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API Evangelist Blog

Do You Know That Hypermedia Is A Better Solution For Discovery Than APIs.json?

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I spend a lot of time field questions from people about APIs.json. This is something I expect to be doing for the next 10 years, and happy to field questions about exactly what it is all about, and help educate folks about exactly where APIs.json it fits in to the overall API landscape. A regular comment I get from technologists, and API savvy folks is “you know that hypermedia is a better solution for discovery than APIs.json?” To which I reply “yes I know, but hypermedia is a solution for the API world we want, and APIs.json is a solution......read more.



API Service Idea: API Via Excel From Within Corporate Email

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Most organization I’ve worked with, the Excel spreadsheet is the central way of storing, managing and sharing data, with email being the number one way to share these data filled documents. When I was doing data inventory at the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), as part of the White House open data initiative, almost every piece of high value data I found was housed in a spreadsheet, and the data stewards who were in charge of this data, would email it to me when I asked for it. To help data stewards go from spreadsheet to API, I wrote an......read more.



With Number Of APIs Continuing To Grow Account Automation Will Be Key

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I personally depend on over 40 APIs, all of which I have to manage my developer account, apps, and API key access for. This can be a lot of work, and as I continue to add APIs to my stack, this work is only going to grow. Putting on my API broker hat, and thinking about a future, where you will need to gather and organize potentially hundreds of APIs, across multiple companies, things are going to start breaking down if we don't do something to bridge these services. Standard API Developer Accounts First, API onboarding will have to always......read more.



History Of APIs: NOAA APIs Have Been RESTful For Over 20 Years

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This post is a comment that was left on my Low Hanging Fruit For API Discovery In The Federal Government post, showcasing some of the government API work I am doing. I get a lot of people who email me telling me that what I'm saying is nothing new, they've been doing APIs since 1492! ;-) Many of them are pretty hostile to the new API movement, but I love this comment from Bob Simons from NOAA, which is the exact opposite of many of the comments I receive. ...a group in the oceanography community was one of the pioneers of......read more.



Understanding More About The Web Communications Platform Respoke

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In the coming months I’m doing some deep profiling of the API space, so you are going to see me reviewing the approach of more API providers in the space. My goal with API reviews is not just to showcase the company or service involved, but review the overall approach of the provider. You can read more about my review process on API Evangelist, to better understand my objectives. The review in the queue today is from Respoke, a web communications platform. When you land on the Respoke website, you see all the signs of a modern platform, starting with......read more.



Swagger Definition Driven Sandbox And Simulation Data Templates For APIs

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This is something I’ve written about before in API Sandbox And Simulator From Carvoyant, and Salesforce Adds Sandbox Templates. However it is something I’d like to formalize, and get some new API service providers helping out in this area, or encourage the development of open source solutions. API service providers like Apiary and SmartBear are providing some very interesting solutions for mocking, and virtualizing APIs from API Blueprint, Swagger, and RAML. What I would like to see is the emergence of standalone solutions, providing data sets templates, or whatever you want to call it for populating mock APIs for testing,......read more.



Swagger API Definition Mapper

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I was having one of my long overdue check ins with API godfather John Musser today, and it reminded me of an idea I wanted to put out there, so while it was fresh in my mind, I wanted to share. I’m applying this to my Swagger driven world, but should be applied to all of the common API definition formats like API Blueprint, and RAML. I want a machine readable way to map APIs together across multiple Swagger API definitions, mapping a specific API path in one Swagger spec to another API path in an entirely different API definition.......read more.



Moving Beyond Just The PDF With A Single Page Report (SPR)

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I’m playing with more data visualizations lately, trying to establish a dynamic set of tools that I can use in my storytelling across the API Evangelist network. I've been focusing on using D3.js, Google Visualizations, and other JQuery plugins I've gathered over time, for now. During the Turkey Day weekend, I turned a subway map JQuery plugin I had found into an API, and introduced some new ways I can easily use these visualizations in my Hacker Storytelling format of publishing all of my research as Github repositories, using the master branch as a private file and data store, and the......read more.



Join Me For APIDays Berlin And APIStrat Europe This April 24th-25th 2015

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Here we go again. If you were in Chicago for APIStrat this September, then you know we are planning to have the next edition of APIStrat in Berlin, this spring. This round 3Scale and API Evangelist are partnering with APIDays to deliver two days of API talks at the Humboldt Carré, the Conference And Event Centre on Gendarmenmarkt, April 24th and 25th, 2015. I learned a lot attending APIDays Berlin earlier this year, and I am looking forward to continuing the conversation in 2015, APIStrat style. Our speaker lineup includes Mandy Waite, Developer Advocate at Google Cloud Platform; Chris Taggart, CEO of OpenCorporates; and Max......read more.



A Market For API Developer Credits

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This story gets file into the “way in future” bucket, because the infrastructure needed to make happen doesn't even exist. Beyond research from API grandfather John Musser (@johnmusser), and a few other blog posts or conference decks, there is no standardization of monetization strategies and pricing across APIs—making my idea impossible currently. I won’t let that stop me! What I'd like to see is a developer credit system, that I can earn buy or earn credits for any single API, but I possess a credit account across all the APIs I depend on--as an API developer I want to buy......read more.



Where Do Developers Get Idea That APIs Should Never Go Away?

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Almost every time an API shuts down, the tech blogosphere, and the social networks favored by the tech community erupts in comments resembling: That is what you get for depending on APIs, and APIs can go away at any time, you should know better by now, and you should not build a company on someone elses resources--just to name a few. Where did this line of thought begin? Why do developers feel so burned when a popular API like Netflix, ESPN, or Google Translate is deprecated? The main reason is lack of communication. Developers need a long runway that an......read more.



The Context.io API And Thinking Out Of The Box When Crafting APIs

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I recently finished looking through all of the email APIs available in the space, narrowing it down to just a handful of companies who I felt were worthy of showcasing as part of my email API research. Ultimately I felt seven were worthy of discussion, and after I laid them side by side all of them were very similar in the technology, business, and politics of their APIs—all except one, Context.io. Context.io isn’t about sending or receiving emails via APIs, or simply focusing on email standards like SMPT, POP, and IMAP. Context.io provides you with storage and indexing of your......read more.



My Turkey Holiday Project: A Subway Map API

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A long time ago I defined the API Evangelist network using a subway map format, plotting out the different routes you could take, and the locations all along this journey. As with anything I do, this is a work in progress, and I’m needing to regularly update this map. Currently it is in an image, and I use an image mapping tool to generate the links—something that is very time consuming. I think the subway map is an important metaphor for understanding some potentially complex ideas, and provide a single map, complete with legends, supporting content, and links to more......read more.



Adding New Section For My Sixteen Basic API Templates

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As I build out new APIs for use across my systems, as well as map out the landscape of valuable API resources available today, I'm working to define templates that other API providers can follow when designing and deploying their own API infrastructure. I've accumulated 16 basic templates, prompting me to add a new section to the website called templates. These projects represent the templates I've established through my existing research, and will add other templates as they come off the assembly line. These API designs aren't mean to be the perfect solution for production environements, but to be seeds......read more.



Is Your API More Than Just A Footnote On Your Website?

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Not all companies who have an API are Twilio, where the API is the product. With Twilio when you land on their website home page, you are in API developer area by default, this is what Twilio does. Many other API driven companies like Twitter, provide link to the API developer program as a link in the footer of the main site, something developers have become accustom to finding. Many companies I review, don’t even have a link prominently listed on their site, forcing me to dig around looking for any evidence of an API. This story isn’t about these......read more.