Posted on 09-06-2012
I’m exploring the future of web APIs, and have come to what I feel is what of the most fascinating areas of evolution in the usage of web APIs. An approach that is very developer centric, which is something you don't always see in the current API service landscape.
There are two companies working hard on developing new libraries for popular programming languages that abstract away much of the authentication and other complexities developers face when using APIs.
Temboo and Webshell are two pioneers that are taking API development to a new level. Temboo is building libraries in Java, PHP, Python, or Ruby and Webshell is building libraries in JS, PHP, Ruby as well as providing a command line interface for programming against APIs.
This isn’t just programming directly against a single API. These are libraries that allow you to make calls against APIs using sometimes as little as 2 or 3 lines of code, opening new possibilities of efficiently programming against not just one API, but fluently across multiple APIs.
In addition to simplifying calls made against APIs, both platforms work to abstract away the complexities of API authentication, one of the biggest pain points for developers.
Platforms like Temboo and Webshell absorb the complexity, inconsistencies and difficult aspects of programming using APIs, providing libraries that developers can use in their native programming languages--making developers lives easier.
It’s tough to classify what Temboo and Webshell are doing. I don’t have a term or phrase to describe them--one that does them justice. Everything I say sounds like everything you are already doing with individual APIs. But this is more. Temboo and Webshell are defining new ways of speaking using APIs, allowing us to more efficiently speak using the vast amount of valuable resources being exposed via web APIs today.
Temboo and Webshell both have their own approach to solving this problem, which I will dive into separately, in future posts. Right now I just want to identify what they are doing to move forward the API landscape.
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