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API Evangelist Blog

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of API developers areas in my work, and the first sign I see that nobody is home behind an API, is that their blog is out of date.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.



The APIs I Depend On To Run API Evangelist

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I maintain an active list of online services I depend on for my business, using Evernote. Each month I spend an hour or two maintaining this list, to make sure it is complete and actively change my logins when appropriate.  I saw the recent Heartbleed SSL situation as an opportunity to move forward some of my IT practices, including using 1Password to manage all of my accounts, and better profiling which APIs I'm consuming. This gave me an opportunity to update my list of APIs that I depend on, adding about 4 or 5 new ones. First I depend on......read more.



Service Composition for My Screen Capture API

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I now have a pretty simple screen capture API. You can pass it a URL and it gives you back a PNG image file of that website. Meeting my definition of a simple utility API. I use this API in my own platform, capturing what websites and applications look like for reference in stories, and other content. I want to make this valuable utility API available to a wider audience now. I need to compose some tiers of access to my screen capture API, that makes sense to my business goals and how it will be consumed by a variety......read more.



Liberate Government Data By Deploying Web APIs With Solr

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I reviewed the deployment the FBOpen API the other day, which is a simple API resource of business opportunities with the U.S. Federal Government. An interesting aspect of the FBOpen implementation was that 18F used Solr to deploy the API layer. Solr is an open source search tool developed by the Apache Software Foundation, which can take any document store and easily generate a simple, yet pretty powerful web API—opening up access to content, without costly infrastructure. I showcased how the Free Law Project launched the Court Opinion API, using Solr, opening up access to archives of legal documents from across the......read more.



Moving Beyond My Basic 3Scale API Infrastructure Plan

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I have been using 3Scale API Infrastructure to manage API Evangelis's public APIs for almost two years now. My APIs provide access to my blog posts, news I curate, and the tools I track on. I also use the same infrastructure to secure and manage various projects I work on. You can view a list of my APi deployments on my API account management home page. In reality I haven't been all that serious about the management of my APIs until now. I have enough content I’d like to make available via APIs, and I have a growing number of......read more.



Next Steps For My Screen Capture API

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Earlier this year I created a screen capture API, filling a need I have across my network—capturing an image snapshot of any web page. Not all APIs are created the same, but I think this screen capture API represents a very fundamental layer of the API economy, the utility API. This API isn't Twitter or Google Maps, it does one thing and it does it well—something most APIs should work hard to achieve. I've been using my screen capture API internally for several months now, and I think it is time to do more with it. I want to make......read more.



The Levers, Dials, And Switches For Your Participation In The API Economy

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I am playing with different ways of explaining the 100K view of how companies, and ultimately governments will participate in the API economy. As with APIs themselves, visualizing something like how an API platform can position itself in the emerging API economy, is very difficult to do—something that takes refinement, something I do by blogging, so here we go... Much like developers are looking into the details of each API call, using API integration tools like RunScope and APITools, to better understand how their applications are consuming APIs, API providers need to understand all the moving parts involved with successfully......read more.



Help Improve This Content: Another Reason To Deploy API Developer Area on Github

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I just published a post showcasing Socrata's use of Github to deploy their new open data and API developer portal. There are numerous reasons for using Github as part of your API management strategy, with one of the main reasons being the collaborative features that Git, and the social coding platform Github introduce. I've had the news about Socrata’s new developer portal open for over a day now, and what triggered that story was seeing a link to the regulations API on data.gov, which not only just uses Swagger for the API definition, it employs a simple portal that is......read more.



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