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API Evangelist Blog

What Is Next For The US Government API Strategy, Getting Technical

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Data.gov has continued to evolve, adding data sets, agencies and features. With recent, high profile stumbles like with Healthcare.gov, it can be easy to fall prey to historical stereotypes that government can't deliver tech very well. While this may apply in some cases, I think we can confidently get behind the movement that is occurring at Data.gov, with 176 agencies working to add 54,723 data sets in the last 12 months. I feel pretty strongly that before we look towards the future of what the roadmap looks like for Data.gov, we need to spend a great deal of time refining......read more.



The User Experience Will Continue To Fragment As We Evolve To An Internet Of Things

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It has taken me a while to respond to a post I read this weekend, by Mike Caulfield (@holden) called Revenge of the OS. In short he points out the fragment world we live in with all of our apps, and the shortcoming of tech companies to actually deliver a solution that truly works for end-users. Our desktop computer has always been the doorway to our digital worlds, and then came the Internet, and the Web 2.0 age where iGoogle (now dead), Facebook Apps (how many apps do you use these days), and other “mega-services” promised to be the doorway......read more.



One Developer, Two API Providers, Multiple APIs, When Your API Management Has An API

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Building on my thoughts around preparing your API for wholesale access, I’m thinking through the problem of developer API access when you have API providers offering up each others APIs, and bundling them seamlessly as part of their own API stack. In this scenario I’m working through, API provider A has an API they offer up wholesale to partners, and API provider B wants to bundle API provider A’s API along with their own, adding value to their API and developer community. In this scenario API provider B doesn’t want their developers to have to sign up for a separate......read more.



Is Your API Ready For Wholesale?

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As the number of public APIs grows well beyond 10K, expecting that developers will discover, let alone come to your developers area regulary will be reduced to just a fantasy. In this new API driven economy, your API will need to be decoupled, portable, and available in a wholesale manner, allowing other API providers to hang your valuable API resources in their own developers area. If your API is developed in a simple, standard way, described using a common API definition format like Swagger, API Blueprint or RAML, your account provisioning and management has an API, and terms of service......read more.



Dwolla API Is Switching Dates to UTC, Are Yours?

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The Dwolla API sent out an email to developers today, letting us know that, "Effective January 21, 2014, all timestamps returned by REST API endpoints will be in UTC format.” Dwolla is looking to fix the issue of ambiguous timestamps, where the time zone is variable and not indicated in the timestamp. Currently the timestamps look like: 9/20/2013 12:45:07 AM After the switch to UTC they will look like: 2010-11-12T13:14:15Z Formatted according to the ISO 8601 standard. This is a much cleaner, internationalized approach. I’ve seen this mistake a lot, and still do it myself on some new systems. As an......read more.



Benefits Of Treating Your Private API Like a Public One

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I stopped counting the number of successful applications that have had their private APIs reversed engineered by some savvy users, Most recently Snapchat, and famously the original rogue Instagram API was developed this way, and even auto maker Tesla had their API reverse engineered. This is fresh on my my mind because of the Snapchat security breach, in which this savvy tech user notified Snapchat back in August, and the company instituted rate limiting, but still left the API exposed for further attack, which the user took full advantage of in December by scraping all users after documenting and expoiting the......read more.



Will Internet of Things And The SDK Push Out REST?

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After watching the API space evolve, I've learned one thing, that there are lots of factors that influence the industry, and that the best solution doesn't always win. As I'm studying the rise of Internet enabled devices, also known as Internet of Things (IoT), you see some devices embrace a RESTful approach to integration with their devices, but often times you see APIs released, but they are wrapped with SDKs. I'm not making any assumption that SDKs or REST is better when it comes to IoT devices, technically an SDK may or may not provide a stronger solution. However within......read more.



What Is A Hypermedia API?

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The time has come. In 2014 I will be spending a lot more energy, helping you understand what a Hypermedia API is, and if you should be considering it as part of your own API strategy. I won’t be in the business of telling you Hypermedia is always the answer, or that it is bad, I will be working to better understand myself, and along the way hopefully I can share some knowledge with you. As I do with other technical issues that surround APIs, I will work to simplify, to help reach a wider audience, beyond the development community.......read more.



A Wholesale On-Premise Version Of My API For Sale

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I was doing some research in the area of harvesting and scraping APs. I was taking another look at Web Scrape Master, a simple scraping API that allows you to pass it a URL and it harvests structured data and content from the page. The Web Scrape Master is a pretty dead simple API, with a purpose. It does one thing and it does it well. What I found really interesting though, was the fact that lower on the page, below the API documentation the API was for sale. You could buy a copy of the server side of the......read more.



What Is Next For The US Government API Strategy

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I was asked to provides some thoughts on what is next for the US Government API strategy. I've been thinking about it during my work and travels over the last couple months, and I keep coming back to one thought: Strengthen What We Have! I wish I had some new technology or platform for the next wave of government APIs that would ensure success with APIs in Washington, but in reality we need to do what we've been doing, but do it at scale, and get organized and collaborative about how we do it. Release More Data Sets There are thousands......read more.