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API Evangelist Blog

Thank You For Your API Evangelist Blog(s)

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I get quite a few nice comments about my blog(s) behind the scenes. Many are from the enterprise or insttutions, where I know I could never get away with publishing publicly. As the APi space has heated up in 2014, more people are trying to make sense of this API mayhem, and ultimately they come across my blog, and find  valuable information that really helps them in their journey. I have been considering adding a page, listing some of the kind words I get from folks--maybe I will someday, but today I received a nice email, one I couldn't help......read more.



Video From The Hypermedia Panel At API-Craft In Detroit Last Month

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I never properly wrapped up my experience at API-Craft last month, where I moderated a pretty important panel discussion on hypermedia with Mike Amundsen (@mamund), Mike Kelly (@mikekelly85) Steve Klabnik (@steveklabnik), Kevin Swiber (@kevinswiber), Jørn Wildt (@JornWildt), and Markus Lanthaler (@MarkusLanthaler).  The discussion was pretty amazing, I will let you watch for yourself. The action actually starts right at about 30:00 minute mark, so there is a lot of dead space until then.  Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream   Careful it is 3 hours of some pretty geeky talk, you might experience some hypermedia side effects. Seriously though, this......read more.



Please Open Source Your API Before Shutting It Down

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I am making another pass through 821 companies doing interesting things with APIs, and flagging a handful of them as inactive. I will then attempt to contact each of the companies to see if anyone is home. All signs point to a handful of them being dormant projects, with silent blogs, twitter accounts, and other common streams you normally see flowing from API platforms. If any of them are indeed shutting down, I’m going to urge them to consider open sourcing as much of their API platform as they can, from server side, and client side code to API definitions.......read more.



Explaining My Work Around APIs In Higher Education To Institutions

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I’m needing to quantify the work i do around APIs in higher education for a university in the U.K., so I figured I’d craft into a story that I can share with my readers, and potentially other schools who would ask what it is that I do. I am interested in APIs in higher education because I feel strongly that our institutions are a fertile environment for ensuring that the next generation of our society possess the digital literacy they will need to navigate and find success in our increasingly digital world. When I mention that higher education institutions should......read more.



You Can Have An API Just By Choosing Products And Services That Have APIs

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When it comes to APIs, the quickest way to get an API for your company, organization or government agency is to choose to only use online services that have APIs. Twitter, Facebook, Google, Dropbox, Github, Instagram, Flickr, and many other popular services you already use, all have APIs. As I’m expanding on my tracking of API deployment tools, to include deploying APIs via Google Spreadsheets, and to scraping data from websites, I can’t help but step back and consider truly what is the easiest way to deploy an API, which really is about choosing to use online services that already......read more.



Using Excel As An API Datasource And An API Client For The Masses

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I’ve been tracking on the usage of spreadsheets in conjunction with APIs for several years now. Spreadsheets are everywhere, they are the number one data management tool in the world, and whether API developers like or not, spreadsheets will continue to collide with the API space, as both API providers, and consumers try to get things done using APIs. APIs are all about getting access to the resources you need, and spreadsheets are being used by both API providers and consumers to accomplish these goals. It makes complete sense to me that business users would be looking for solutions via......read more.



Brewing Up Something Awesome With The Jive Software API

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Enterprise social API Jive Software wins for the best developer landing page. Normally I tell folks, like I did with Trade.gov last week, that your landing page should have a short, precise description of what you API does—this is some seriously valuable real estate, and you have one chance to make an impression. I would put Jive Software into the category of more making a first impression, than providing a short description of what the API does: I wouldn’t recommend this approach for every API provider, but if you can do it right, and make a solid first impression—run with......read more.



