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Try out GraphQL APIs - Powered by API Harmony

GraphQL is a quickly spreading style of building web APIs. GraphQL APIs allow clients to query for and receive exactly the data they need for their application. At IBM Research, we are looking into ways to easily expose existing, REST-like APIs via GraphQL. To get a glimpse of our work, in API Harmony, you can now interact with 3 selected APIs via GraphQL.

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Take a Guided Tour through API Harmony!

We have introduced a tour to API Harmony! We have found that people don’t necessarily use all of the extensive functionality that we’ve developed over the last couple of years. We want to make it easier to do that so that you can all benefit from what we have built. We’ve also hooked the tour up to Google Analytics so that we can tweak it based on the data that we see. The more we know about how people use API Harmony, the more we can improve it. I’ll take you through the thought process behind the tour, which we implemented using the open source library Shepherd.

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Opportunities in Software Engineering Research for Web API Consumption

About two years ago, I wrote about researching web APIs in this blog. I outlined how REST (-like) APIs outlived more complex service paradigms around SOAP and WS-*, and that research should embrace the flexibility and simplicity of web APIs. Since then, we have made some grounds in automatically inferring web API specifications, measuring API quality, or checking web API requests against specifications. These efforts have further highlighted concrete challenges that web API consumption poses from a software engineering perspective.

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Summarizing requests

A few programmers will dispute the usefulness in looking at code examples when learning about a Web API (such as the Instagram API), or even reminding themselves on the usage of an API. GitHub has a ton of usage examples, but they are dispersed in many different files in many different repositories. For example, there are over 1300 code usages in JavaScript code using JQuery to call the Instagram API alone on GitHub. 1300 are too many for a human to make sense of! What if there is a way to get a summary of these usages? Here in API Harmony we have a alpha feature that does just that.

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