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The Bing Developer Center team has released a pretty interesting pluginthat assist developers who use Visual Studio when building web or mobile applications using APIs.

In an effort to make developers lives easier, the Bing Developer Assistant now comes with integrated API code search that, “while coding, a relevant code snippet related to your current API will be automatically displayed in the IntelliSense window which is powered by Bing Code Search".

"Code snippets are short piece of code that you can easily learn and copy", and you can "copy the code, or click the source URL to view where the code snippet comes from, or click "Search More" to find more code samples related to the API". Which seems like it could easily be extended to other aspects of the API, using APIs.json url type, allowing for the discovery of videos, how-to, and other supporting API resources.

The approach by the Bing Developer Center team reflects what I’m seeing from Salesforce, Google, and other API IDE integrations. I’m interested in continuing to explore what role API definitions like Swagger, API Blueprint, and RAML will play when it comes to API discovery via popular IDEs like Visual Studio.

I also envision APIs.json also taking a lead role when it comes to discovering new APIs, or pulling from a curated list of existing APIs, while programming within any IDE. There will also be an opportunity for IT, and development support staff to discovery API resources using API search engines like APIs.io, and then create their own internal APIs.json collection of sanctioned API resources from across public, partner and internal sources.

IDE API integration isn't something that will just be for the big players like Microsoft, Salesforce, and Google. As more API providers publish machine readable API definitions, complete with APIs.json indexes of these resources--we’ll begin to see more niche IDE developers who are curating meaningful stacks of API resources from a variety of sources into a single, rich API development experience.

In my opinion, this is one of the benefits of where we are currently headed with API discovery. API providers can focus on making machine readable API definitions, and APIs.json collections. Then others can innovate in the deployment of tooling like APIs.io, and IDE plugins like the Bing Developer Assistant for Microsoft Visual Studio, that make sure API resources are disocvered and put to use in everyday development environments.

Photo Credit: Nikhil Dev




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