Who Cares About APIs? (NordicAPIS April 2014)

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Who Cares About APIs? (NordicAPIS April 2014)

  1. 1. Who Cares About APIs? Nordic APIs, Copenhagen 2014 Anne-Sofie Nielsen VP, Product Development Kapow Software
  2. 2. Who am I •  M.Sc. Software Engineering from DTU •  VP, Product Development at Kapow Software •  Developed Kapow’s integration with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce and Google’s APIs •  Worked on browser-based automation for years april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software2
  3. 3. Disclaimer •  Kapow Software makes a living wrapping API-less web applications in “Synthetic APIs” april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software3 REST/Java/.Net Web application Robot Web application photo credit: Daniela Meleo
  4. 4. So, how does that work? april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software4 Workflow Browser (or XML / JSON / PDF / Excel)
  5. 5. Why this talk? •  ProgrammableWeb.com: 11,204 APIs •  WorldWideWebSize.com: 1.88 billion web sites april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software5
  6. 6. Why this talk? •  ProgrammableWeb.com: 11,204 APIs •  WorldWideWebSize.com: 1.88 billion web sites april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software6 Photos: JMacPherson and David Sward
  7. 7. Now, what is the ambition here? •  ProgrammableWeb.com: 11,204 APIs •  WorldWideWebSize.com: 1.88 billion web sites april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software7 Photo: Søren Juhl
  8. 8. API First Strategy •  It only something for the young and hip? april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software8 Evan and Fiona from API-First.com. Very hip.
  9. 9. API First Strategy Advantages •  Easier to offer multiple front-ends (web, mobile etc.) •  Clear division of responsibility –  Clear interface between the work done by your backend and front-end team –  Easier to scale your application Disadvantages •  Up-front cost •  Hard to generalize based on a single example april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software9
  10. 10. API First Strategy •  Can not creating an API for your application be seen as a form of technical debt? april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software10
  11. 11. It’s about the $$$ •  It’s not always the entity who builds the application that has anything to gain from an API april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software11 I Need APIs Adapted from photo by Gemma Vittoria
  12. 12. It’s about the $$$ - example april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software12 Partner portal Partner portal Partner portal Internal scheduling application Who has an incentive to build these APIs?
  13. 13. It’s about the $$$ - example april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software13 Partner portal Partner portal Partner portal Internal scheduling application KAPOW!
  14. 14. It’s about the $$$ - example april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software14 Partner portal Partner portal Partner portal Internal scheduling application
  15. 15. Click A Taxi – Disrupting the Taxi Business with Innovative Consumer Apps 15 Challenge Rapidly integrate with a growing network of Taxi companies and partners with no reliance on API access Solution High volume integrations across partner systems: taxi companies, restaurants, hotels, flight bookings 50 countries, 5000 cities, 100,000 bookings per month, expanded globally in 18 months “Without Kapow technology, we couldn’t have expanded into this many cities so fast. Our average partner integration now takes less than two days to complete.” — Søren Halskov Nissen, CEO, Click A Taxi
  16. 16. OK, so why did I sit through that commercial? •  Because it illustrates some of the advantages you can gain in a programmable world –  “Let’s put humans to work where we need human minds. And let’s automate the rest.” – Jessica Deutch, Digital River •  And, unless you build synthetic APIs on top of the front end, that generally requires APIs to be present april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software16
  17. 17. Who is going to insist on APIs? •  Enterprises demanding cloud, cloud, cloud –  “Over the next two years, there will be an explosive growth in the number of enterprise cloud computing projects, according to a study into cloud computing trends by TheInfoPro”, computerweekly.com •  Can we get them as excited about APIs? april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software17
  18. 18. So why demand APIs, anyway? •  APIs lend themselves very well to automation –  Paves the way for future savings through automation of manual processes •  Your valuable data doesn’t get stuck in some vendor’s proprietary systems –  You can move it to other systems, or consolidate many data sources into a single view •  APIs should be on IT’s checklist right up there with security and scalability april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software18
  19. 19. But just before we get too excited about APIs, let me be a little old and grumpy april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software19 •  APIs are not very standardized •  Not all APIs are user friendly or well documented –  There can be a real learning curve to an API •  Public APIs can get closed down or restricted
  20. 20. Questions / Discussion •  Have you experienced the discrepancy between those who need an API and those with the power to create it? •  Why are we not more aggressively demanding APIs from our software tool vendors? •  What is stopping us from creating APIs up front? •  What would you automate or consolidate if the lack of APIs weren’t an issue? april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software20
  21. 21. Thank you Anne-Sofie Nielsen, Kapow Software E-mail: anielsen@kapowsoftware.com Twitter: @femalenerd LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/femalenerd april 14, 2014 Confidential © 2013 Kapow Software21

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