The Two Platforms That Will Bring APIs To The Masses02 Sep 2015
I'm always on the hunt for API driven solutions that will help the average business user be more exposed to the power of APIs. It is common for us technologists to kick up dust, and get all excited about what we build, when in reality, it doesn't mean anything to the average person in the real world--after 25 years in business, I still do this regularly.
This is why, having a constant reminder to look for solutions that bridge the technical world of APIs, to the average business users world, helps me break free from my own biased approach. When I lean back in my chair, and think about what solutions are currently available in the space, that have this potential, these are the two companies.
Access web services from spreadsheets. Blockspring is the world's library of functions, accessible from everywhere you do work. Your tables automatically stay up-to-date. Save hours of manual, error-prone exports and copy/paste. Get fresh data from any source whenever your spreadsheet recalculates. Build and share powerful spreadsheet tools.
Form.io is a platform that enables developers to rapidly build modern web and mobile applications. Our intuitive drag & drop interface allows you to create both the forms and the RESTful API's all in one easy step!
Both of these platform speak API, but more importantly they speak spreadsheet and forms, two of the most common dialects spoken by the average business user today. I'm closely working with both groups to better understand how they can communicate what they do to the business world, and repeatedly the examples in play are not focused on API, they are focused on solutions that make sense to the end user, but just happen to be API driven.
While much of the API design, deployment, management, and integration services and tooling that has evolved over the last five years will play a significant role in providing the API base we will need for the API economy, services like Blockspring and Form.io will bridge the critical last mile to the average user. These two companies are making APIs accessible via the most ubiquitous client out there, the spreadsheet, and helping average users understand what an API is, and what they do, through another ubiquitous interface, that almost everyone gets--the form.
I just wanted to take a moment to highlight the importance of these types of services and tools, among the wealth of other companies I am highlighting.