Relationship Between APIs And Containers

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Containers are a fast growing trend when it comes to delivering compute resources online. Reflecting the world of API design, I feel containers are about deploying exactly the cloud resources you will need to complete a specific compute objective, then putting everything into a single virtualized container definition, that can be forked, clone, scaled, and evolved indpendently of any other resources. Each individual container posesses everything it will need from the operating system, file system, database, necessary libraries, and APIs to accomplish its given objective. Virtual containers will make API driven resources even more agile, nimble and scalable--not just for......read more.



Real-time and Visualizations Will Be Key in Financial API Deployments

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I have been doing a lot of research into the world of financial APIs, specifically looking at some of the larger companies providing APIs that deliver market news, data, corporate profiles, and other data that make markets go round. As I consider some of the common building blocks that are common across many financial API--real-time data frameworks, and visualization tools are two of the top items that I think will be part of every financial API stack in the future. Almost every API I looked at had some sort of real-time stream, promising data faster, as well as a way......read more.



Notification Focused Startups Within Leading API Ecosystems

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I was keeping an eye out for interesting API stories on ProductHunt the other day and came across an cool notification startup that lives in the Stripe API ecosystem, called Hooked. Hooked allows users to set up notifications for any events related to a Stripe account. Hooked uses the Stripe API to disocver events, and then employs webhooks to send notifications. As I'm writing this story, I realize this is very similar to my previous story today about real-time and visualization layers for APIs, and that notifications could easily be provided as a white label solution for API providers, giving......read more.



APIs That Do One Thing And Do It Well Like ZipLocate

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My friend Mark Silverberg (@skram), pointed out a very cool API the other day, that geolocates zip codes, and appropriately named ZipLocate. What I really like about ZipLocate is that they do one thing, and they do it well. Don’t get me wrong I love me some AWS and Twilio, who have industrial grade APIs, but I also have a love for simple, lightweight APIs that focus on one thing. Another interesting thing about ZipLocate is that it is always free, and never rate limited. He says that it is relatively cheap to host the API, because bandwidth usage is light,......read more.



Which API Do I Need?

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I was looking around the Google Developer area as part of some regular work, and I noticed an interesting page Google has under their mapping session, that help users decide which API they need based upon their goals. As the page says: "The API picker lists the most common things you may want to do on a map or with location-based data, and suggests the API that most suits your needs. For details about each API, follow the links to the related documentation."   I don't think that the table layout Google uses is a particularly good one, resulting in a......read more.



The Expanding API Conference Landscape

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As I’m riding the build up for APIStrat in Chicago, and preparing for I Love APIs in San Francisco, and the API 360 Summit in DC, I can’t help but think about how busy the API event scene is getting—in 2014 there are 14 separate conferences focused on the world of APIs. In the beginning there was just Gluecon, Defrag, and the Business of APIs, then 3Scale and API Evangelist got together and started planning for @APIStrat, then immediately API Days happened, Nordic APIs came on the scene, API-Crafta  grew beyond just Meetup, and before you know we have 14......read more.



Ocotoparts Open Source Google Spreadsheet

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Electronic search engine APIs Octopart developed a pretty slick Microsoft Excel plugin for their API a while back, and have now taken it to the next level, with a Google Spreadsheet connector for their API. You can find a simple video on on their site, and the code on Github. Using the open source Google Spreadsheet API connector, you can connect to the latest electronic parts pricing and availability in your Google Docs, kept up-to-date using the Octopart API—providing a pretty interesting way to maintain a bill of materials (BOM), across multiple providers. Octopart's approach to using both Microsoft Excel,......read more.



Andrew Nacin Of WordPress @APIStrat Chicago

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I am super stoked to announce that we have Andrew Nacin (@nacin), the lead developer from WordPress keynoting API Strategy & Practice in Chicago next month. We are looking to continue the conversation around an official WordPress API, scheduled for inclusion in the WordPress 4.1 release. While an API for WordPress may not seem like anything that big, when you think about it being baked into WordPress by default, it means that over 60 million websites will potentially get an API, and 22% of the top 10 million websites run WordPress—a pretty significant shift. WordPress is still taking feedback on......read more.



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