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More than the Sum of its parts, the API's whole

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This presentation will walk you through the importance of APIs and key considerations to have when creating one.

This presentation will walk you through the importance of APIs and key considerations to have when creating one.

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  • 1. More than the sum of its parts, the API’s whole Josep M. Pujol 3scale – http://3scale.net/ josep@3scale.net – @solso at Twitter
  • 2. Why do we need API’s?
  • 3. Online Population Web Site Your Digital AssetsSource: Dion Hinchcliffe, http://blogs.zdnet.con/Hinchcliffe
  • 4. Online Population Extended Reach Widgets Social 3rd Party Gadgets Network Web Site Apps (Facebook, Mobile Badges Opensocial) Apps. API non-visual services Your Digital AssetsSource: Dion Hinchcliffe, http://blogs.zdnet.con/Hinchcliffe
  • 5. Online Population Extended Reach Widgets Social 3rd Party Gadgets Network Web Site Apps (Facebook, Mobile Badges Opensocial) Apps. API non-visual services Your Digital Assets Is that all?Source: Dion Hinchcliffe, http://blogs.zdnet.con/Hinchcliffe
  • 6. API is about Connectedness• A bit of history, API == Application Programming Interfaces
  • 7. API is about Connectedness• A bit of history, API == Application Programming Interfaces This is about code...
  • 8. API is about ConnectednessConnected code == mechanism
  • 9. API is about ConnectednessConnecting abilites == society
  • 10. There is more than codeAn API allows to open what yourcompany does best...... and to access the best of othersTo result in something bigger than thesum of its parts
  • 11. What do you glue with API’s?DATA
  • 12. What do you glue with API’s?DATAVISUALIZATION
  • 13. What do you glue with API’s?DATAVISUALIZATIONSERVICES
  • 14. What do you glue with API’s?DATAVISUALIZATIONSERVICES Sounds familiar?
  • 15. What do you glue with API’s?DATA (M)ODELVISUALIZATION (V)IEWSERVICES (C)ONTROLLERYep! the MVC software architecure
  • 16. What do you glue with API’s?DATA (M)ODEL MVC connects componentsVISUALIZATION (V)IEW API connects businessesSERVICES (C)ONTROLLER
  • 17. Disclaimer If what you offer sucks, don’t bother to cover it up with an API
  • 18. Writing a sucessful API• If you are a programmer you know how to write an API  However, there are things that can make it or break it
  • 19. Writing a sucessful API • The simpler the better – REST >> SOAP, JSON > XML – Functionality should be clear and consice • If you do not know how to name it, you are doing it wrong – Adding is much more difficult than removing • Still, consider versioning since day 1 – API needs to be implementation agnostic – Names should be self-explanatory
  • 20. Writing a sucessful API • Implementation – Watch out latencies • A human can wait 200ms, a machine might not – Machine generated traffic • Usage patterns and load can be totally different than human generated traffic – Handle errors beautifully • Don’t assume intelligence on the other side
  • 21. Writing a sucessful API • Documentation – Document well, not everything • code is not the best documentation, your users – developers -- won’t see it – Provide code examples for your API – Write plugins for multiple languages • Will make your users life easier and help getting your API generic
  • 22. Writing a sucessful API • Know your “users” – They are developers like you, therefore “special” – They are very comfortable with code examples and online docs – Developers do not like talking to people, let alone sales • Remove hurdles like approval steps or sales pitches to hook with your API – Feedback is always good, in this case critical
  • 23. Writing a sucessful API • Be open • Focus – Your API needs to offer your core business to be connected to – For the overhead derived from having a public API such as: – Access control – Analytics and reporting – Billing and payments – Developer portal there are API solutions,
  • 24. Writing a sucessful API • Be open • Focus – Your API needs to offer your core business to be connected to – For the overhead derived from having a public API such as: – Access control – Analytics and reporting – Billing and payments – Developer portal there are API solutions, e.g.Full Disclosure: I do work for 3scale 