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API Evangelist Blog

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.



Interesting Example of Social Page Over At Cisco

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Its not often I find myself referencing Cisco when it comes to shedding light on interesting practices for the API space, but today is not your usual day. At some point yesterday, I found myself at cisco.com, and I stumbled across their social page, which gives equal real estate to their blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube channel, as well as highlights from their community forum. I like the idea of having a page like this for API providers. It helps you establish a single page, that can act as a one-stop shop for getting information about what is going......read more.



External API Deployments Using Sync One Possible Future Of Government API Deployments

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I just wrote up a piece about how to deploy an API driven application backend using Orchestrate.io, and wrote a piece last week on API deployment using Solr and government data. After writing about both of these approaches, I can't shake the thought that external, API driven approaches like this will become commonplace in the next couple of years. Both the approach using Solr, and the other using Orchestrate.io, identify that data is available via a machine readable data dump and even an API, but neither solution provide the simple web API access that would make application development easy. In......read more.



What Are Some Good Examples of Hypermedia APIs?

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I'm increasing my coverage of hypermedia APIs in 2014, as we move from discussion to concrete hypermedia implementations in the wild. In support of this, there was a quick conversation on Twitter today regarding some good examples of hypermedia APIs, that I wanted to share with you. Chris Metfcalf (@chrismetcalf) of Socrata asked: @chrismetcalf Try these https://t.co/ZO8s7P93LT https://t.co/IlxDRfIwRW @kinlane @kevinswiber @medjawii @johnsheehan — Darrel Miller (@darrel_miller) April 15, 2014 @chrismetcalf Here is another https://t.co/n0kPsGOdtI /cc @johnsheehan @kinlane — Darrel Miller (@darrel_miller) April 15, 2014 Providing some much needed examples of hypermedia APIs in the wild. I haven't looked at the......read more.



API Driven Backend For Apps Using Orchestrate.io

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There is a great post over on the Orchestrate.io blog about how they deployed a backend for the MarvelousDB app, using data from the Marvel API, allowing you to explore the world of Marvel comic book characters, through a simple web interface As developers often face with valuable API resources, the Marvel API leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to available interfaces, data access, and rate limit restrictions. This is common with new APIs, where it takes time to understand the right levers and dials to turn, that will make the API more usable by developers. Even......read more.