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API Evangelist Blog

Swagger Visualization Layer Using D3.js

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I'm just going to keep putting my ideas out there, so that y'all will build what is needed for the API space. In support of my API design tool, and my interactive API documentation tool, I want a Swagger generated visualization layer for APIs, using D3.js. I’m envisioning a whole marketplace of visualizations I can choose from, driven from various popular APIs like Twitter, Crunchbase, OpenCorporates, and much more. There are number of proprietary data visualizations tools emerging out there (I’m watching you), but what I'm looking for is specifically an open solution using D3.js. I don't have a problem......read more.



Establishing Common Dictionaries That Industries Can Use In Their API Design

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I’m going through each of the 100+ business sectors I track on as part of my API Stack. As I make my way through each sector, and generate Swagger, and APIs.json files, the language of the resources used across a particular sector starts to come into focus. I’m talking about the words used for crafting URLs, parameters, and the underlying data models for common APIs. In a perfect world everyone would come together and use something like Schema.org, and work to extend, in an organized, collaborative way across different industries—I would call this the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) approach. Unfortunately......read more.



Top 5 Most Popular Themes On API Evangelist In 2014

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Throughout 2014, when I look at the top 10 posts in my Google Analytics dashboard each month, there has been a consistent theme of what stories are driving page views. The concept of a page is only one metric I look at when evaluating where the API space might be going, and while I don’t write stories specifically to page views, they do provide me with a general barometer of what my readers are interested in. I’m seeing give areas consistently generating the most views across the API Evangelist Network: Internal APIs - This slot is pretty much dominated by......read more.



Query Parameter Determining Which Fields Are Queried For API Call

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I was taking a look through the NewsCred API yesterday and there was a parameter I have seen before, but find interesting, and wanted to share with you. It was a field called query_fields, which you could include the fields you wished to have searched, using a keyword provided in the parameter “q”. You often see a parameter which determines which fields I get back with my response, but I like the concept of have a parameter to choose which fields I want searched in the first place. I think it is a simple, parameter based way to give developers......read more.



Now Our Development Environment Is Now Containerized And Scalable Like Our Production Environment

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The production environment for delivering web and mobile applications has radically evolved in the last couple years, becoming more distributed, scalable, virtualized, and containerized. APIs, and new development frameworks are providing a smorgasbord of resources for developers to put to work, and devops is putting more power and control, throughout the development life cycle, directly into a developers hands. It is time that a developers environment evolves to keep pace with the environment developers are building applications for. I’ve been talking about containerization in the API space for a while now, something that is still a very manual process, so I......read more.



Guest Post: Let Our Sponsors Blow A Little Smoke Up Your Ass

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This is a guest post from one of our sponsors. We didn’t vet them as a sponsor, or the content they were going to write. We just cashed their check on the way to the strip club this evening, and gave the a Wordpress login, so they could post their post. We aren’t in the business of understanding where the actual technology space is headed, we are in the business of telling you stories of where we want the technology space go, in the service our own selfish desires. You see we view technology blogs as a PR urinal for......read more.



API Discovery Continues Its Move Into The IDE With Eclipse Che

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Another layer to the release of Codenvy this week, was the announcement of the Eclipse project Che, an open source "project to create a platform for SAAS developer environment that contains all of the tools, infrastructure, and processes necessary for a developer to edit, build, test, and debug an application”. Che represents the next generation IDE that runs in the cloud, which coincides with other signs I've seen around API discovery moving into the IDE with signals from API pioneers like SalesForce and Google, or from Microsoft in Visual Studio. I’m still learning about Che, but I’m beginning to see two......read more.



Evolving Beyond Just Resources Towards A More Experience Based API Design

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I really love the thought process around API design, and I am always looking for ways to push forward my craft. Telling stories is one way I do this, forcing me to make what I’m doing understandable to a wider audience, which is also the exact thing I’m trying to do with my API designs—mind blown! An example of this in action is with my link API, which I use in multiple places across my API monitoring system. The Link API has a pretty basic design, that reflect the resource, and its underlying database structure: /link/ (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE)......read more.



