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API Evangelist Blog

Planning Everything Upfront vs Iterating On An API Over Time

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I just finished up participating in an API specification session for Green Button data with Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). The discussion at one point during the last day was around “chunking” of huge data sets that a provider wants to allow for download over http. The group has been talking about scenarios for how this will work, and after over an hour they are getting to some pretty edge case scenarios surrounding “chunking”. As I listen, I can’t help but thinking about he pros and cons of upfront......read more.



Browsing The 261 APIs At Brigham Young University

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I’ve been tracking on education and university APIs for a while now, but after kicking off some work on the FAFSA API prototype, and preparing a response for to the request for information (RFI) on the use of APIs in higher education data and student aid process, I'm ramping up the time I’m spending on education related APIs. APIs in higher education is also one of the areas 3Scale and API Evangelist are partnering, to help define what the API landscape looks like across higher education institutions, and as I do with other business sectors, we are looking to stimulate......read more.



ReliefWeb Is Tackling The Worlds Biggest Problems Using APIs

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I was introduced to the ReliefWeb API last week, which provides information including reports, jobs, training, countries, and source details on global crises and disasters going back to 1996. The ReliefWeb API follows a trend of organizations realizing not just the potential of APIs for delivering content to mobile applications, but also the benefits of opening up publicly. As the site states: The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) originally built the ReliefWeb API to power a mobile version of the ReliefWeb website. Since then they have normalized the interfaces for public consumption, hoping that “developers......read more.



Planning Everything Upfront vs Iterating On An API Over Time

Posted on

I just finished up participating in an API specification session for Green Button data with Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). The discussion at one point during the last day was around “chunking” of huge data sets that a provider wants to allow for download over http. The group has been talking about scenarios for how this will work, and after over an hour they are getting to some pretty edge case scenarios surrounding “chunking”. As I listen, I can’t help but thinking about he pros and cons of upfront......read more.



Turning Forms Into APIs: Crap In, Crap Out

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I’ve been involved in a lot of conversations lately around turning government forms into APIs. Which seems like a great idea, right up until the part where I’m thinking about the original workflow represented by many legacy forms, and realize that maybe this form was a bad idea to begin with. If I develop an API for a form, and the original form all by itself is a bad idea, am I just making a bad idea worse, by attaching an API to it? I'd say yes! I don’t feel like this will be true in all situations. I think......read more.



The Private Internal Tier Of My API Service Composition

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The first consumer of all of my APIs, including my screen capture API is me. I develop my APIs first for my use, and only recently have decided to make available to the public. So when I sat down to create my service composition for my APIs, I needed to figure out what I was going to do about my internal consumption. My first instinct was that I didn't need to include my internal API consumption alongside my partner and public API consumption. I quickly changed my tune as I realized that it was going to be important that I......read more.



API Virtual Stack Composition Like The Absolut Drinks Data API

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If you read my blog regularly, you know I am constantly pushing the boundaries of how I see the API space, and sometimes my ramblings can be pretty out there, but API Evangelist is how I work through these thoughts out loud, and hopefully bring them down to a more sane, practical level that everyone can understand. My crazy vision for the day centers around virtual API stack composition, as beautiful as the Absolut Drinks Database API. Ok, before you can even begin to get up to speed with my crazy rant, you need to be following some of my......read more.



An Operational Harness For My Screen Capture API

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I am evolving my own approach to deploying my API resources, and I needed an important sounding name for it, so came up with “operational harness” over a couple pints of IPAs. Ok, so what do I mean when I say operational harness? Based upon the way that I evolve my stories, I evolve my API projects in real-time with the help of Github. For my screen capture API I will be focusing on delivering four separate architectural pieces: Open Source Version - An open source, server implementation of my screen capture API, which will PHP initially with other languages......read more.



Two Things I Learned On Traffic And Weather Today

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If you aren’t already familiar with Traffic and Weather, it is an extremely structured discussion between John Sheehan (Runscope) and Steve Marx (Dropbox), about "the latest API and cloud tools, news and technologies”. Its not often I learn something new from the show (kidding), but today I learned about two new things: Flask RESTful - Flask-RESTful is an extension for Flask that adds support for quickly building REST APIs. It is a lightweight abstraction that works with your existing ORM/libraries. Flask-RESTful encourages best practices with minimal setup. If you are familiar with Flask, Flask-RESTful should be easy to pick up. Flynn - Flynn......read more.



Keep Your API Developer Area Blog Up To Date

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I look at a lot of API developers areas in my work, and the first sign I see that nobody is home behind an API, is that their blog is out of date. I found myself at the ESPN developer center last night, clicked on the blog, which has a great tag line of “API-focused musings and rambling”, but alas hasn't been updated in over a year. Your API developer blog posts do not have to be anything master planned, and should just be thoughts from the daily life of running your API. A little effort goes a long way......read more.