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API Evangelist Blog

API Design: Do You Swagger, Blueprint or RAML?

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I’m spending the next couple weeks going through each of the leading API design approaches: API Blueprint, RAML and Swagger. Even though I still personally use Swagger in my own work, I’m pushing myself to learn API Blueprint and RAML to better understand the landscape, as well as the pros and cons of each approach. If you aren’t familiar with this emerging trends in API design, they are approaches to defining your APIs either using JSON or a markdown language, which allows you to quantify and describe the API interfaces and underlying data models in a way that allows you......read more.



Take Another Look At The Thingiverse 3D Printing Community API

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Have you taken a look at the Thingiverse developer area lately? It’s been a while since I reviewed it. A couple years ago while working at Mimeo as an API evangelist I had the pleasure of doing some deep research into not just printing APIs, but 3D printing APIs as well. I wrote a lot on the subject, but overall I was unhappy with what was available in the areas of 3D printing APIs. When you go to the Thingiverse API now, the landing page immediately tells you what is possible, gives you direct links to API documention, but also provides......read more.



API Strategy & Practice Call For Papers Ends This Week

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The call for papers is ending this week for API & Strategy & Practice conference, March 26th,27th and 28th, in Amsterdam. So far we have over 25 talks submitted, with numerous slots already taken by sessions, panels and keynotes we already have scheduled. If you want to get your talk considered you need to submit by this Friday. By this weekend we will be closing the call for papers, reviewing and making decisions on the talks we feel should be part of the #APIStrat lineup. If you are looking for advice on how to craft your talk for success, read......read more.



What Happened With Federal Agencies And Their Data.json Files

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I’m playing catchup on some of my projects, and one of them is tracking on the evolution of Executive Order 13642 from last May, which was the White House directive to make open and machine readable the new default for government information. The piece that I'm tracking on specifically right now is around the OMB Memorandum M-13-13 Open Data Policy-Managing Information as an Asset, in which one of the items require agencies to publish a data.json file that provides a machine readable inventory of each agencies public data assets. In short, each federal agencies should round up a list of......read more.



Caching APIs With CloudFormations Or OpenShift

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During the recent federal government shutdown this last fall, the concept of API redundancy became much more important for me, and I hope for others as well. The need to ensure public open data and APIs, as well as private sector resources, stay available is becoming increasingly vital. As I work through these thoughts I'm playing with different approaches to caching some types of APIs. In my experimentation, I'm using AWS CloudFormation and RedHat OpenShift to deploy caches of commonly used APIs resources. Each type of API deployment is designed to sync with the mothership upon activation, and then receive regular......read more.



Submitting A Talk For #APIStrat in Amsterdam

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I had a friend ask me for help with their talk submission for #APIStrat in Amsterdam. He was concerned that his talk was too product pitchy, and wanted help making it something that not just would be accepted by our event, but something community would want to hear. It is good to hear the concern, its true we want the best talks at #APIStrat, we don’t want to have a bunch of product pitches, we are seeking stories of API strategy and the practices from the trenches of API design, deployment and management. Additionally, the audience doesn't want to hear......read more.



Experimentation And Iteration Is Good, But Share The Exhaust From Your API Research Ericsson

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Ericsson once had around 19 APIs available via their Ericsson Labs platform. After doing a round of looking through all the APIs I track on, I noticed they have ALL gone away. They are still doing a lot of research, but they seem to have lost their interest in APIs all together. I have no problem with experimentation and playing around with different resources, and even the deprecation of APIs, with appropriate communication, when it makes sense. I know Ericsson exploration is via their labs, and isn't really meant for production, but it grinds on me when there are APIs......read more.



New IBM Watson Unit Needs To Loosen Up, Iterate and Incubate To Find Full Potential

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The latest tech news to come out of IBM this week is a brand new business group to push innovation around the IBM Watson platform, with IBM committed to spending $1B on the new business group, with $100M set aside to fund startups who build on top of the Watson platform. The introduction of the new business group may be in response to the media’s, and analyst’s chatter about less than impressive results so far with the Watson platform’s ability to generate revenue, with $100M revenue over the last three years, according to the Wall Street Journal. There was a......read more.



Lessons In Gov Open Data: Optimize For Consumer

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There is an excellent post in GovFresh by former Presidential Innovation Fellow and Githubber Ben Balter (@BenBalter), Why no one uses your government data? Ben is looking to address one of the biggest problems with open data in government. That data is just opened, purely to check a box on some requirement imposed on agencies. The data steward doesn’t actually put any thought into how the data will be used, and is just taking advantage of positive re-enforcement associated with opening up the data. This is not just a problem in federal, state or city government. This same problem occurs......read more.



Lessons In Gov Open Data: Good Data Narration

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Building on my last post, Lessons In Gov Open Data: Optimize For Consumer, I want to share another important lesson for people working on open data in government. This very important lesson is about good data narration or storytelling around your data, not just publishing it as is. This lesson is triggered by a great post over at Gnip, where Eric Swayne, Director of Product of MutualMind talks about the fundamentals of good data narration. Swayne starts out by saying that: People that live in data analysis have the crucial opportunity for extracting meaning that transforms businesses through data-driven decisions, and......read more.