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API Evangelist Blog

Some Advice For The Enterprise When Beginning Your API Journey

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I'm seeing the enterprise wake up to the potential of an API centric approach to doing business, slowly evolving beyond a Service Oriented Architectural (SOA) approach, and trying to understand why APIs are superior for delivering resources to the web, mobile, and Internet of thing (Iot) apps they are delivering, and increasingly depending on. Even though we are clearly in an enterprise phase of the API evolution, I’m watching many leading enterprise entities struggle with their early API efforts, producing some pretty weak solutions, that developers are not finding useful, and hurting their efforts right out of the gate. I......read more.



Machine Readable API Definition Format Swagger Matures to 2.0

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The machine readable API definition format Swagger, just rolled over to version 2.0. I use Swagger to describe all of my APIs, and I largely associate the creator of Swagger, Wordnik for kicking off this latest renaissance in defining APIs in a way that provides us with a machine readable vocabulary to talk about all of these valuable resoures that we are exposing via APIs. There are other formats out there, older ones like WADL, and more recent ones like API Blueprint, and RAML, but Swagger was the one that revived this movement, helping us create ways for generating important......read more.



How Do We Continue Moving Green Button Data And APIs Forward?

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I'm preparing for a talk at the The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel Second Annual Conference, in Nashville Tennessee, specifically participating on a panel titled "Using Power Grid Open Data Initiatives". I accepted the request to go speak as part of my wider work on the Green Button iniative out of The White House, DOE, NIST, and the GSA. I was asked to provide some thoughts on how to help move the Green Button efforts forward earlier this winter, and again in the spring, and just haven't had the bandwidth to give any energy, so I saw this as a great......read more.



Beyond Public APIs In Government: Internal Access to Resources

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The conversation around open data and APIs in government is dominated by talk of making resources available to the public, which is a good thing, but is only 1/3 of the discussion that should be occurring amongst gov-focused techies, as well as the project owners, and data stewards who are managing these vital public resources across federal agencies. APIs are not just deployed to support public access to resources, this has just been the trend that is getting all the headlines, and there is still lot of value to be realized when putting APIs to work within an agency, opening......read more.



Can You Show Me The ROI On All Of This API Stuff Before We Commit

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I am working on a white paper for a big enterprise provider who is looking to deliver solutions in the API space. At their request I’ve gone through six industries and looked for companies who have over 5k employees and are doing interesting things with APIs--a request that produced some great research for the white paper, as well as for stories here on API Evangelist. It can be hard to find large enterprise organizations who are doing full blown "API", because honestly many of them just do not get it yet. Sure I can find many that are doing web......read more.



In The Future APIs Will Be Default For All Cities

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In 2014 we are making significant progress in deploying APIs in support of city operations, but we still have so much more work ahead of us when it comes to making public resources available. You can find a dedicated developer area full of data sets, and APIs, in most major US cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and many more, but what else can we do to really pick up the momentum and quality? Standardizing API Design Practices APIs are not that difficult to design with the right education, and experience. Developers who work on......read more.



No Public APIs Are Not Going Away Just Cause A Few BigCos Fumble At It

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I saw another story about whether or not public APIs are going away, which is another story in a fairly long line of stories I’m seeing lately from enterprise outlets about whether or not the demise of Netflix, ESPN, and now Aetna means public APIs are a bad idea, unsustainable and now will be going away—proving enterprise API architects right that an SOA is the way to go. If you are looking at the bigger API picture, the answer to this question is clearly no. Amazon, Salesforce, Twilio, and many other public APIs with straightforward business models are doing just......read more.



Internal API Search Engine For Everyone At Your Company (Not Just Developers)

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I’ve talked about how the open source API search engine APIs.io can be deployed as an internal API search engine, as well as for public API discovery in the past. One aspect of this approach that I can’t emphasize enough, is that the search engine doesn’t just return APIs in the search results, it can provide access to supporting building blocks as well. The APIs.json format doesn't just provide a machine readable way to describe, and index your APIs, it also provides a way to describe the building blocks that support your APIs like code samples, SDKs, and other things......read more.



If You Need Assistance With Your Healthcare API Strategy I Have The Person

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I get a lot of folks who engage me about the API space, most of them are API providers, many are focused on API consumption, with only just a small few are looking the evangelism and analyst side of things. As far as I know I’m the only individual out there looking at all industries, across all of these areas, working hard to understand how APIs are being applied across the board. I’m always keeping an eye out for talent that is also working to expand their knowledge in the same way, but as the API universe expands I think......read more.



Explaining APIs To Senior Leadership: Access To Company Resources Without The IT Hassle

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One question I get pretty frequently from my readers, is about how they should explain APIs to their senior leaders, specifically the non-tech savvy executives. In my opinion, these conversations can be some of the most important ones, not just for a single company, but potentially an entire industry. To help support this effort, I’m working through several stories that anyone can put to work when trying to convince their senior leaders that APIs are a thing--this week is about access to resources. APIs are all about making vital company resources available in a self-service, and secure way over the......read more.



A Conversation With @ijroth, @dorkitude, @antonyfalco, and @medjawii In The Next Generation API Stack Panel @APIStrat

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When I think about the concept "API mashup", It conjures up visions of clever hacks using Twitter and Google Maps from 2008 or 2009, where savvy developers would find innovative ways to mashup two or more APIs, and deliver some sort of web, and eventually mobile application on top of a couple of common APIs. In 2014 I think the concept of a mashup has evolved, and while the term has fallen out of popularity with some people, I think the topic is still extremely relevant, and is something I want to discuss more at @APIStrat in Chicago at the......read more.



API Evangelist Thoughts On The Right To An API Key And Algorithmic Organizing

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There was a very interesting piece from venture capitalist Albert Wenger (@albertwenger) of Union Square Ventures over the labor day weekend, called Labor Day: Right to an API Key (Algorithmic Organizing), that I’ve had open ever since and wanted to take a moment to add my thoughts to. First let me say, I agree 100% with Albert’s post, but I felt that the piece left out some very critical elements, which I think Albert simply left out because he was just trying to get a short thought published over a holiday weekend, but I feel pretty strongly these points are critical......read more.



Explaining APIs To Your Senior Leadership

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One question I get pretty frequently from my readers, is how should they explain APIs to senior leaders, specifically the executives who aren't tech savvy. In my opinion, these conversations can be some of the most important ones for not just a specific company, but potentially an entire industry—so I wanted to provide some material you can use in your own conversations. First APIs are just like websites, but instead of being for humans they are meant for other desktop, web, server, and mobile applications. When you go to twitter.com you get an HTML listing of tweets, and when you......read more.



An API Evangelism Strategy To Map The Global Family Tree

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In my work everyday as the API Evangelist, I get to have some very interesting conversations, with a wide variety of folks, about how they are using APIs, as well as brainstorming other ways they can approach their API strategy allowing them to be more effective. One of the things that keep me going in this space is this diversity. One day I’m looking at Developer.Trade.Gov for the Department of Commerce, the next talking to WordPress about APIs for 60 million websites, and then I’m talking with the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about the Family Search......read more.



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.



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