NameAPI is a web API
to handle people's names
in your software.

News

28.04.2016

Version 5 release candidate is online

This is the time to test your installations.


14.03.2016

Faster server failure detection

When one server is on strike, it is removed from the pool instantly.


17.02.2016

Faster trash email domain detection

New domains are caught as soon as they appear.


09.02.2016

Version 5 preview is online

Test the new REST API, give early feedback.


10.11.2015

Announcing Version 5

The next major version will bring a brand new REST API.


NameAPI News

28.04.2016

Version 5 release candidate is online

The server address is rc50-api.nameapi.org

This is the time to test your installations.

You can keep your existing client library (that uses SOAP/WSDL under the hood) and just connect to the new server. It should work the same, the SOAP APIs are still there.

Or else you can update your dependency, and connect to the new server. You may have to adjust some of your userland code for new return objects (name parser).


14.03.2016

Faster server failure detection

The NameAPI user accesses a single server address such as api.nameapi.org. Within that network there is high redundancy to avoid single points of failure. 

When a request comes in and is not answered correctly by the endpoint web service (either timeout or failure), the router automatically sends the same request to another endpoint in the pool. This is good - the end user does not see the failure at all. What is unfortunate is that the end user has to wait longer for the result. In real-time applications this matters.

To prevent time loss there is automated external monitoring of the service endpoints. When a server is unresponsive or otherwise faulty, that endpoint is automatically removed from the pool until it acts normal again.

The external monitoring takes place every few minutes only. To shorten the time until a faulty node is detected and removed from the pool to almost zero, the router (web service proxy) now keeps track of the most recent success rate of the endpoints.


17.02.2016

Faster trash email domain detection

Although there are thousands of disposable email address domains, the majority of addresses come from a handful of well known providers: those that people remember by heart, have bookmarked, or that show up on Google searches.

Because these providers are well known and blocked by lots of sites, the providers change their domain names used in trash email addresses from time to time. Some have large pools of domains.

NameAPI uses technology to detect and verify new domain names quickly:

  • automatic content checking on the top sites (more sites added in version 5)
  • known trash-only SMTP server addresses (this part is new in version 5)
  • high risk semantic meaning of domain names

09.02.2016

Version 5 preview is online

This is an early preview of the new major release with the brand new REST API. The client libraries as being updated in the process.

Best demonstrated by a running clickable demo: http://preview-api.nameapi.org/rest/v5.0/system/ping?apiKey=test

As with all preview installations, this host name is not meant to stay. Don't use the address in your deployments!

For documentation purposes we allow the apiKey=test for a few requests per IP range and time period.


10.11.2015

Announcing Version 5

The next major version of NameAPI, version 5, is in active development. 

Its main new feature is a brand new REST interface. For those of you accessing NameAPI through one of the client libraries (Java and PHP), this is just a behind-the-scenes change, since the libraries hide the transport layer from your code and eyes. At least as long as all works correctly.

For the data format JSON was the obvious choice. 

Because of the complexity of the data transfer objects used by NameAPI, most services are still accessed using a HTTP POST method. 

The SOAP/WSDL remains active, but all development goes into the REST API.


19.06.2015

Version 4.2 Deployed

As announced two weeks ago, the version 4.2 has been installed on the public servers.

For detail see the announcement.


05.06.2015

Version 4.2 Release Candidate Online for Testing

The new version is available for testing now. 

Release plan

Unless issues are discovered that require postponing, this version will replace the current server installations in 2 weeks on the 19 June 2015.

How to access

Address: rc-api.nameapi.org

API versions: 4.0, 4.1

To connect, use the domain name rc-api.nameapi.org instead of the usual api.nameapi.org. No changes were introduced to the API. Keep using the existing service api as before (4.0 or 4.1). 

How to report issues

See the support page.

What happens if you do nothing

After the update in 2 weeks, your existing integration of NameAPI will continue to query the same API, but on the new server installation. Everything should continue running as before. If you want to be absolutely sure, test the rc-api before the change.

API changes

None. Therefore there is no new API version introduced.

Improved functionality

These are behind-the-scenes changes and don't affect the API itself.

Massively increased name database size

The service uses the latest version of the name database with 

  • tens of thousands of newly added names
  • especially in Latin and Cyrillic, also Greek
  • Slavic (Polish, Bosnian, Russian, Czech, Croatian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian)
  • French (Breton, Creole, Occitan, Provencal, Languedoc, Canadian French and Swiss French)
  • Baltic (Estonian, Lithuanian, Latvian)

Improved name parsing

A substantial amount of work has been put into improving name parsing: culture-specific pattern detections and adjustments, general likeliness and confidence refinements, performance optimizations.


27.03.2015

White paper: Name Genderizing

Want to get on the right foot when addressing someone, but you don't know if the person is a she or he?

Then Name Genderizer is the software for you. Find out how the internals work: name-gender-detector-en.pdf


20.02.2015

Version 4.1 Deployed

As announced two weeks ago, the version 4.1 has been installed on the public servers.

For detail see the announcement.


06.02.2015

Version 4.1 Release Candidate Online for Testing

The new version is available for testing now. 

Release plan

Unless issues are discovered that require postponing, this version will replace the current server installations in 2 weeks on the 20 February 2015.

How to access

Address: rc-api.nameapi.org

API versions: 4.0, 4.1

To connect, use the domain name rc-api.nameapi.org instead of the usual api.nameapi.org. It runs both the existing and unchanged 4.0 API as well as the new 4.1 API. 

The client libraries for Java and PHP have been updated, see their respective GitHub pages. Or use the updated SOAP/WSDL API directly.

How to report issues

See the support page.

What happens if you do nothing

After the update in 2 weeks, your existing integration of NameAPI will continue to query the version 4.0 API, but on the new server installation. Everything should continue running as before. If you want to be absolutely sure, test the rc-api before the change.

API changes

The changes in version 4.1 are according to our service versioning guidelines. There are no breaking changes, therefore it should be safe and users are advised to switch to this new version.

New service emailnameparser2

A new service has been introduced: emailnameparser2. 

It is almost identical to the (now deprecated) emailnameparser. The only difference is the email local-part classification: merged DEPARTMENT and TECHNICAL into FUNCTIONAL.

The email name parser tells what kind of address it is, for example PERSON_NAME if a name was found. There is a range of non-personal addresses; they used to be classified as DEPARTMENT (for example accounting@) and TECHNICAL (for example abuse@). The differentiation of the two categories wasn't always simple. Is webmaster@ a department or technical? The RFC 2142 that defines some 

local parts contains both kinds.

Therefore we have simplified this classification and merged the 2 kinds into FUNCTIONAL.

Improved functionality

These are behind-the-scenes changes and don't affect the API itself.

Massively increased name database size

The service uses the latest version of the name database with 

  • thousands of newly added given names
  • hundreds of thousands of newly added family names
  • in Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic, Kanji and more
  • thousands of attributes and relations added and improved

from various cultures around the world. 

More email address classification

More disposable Email Addresses are detected. 

Some providers of disposable email addresses change the domain names frequently.

This way the trash email addresses don't raise alerts when comparing against static lists. And NameAPI was no different... until recently. Now there are mechanisms in place to collect and verify newly appearing domain names within hours.

If we are still missing one, let us know.

More functional email address local parts classified

Like info@ and sales@ in ~20 more languages.

More domains classified

More internationally important domains have been classified into the categories organization, isp etc.