It’s the end of an era. A recent TechCrunch article announced that sadly we’ll have to say goodbye to Yahoo! Pipes. Pipes, a visual interface that lets you aggregate and filter web data without requiring programming skills, is being sunset by Yahoo! next month. Which of course means all of you who relied on Pipes for your data mashing needs, will have to find a yahoo pipes alternative.
Pipes captured a concept and a desire that people all around the web felt even back in 2007; the need to be able to use the information on the web to make new things, find patterns and publish projects. With it, Yahoo! pushed the web forward in a way no one had done before and made a task that was previously only accessible to a select few, widely available. A mission we still believe in today.
As sad as we are to see a revolutionary technology like Yahoo Pipes bite the dust, we have to be honest that Pipes was getting pretty out of date. Today’s web data technologies allow you to do so much more than combine RSS feeds. Pipes inspired a whole industry of web data technologies that have taken what Yahoo! started and elevated it to the next level.
So, without further ado, here are 5 Yahoo! Pipes alternatives, that are actually better than Pipes.
IF This Then That (IFTTT) is often cited as a direct Pipes descendent. It is similar to Pipes in that you can mash together different structured data feeds from other applications using point and click. But where IFTTT excels is that you can trigger these interactions by setting parameters that say “If this happens on App A, then push this to that App B” – pretty much what it says on the tin.
Zapier is basically the enterprise version of IFTTT, with a few added features. You can easily streamline data from different websites, filter them and choose to publish it to social networks or choose to save them on your cloud storage. Like Pipes, Zapier has a searchable database of “zaps” that other users have created to popular apps. Actually creating an entirely new zap (to a new app) requires being able to access an app’s webhook, which does require some developer skills. But, Zapier already has integrations with more than 400 apps so chances are you can probably find what you’re looking for.
Yahoo! Pipes had a great feature which let you put in a URL and Pipes would pull out all the structured data feeds it could find on that URL – meaning you didn’t have to. Import.io takes that concept a step further, by letting you enter a URL and create a structured data feed (API) even if there wasn’t one there to begin with. If it can’t create one automatically, you can always use the point and click app to create your own.
If combining RSS feeds is that got you excited about Pipes, then FeedsAPI is probably your next go to. The app lets you easily extract Full-text RSS feeds from different websites, customize those feeds and easily syndicate or distribute them to your preferred channels. The tool is pretty impressive given that it allows turning static single HTML pages into RSS news feed and you can also choose to receive it through timely Emails, Evernote entry, Blog post, PDF or JSON file. The only downside is there lack of free version.
Huginn is an app you can grab from GitHub, which allows you to do everything Yahoo Pipes could do as well as most things IFTTT can do too. You can run it on your own server, or you deploy it on Heroku for free. Because it’s on Github, it has gathered quite an active support community. So if the you don’t find the interface quite as easy to use as you’d hoped there are plenty of people willing to help you out.