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API Evangelist Blog

An API For API Ideas

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I have a lot of ideas while being the API Evangelist. It just comes with the territory. I have an Evernote folder that I publish these ideas to, and some of them, like my Screen Capture API, I actually make a reality. The other night while writing, Shadow API: Launching An API Before Someone Else Does, I went to add the Nebraska homestead record API idea to my Evernote, and I said, ENOUGH! I need a public place to store these ideas, and while I'm at it, I'll enable others to publish ideas there too. What better way to allow......read more.



If This Then Visualize That (IFTVT)

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In the tech space, when we see a pattern that works, we run with it. This is why you hear, “It is the Uber for X”, or “It is the Github for X”, and I recently talked about how I’m starting to see more of, “It is the If This Then That (IFTT) for X”. The IFTTT model, or what I call “reciprocity”, is an evolution on the classic enterprise ETL model, resulting in over 25 companies that I’m tracking on in the space. Reciprocity works, because it is about solving a simple problem for everyday users, using APIs to......read more.



Expanding The Layer Of API Discovery From Within The Developers IDE

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Much like API design and integration, the world of API discovery is heating up in 2014. We are moving beyond the API directory as our primary mode of API search, in favor of a distributed approach using APIs.json, and supporting open source search engines like APIs.io. Another area of API discovery I’ve been watching for a while, and predict will become an important layer of API discovery, will be via the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) plugin. Open Source SalesForce API IDE Plugin SalesForce just announced they have just open sourced their API IDE plugin on Github, after developing on it......read more.



Expanding The Layer Of API Discovery From With The Developers IDE

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Much like API design and integration, the world of API discovery is heating up in 2014. We are moving beyond the API directory as our primary mode of API search, in favor of a distributed approach using APIs.json, and supporting open source search engines like APIs.io. Another area of API discovery I’ve been watching for a while, and predict will become an important layer of API discovery, will be via the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) plugin. Open Source SalesForce API IDE Plugin SalesForce just announced they have just open sourced their API IDE plugin on Github, after developing on it......read more.



An Open Source Distributed API Search Engine

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I wanted to stop and reflect for a moment on the open source, distributed API search engine, that 3Scale and API Evangelist developed, in support of the APIs.json discovery format. When we conceived the APIs.json API discovery format, we knew that the project would be dead in the water, if there wasn’t a clear incentive for API providers to generate an APIs.json—helping them get their APIs found. Until 2014, when you said "search for APIs", it meant going to a website (programmableweb.com), and searching for an API in a curated directory of APIs. In the last couple years, we’ve seen......read more.



Shadow API: Launching An API Before Someone Else Does

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In a perfect world, every government agency, non-profit organization, and company would have an API, and the content and data available via their website, mobile applications, and other systems, would be accessible in an easy, machine readable way. This perfect world does not exist. Even though many government agencies, non-profit organizations, and companies are getting hip to the world of APIs, there is still massive amounts of work to be done, and I'm afraid if we want to see APIs across our government, we are going to have to do much of it ourselves. I was listening to an NPR......read more.



Deploying An API From Amazon S3 File Store

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I'm spending a lot of time updating my API deployment research lately, making sure it reflects what is truly going on out there in the space. In addition to tracking on legacy approaches to API deployment like enterprise API gateways, or using an open-source API frameworks, I am also trying to understand the realities of scraping data for deployment of APIs, and new solutions from API platforms like APISpark, StrongLoop, Orchestrate.io, and Import.io. When it comes to the realities of deploying an API, your data or content sources is likely to come from a myriad of file stores, databases, and other......read more.



Building Blocks Of API Deployment

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As I continue my research the world of API deployment, I'm trying to distill the services, and tooling I come across, down into what I consider to be a common set of building blocks. My goal with identifying API deployment building blocks is to provide a simple list of what the moving parts are, that enable API providers to successfully deploy their services. Some of these building blocks overlap with other core areas of my research like design, and management, but I hope this list captures the basic building blocks of what anyone needs to know, to be able to......read more.



Deploy An API From A Google Spreadsheet Using APISpark

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Spreadsheet are the most used datastore in business. When Google came out with their web-based spreadsheet, it was a game changer (for those who have access), when it came to managing, collaborating and sharing small data sets. When it comes to data management, not all of us live in the world of big data, and spreadsheets are a quick and dirty data store that gets the job done. As the web was maturing, Google saw an opportunity, and launched the labs version of Google Spreadsheets in mid 2006, bringing spreadsheets into the web 2.0 era of the Internet. In 2014,......read more.



APIs.json API Property Types

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I’m working the great feedback we've had on APIs.json, an adding everything to the Github issues for consideration in the next version. Today I’m spending a little time thinking through the big picture of APIs.json, and some of the building blocks I'd like to see reflected when API providers generate their APIs.json. Each API listed in an APIs.json has what we are calling: "Properties Elements”. The properties element is a collection, with two values: type and url. While we provide you with a base set of property element types you can reference: Swagger RAML Blueprint WADL WSDL TermsOfService InterfaceLicense StatusPage......read more.



API Design White Paper

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Download as PDF My research for API Evangelist spans 50+ projects, but my core research is focused on seven projects in API 101, history, design, deployment, management, discovery and integration. In each of these areas, I evaluate who the key players (companies and individuals) are, and the tools and services they produce. Using my own, custom developed system, I monitor these key players, in all of the research areas, consuming blog posts, tweets, code commits, and much more, trying to establish a deep awareness in each of these fundamental layers of the API economy. The goal of my monitoring is to......read more.



Developing The Language We Need To Communicate Throughout The API Lifecycle

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We are still in the infancy of the API economy, and now with barely 14 years of evolving web API design, we are only just now developing the languages we will need to communicate around APIs throughout their lifecycle, from the first mock of the API resource, to monitoring of a production API in the wild, or making available to a new breed of API search engines. There has long been standards for describing APIs, such as WSDL for SOAP, and WADL for web APIs, but these formats would never actually enable the meaningful interactions around APIs that it would......read more.



The Restlet (Open Source) and API Spark (Cloud) Business Model

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I’m always on the hunt for common patterns that are working within the API space, and shine light on them, work to understand why they work, so that others can emulate these successful patterns in the space. One approach I’ve seen work well, in many situations, is a combination of open source and a Platform as a Service (PaaS), and I’m going to highlight the implementation of this model by one of the API Evangelist partners—Restlet / APISpark. Open Source For Developers First and foremost, Restlet is an open source web API framework, that any developer can download, and install......read more.



Nest Provides A Real-Time Layer By Default For API Consumers

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I had several folks point me to the Nest API release the other day. I enjoy this, because I’m not always the fastest in finding news—eventually I’ll find it, but I rely on my human API monitoring network, just as much as my algorithmic API monitoring network, to bring stories to my attention. I’m still reviewing the Nest API release, but one thing that stood out to me, was how real-time is baked into the API by default, and specifically using Firebase. The Nest API documentation states: Use the official Firebase client libraries (Web, iOS, Java, and Node), which allow......read more.



Monitoring Your Resources Becomes Default With Google Developer Console

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I’m not at Google I/O this week, enjoying some downtime in SoCal, but I am watching some of the news coming out of the event. One thing I noticed, was the addition of monitoring to the Google Developer Console, where Google is slowly working their StackDriver acquisition into their fast growing API driven, cloud development platform. You have to request access to the new monitoring services, and Google will open up "Stackdriver's monitoring capabilities available to select Google Cloud trusted testers at no charge”. Wile Stackdriver is about monitoring your cloud infrastructure, it also provides granular level, API endpoint monitoring solutions......read more.