicking Populate Response Structure button:



Automatically created JSON response structure



Then switching to Response Paramaters panel, you can see the generated JSON response structure:

This feature makes it very easy to try any REST API very quickly.

Mapping UI to service

Once the service is defined, it’s time to add it to the page and the map it.

Service added to the page:



Service added to the page




Mapping UI to service:



Mapping UI to service




Then mapping service to UI for displaying the result:



Mapping service to UI



Once I was done with the mappings, the very last thing to do was to invoke the service on button click:



Invoking the service on button click



Once you are done with the app, you can export it as mobile web, Android, iOS, or Windows Phone:



Exporting the app



Here is again how the resulting app looks when running in browser:



Resulting app



It’s incredibly simple to build this app, you can build it under 30 minutes. Sign up for FullContact, Tiggzi app builder and have fun!

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More Stories By Max Katz

Max Katz heads Developer Relations for Appery.io, a cloud-based mobile app platform. He loves trying out new and cool REST APIs in mobile apps. Max is the author of two books “Practical RichFaces” (Apress 2008, 2011), DZone MVB (Most Valuable Blogger), and is a frequent speaker at developer conferences. You can find out what Max is up to on his blog: http://maxkatz.org and Twitter: @maxkatz.