Another View of The API vs. Data Download Model

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I’ve talked a lot about the benefits of APIs over download of data stores in the government space, and I’m always on the lookout for other interesting examples of making data available via an API, as well as a full data download. I’m doing a lot of research right now on the financial API space, and stumbled across Quandl, a data provider who has free access financial data APIs, while also selling access to premium databases. Quandl has aggregated 7 financial and economic databases into one database solution that you can pay to download, or you can freely access via......read more.



If You Have A Publicly Available Mobile App You Have a Public API

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I’ve had several browser tabs open around the recent Snapchat security breach, hoping to craft an API-centric story around the whole affair. I think SmartBear covers the security lesson around the Snapchat breach well, my motivation in writing a story would be more about incentivizing popular mobile platforms like Snapchat to establish a robust approach to APIs, and provide a platform for everyone discuss the tech, business, and politics of application integration, rather than keeping it all in the dark. Your Application Programming Interface Surface Is Publicly Available As I play with tools like Charles, Runscope, API tools, and other......read more.



Reducing The API Stack Down From 830 to 690

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I just finished going through my API Stack, taking a fresh look at each API provider, and recording some information about each of the providers in my API monitoring system. When I started looking through my stack a couple days ago there was 830 companies listed, and after this pass through I carved the stack down to 690--why? APIs Go Away It is a fact of life, APIs go away. I'm always amazed at how quickly an API will disappear or just fall into disrepair. I don’t have time to assess what exactly has happened to all APIs, but if......read more.



Gathering My Thoughts Around Common Patterns For Base URLs Across Nearly 700 APIs

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I just finished going through my API Stack, taking a fresh look at each API provider, and looking for one simple thing—the base URL for each of their APIs. Throughout the process I looked at almost 700 API developer areas, trying to find the base URL they are using to serve up some of the most valuable API resources publicly available on the web. Accepting The Madness When you look at 700 APIs, you have to wade through a lot of madness. When I'm looking at APIs, I’m looking for more than just a perfectly designed API from a technical......read more.



I Am Using Kimono Labs To Fill In Gap For Companies Who Do Not Have AN RSS Feed For Their Blog

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I am tracking on around 2500 companies who are doing interesting things in the API space. Out of these companies about 1000 of them have blogs, which for me is a pretty important signal. About 1/4 of these companies with blogs, do not have an RSS feed, which in 2014 seems a little odd to me, but maybe I'm an old timer. I believe that a blog is one of the most important signals, any API provider come put out, right alongside Twitter and Github. Historically I depend on the Twitter account for these RSS-less blogs, but now I'm taking......read more.



Someone Please Build My Open, Interactive, Portable, And Visual API Documentation Toolkit

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I wrote about visual API documentation a few months back, after I looked at the approach from OpenFDA, and now after taking a look at the value Slate brings to API providers like Dwolla, these feelings are re-surfacing in my mind. Since I have limited time, I’m getting pretty good at putting my ideas out there, allowing anyone to step up and execute on opportunities I’m seeing across the API space—I just do not need the extra work. I love me some Swagger UI, as you can tell from the fact that all of my APIs use Swagger as the......read more.



Dwolla Using Slate For An Evolved API Documentation Experience

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I'm liking the new Dwolla's new API docs that they just launched. They are using an open source API documentation framework called Slate, developed by Tripit, for their own API documentation.  I enjoy seeing the different directions that providers take with their API docs. Slate's approach is a different path than we've been seeing with interactive docs using frameworks like Swagger, but provides a very intuitive, elegant documentation experience which includes code samples tailored to each API endpoint. Here are the features Slate lists on the Github repository for the project: Clean, Intuitive Design - The description of your API is on......read more.