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 desire that people felt across the web, 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 this consumer desire, Yahoo! pushed the web forward in a way no one had done before, making a task that was previously only accessible to a select few, widely available. This is 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 Pipes bite the dust, we have to be honest… Pipes was becoming out of date.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 options for a Yahoo! Pipes alternative that is 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 your ability to trigger these interactions by setting parameters that say, “If this happens on App A, then push this to App B” – pretty much operating how the name implies.
Zapier is basically the enterprise version of IFTTT, with a few additional features. You can easily streamline data from different websites, filter them, and choose to either publish it to social networks or 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. This can 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 enter a URL and Pipes would extract 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 an API automatically, you can always use the point and click app to create your own.
If combining RSS feeds is what 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. It allows turning static single HTML pages into an RSS news feed which can also be received through timely emails, Evernote entry, blog post, PDF, or JSON file. The only downside is the lack of a free version.
Huginn is an app you can grab from GitHub, which allows you to do everything Yahoo! Pipes could do, in addition to most of the capabilities of IFTTT. You can run it on your own server, or you deploy it on Heroku for free. Because it’s on Github, Huginn has gathered quite an active support community. So if the interface isn’t quite as easy to use as you may have hoped, there are plenty of people willing to help you out.