Review of Pearson Developer tools

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Today I was introduced to the idea that Pearson are going to be releasing some of their content via an API.

Just to get this point out of the way, this content isn’t free or open as is put beautifully by John in his article.

API’s for the less technical among us are things that allow web sites to access content from other websites, an example of an API usage is the UK snow day maps, that uses the Google Maps API to provide the ability to overlay the snow onto the map.

None the less Pearson have bought up several companies that have made fantastic content so they have the ability to really provide some great material via their API. With that in mind I figured I’d give their API a blast!

After first login you are taken to your “My API trends page” — Ideally it would take you to a “what APIs are available and how to use them”. You have to click “APIs” to get to this page and that’s really where the dissapointment begins. Only 3 APIs are currently listed.

The APIs available are:
London travel guide…
FT Press (< 20% of the FT Press articles are available)
The Longman Dictionary…

A minor bug is the bullet points under the API options tell me I haven’t logged in yet when I have.

So do I need any of the above APIs or can I not get more mature ones elsewhere?

Google Maps and Open Street maps have way more reviews and travel info than the London travel guide and the reviews are far less likely to be biased.
There are thousands of finance and business blogs I can refer to that already have APIs and/or I can do a simple Google search API request with the “site:” flag set. provides a fantastic free API, has done for years so Pearson will gain nothing trying to compete with that.

So why should you use Pearsons developer API? You shouldn’t, not yet, but you should get familiar with their methods because in time they will be adding resources you will actually want to use that no one else can provide. I applaud Pearson for this step in the right direction and I beg them to release some educational resources that aren’t available elsewhere in a better format.

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