APIful We're obsessed with APIs


Aug

24

Essentials for Promoting Web APIs

When developing a web API it is essential that developers are able to go from 0 to productive in a very short order, think minutes. Fortunately, industry has become very good at this over the past couple of years and API providers are starting to consolidate on a consistent model of what information is made available and how it is presented.

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Jun

27

Are Web APIs as available and performant as you think?

We frequently preach how web APIs make it easier for applications to interact with external services. When you call them, you expect the server to deliver desired results, and to do so quickly. However, what if an API is unavailable? What if it changes? What if its performance is poor? What if the API is used from around the world, for example by a mobile application? To judge the severity of these questions, David Bermbach from TU Berlin and I recently performed a geo-distributed, long-term study to benchmark web API quality. And we find that web API quality varies significantly…

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Jun

16

How I Pick Web APIs

There are many technical and business factors to consider when selecting a Web API. I spend a great deal of time hunting for the best services and their associated APIs to provide a specific capability within the parameters and constraints of a given project and organization. This is not a particularly scientific list but is based on dozens of projects done over many years. Here are the features that I pay the most attention to when selecting an API:

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Jun

1

An Analysis of the JavaScript Package Ecosystem npm

In our research, we primarily focus on supporting the provision and consumption of Web APIs - API Harmony is the embodiment of these efforts. One question in this context is whether we can recommend popular, uprising packages or SDKs used in relation with Web APIs. Thus, we recently looked into data available on packages in the JavaScript ecosystem npm, which led to quite a bit of research on that topic and ultimately a paper that I just presented at the MSR conference. A pre-release version of the paper - containing all details and many analyses - is available here.

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May

6

API Harmony makes the rounds at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 Hackathon

At a recent Hackathon at Penn State University API Harmony proved useful to some hackers. One team wanted to build a recruiting app that identified a developer in LinkedIn and cross referenced his or her skills in GitHub and StackOverflow. I guess that’s what undergrads have in mind as they get ready for the job market. The team used API Harmony as a source of inspiration and to learn more about the APIs they were interested in.

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Apr

26

Where is the spec?

The number and diversity of web APIs available nowadays is, both, already impressive and increasing. Consequently, there are many proposals on how to formalize web API description in machine-understandable ways. Doing so promises means for automation and increased ease-of-use. Nonetheless, formal web API descriptions for public APIs remain a rarity. Why?

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Apr

14

API Management 'a la carte'

For the last five years, API management products have provided the mechanism to front-end APIs. They manage access to the
API and protect the backend from unauthorized access or malicious workloads. Furthermore, API management products allow
for the separation between the functional capability and the governance of that capability, which often is handled by
separate operation teams. This is very applicable when externalizing an enterprise system of record, where the function
exists and needs an outlet with the proper protection and governance to enable partners and customers to use the API.

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Jan

20

Exploring APIs II

The last post took a look at the current state of interactively exploring APIs.
This post is going to dig a little deeper into when that makes sense to use a
traditional API Explorer and what alternatives exist when it doesn’t make sense.

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Dec

14

Exploring APIs

Thanks to a society infatuated with quick wins and instant gratification, the IT
industry has radically transformed from that of a decade ago. All possible thanks
to more open and permissive business models and accessible networking infrastructure. The software industry has more or less done away with packaged DVDs and moved
entirely to electronic software distribution. This means that you can visit a
vendor’s site, decide if you like the product and within minutes have downloaded the
software and enjoy it on your device.

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Nov

11

The importance of APIs

A post speaking to the importance of APIs on a blog dedicated to APIs might come
across as a little biased. And it is. However, if you are not already bought
in to the idea that you must have an API to succeed today, this post will
hopefully help you over the tipping point.

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Nov

5

API Harmony expands

Last July our group launched API Harmony in IBM Bluemix as an experimental
service. This post
in the Bluemix Blog marked the milestone.

IBM API Harmony is a service that developers can use to determine a bag of APIs
that best suits their needs during their requirement gathering process.
Developers can also examine and learn how others have used APIs in their
applications. With API Harmony, you can search the ever-growing corpus of APIs,
curated by IBM, see new implementations sourced from GitHub, and get an idea of
API compatibility!

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Oct

26

The story of Ana

The story of Ana is a tale of a small business owner who succeeds because of
APIs. This story provides a real-life example of transforming a business to
digital. The story is captured in the following video, which, despite being
created in 2012, still accurately depicts how APIs fundamentally change every
aspect of business. Ana proves the many benefits of the digital era
including reduced time to market, increased ability to innovate and reduced
barriers to entry. This video continues to resonate with senior executives and
speaks to the benefits of embracing APIs in the enterprise.

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Oct

19

Researching web APIs

Web APIs brought drastic shifts to service computing’s practice and research. In many ways, they are the counter-concept to previous services computing paradigms, fostering simplicity and flexibility over agreed-upon capabilities. To help web APIs to reap their full potential research needs to follow novel paths.

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Oct

14

Documenting APIs

Why not get right down to business with one of the most riveting topics in
computer science: documentation. However, after reading this article you might
just be convinced that in the land of APIs, documentation is not only
incredibly important but can also be fun (ok, I might be pushing it)!

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Sep

30

What do you mean API?

Just like many concepts in Computer Science, APIs come in all shapes and sizes. The traditional program or library level APIs now have many new siblings thanks to web APIs. These two classes of APIs have much in common in terms of philosophy but differ greatly in implementation. APIs permit developers to rapidly introduce capabilities into applications without the need to develop the actual code that implements the capability. Thanks to the explosion of Software-as-a-Service offerings and the advent of microservices architectures it is difficult to find a desired capability that doesn’t have a public API.

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