You Can Have An API Just By Choosing Products And Services That Have APIs
27 Aug 2014
When it comes to APIs, the quickest way to get an API for your company, organization or government agency is to choose to only use online services that have APIs. Twitter, Facebook, Google, Dropbox, Github, Instagram, Flickr, and many other popular services you already use, all have APIs.
As I’m expanding on my tracking of API deployment tools, to include deploying APIs via Google Spreadsheets, and to scraping data from websites, I can’t help but step back and consider truly what is the easiest way to deploy an API, which really is about choosing to use online services that already have an API--no connecting to your backend systems necessary!
We talk about APIs in the context of developers, using APIs to build applications for end-users, and provide system integrations. What if we talked about it in context of the users, and helping individual users aggregate their APIs into a single, personal API stack?
As Joe or Jane user, I could have my own personal API hub, with code samples, and other resources to understand how to access my APIs. I’m not sure how oAuth would be triggered in this scenario (needs more thought), if a developer wanted access to my Facebook or other private data, but if I ran WordPress, and included my Flickr photos in my API stack, API access could be pretty straightforward.
Thinking of this in the context of enabling personal API hubs is a pretty far out there concept, but understanding that you can have an isntant API just by using common services that have APIs, is pretty powerful. In reality, the average person will rarely ever need a personal developer hub with a stack of APIs, but if we teach people that they need an API with all the service they use, so they can use services like Zapier, and the other API-enabled tools, we might just be able to keep SaaS providers honest, ensuring they always public APIs, transparency and data portability for end-users.