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The API and APP-ification of the Web

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The API- & APP-ification
of the Web
Steven Willmott
3scale networks
@3scale - http://www.3scale.net
(and possibly everythi...

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This Work is Licensed Under Creative Commons
Creative Attribution 3.0

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“Welcome to the App-
Economy”
“What will win? Apps v’s
HTML(5) ”
“The Death of the Open
Web?”

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The API and APP-ification of the Web

  1. 1. The API- & APP-ification of the Web Steven Willmott 3scale networks @3scale - http://www.3scale.net (and possibly everything else)
  2. 2. This Work is Licensed Under Creative Commons Creative Attribution 3.0
  3. 3. “Welcome to the App- Economy” “What will win? Apps v’s HTML(5) ” “The Death of the Open Web?”
  4. 4. Some Hyperbole but.. There is probably something going on…
  5. 5. And some of has to do with SPAs…
  6. 6. Single Page Web Applications Server (REST / JSON API) Buttons Infinite Scroll Push Updates Ember.js Angular.js Backbone.js … Single HTML Page & URL Per Page many Pages per Site / App Pages Server Whole Server SPAs Serve a Single Page of HTML and use in page controls to operate dynamically
  7. 7. e.g…. (From http://www.angularjs.org)
  8. 8. Obvious Benefits of SPAs • Lots of Benefits: – Slick interfaces, Similarity to Mobile/Desktop – App Speed, no need for Page Reloads – Interface variants are easier – Realtime / Push updates • And Downsides: – JS Skills at a premium, Less Tooling, Modern Browsers Needed, Framework overload… – (and a few others we’ll mention later)
  9. 9. Examples
  10. 10. Evernote: The Platform Imperative e.g. Evernote “Capture Everything - Access anywhere” Mobile Platforms Desktop Platforms Web Browsers Top Apps
  11. 11. App Like User Experience https://www.evernote.com/Home.action#st=p&n=acfb0b6e-8681a424246c https://www.evernote.com/Home.action#b=7bc900cc5876&st=p&n=a6d5-8681a424246c Single Page Param Driven
  12. 12. Zendesk: Speed and Slicks e.g. Zendesk Real Time Updates No Page Redraws Effectively a .js App API User Community • App.js Example • Same Agility for All • More Robust API • 90+ Integrations
  13. 13. Value… • Platform strategy • Uniform user experience • Fast, Responsive, No Page Reloads, Push • API Enables 3rd Party Use, Javascript components make that use easier • Both also have: dev communities & mobile apps
  14. 14. Adoption and Impact on the Web
  15. 15. Who Will Adopt? (assuming the tech works) Mobile Natives >> SAAS >> Ecommerce >> Content Impact is more And more radical
  16. 16. But there are issues… Links?Referencin g? Crawling & Indexing? UI Fragmentation? … Openness? RSS Following? Discovery? SEO?
  17. 17. Adoption Complexity & Disruption Linking Referencing Seamless Browsing Discovery Mobile Native Businesses OS Specific UI is App Specific App Store SAAS Businesses In app is fine UI is often Specific Primary Domain Only eCommerce Businesses Items need to be addressable from anywhere Common Check Out Metaphors Are useful Mostly for Primary Domain Content Businesses Needs to addressable from anywhere Expect Consistent Web UI SEO is Critical
  18. 18. So – How do We Move Forward? • Things we MUST Preserve: – Link-a-bility – Browse-a-bility – Crawl/Index/Discover-a-bility – Follow-a-bility • And a new thing we want to Gain including: – Script-a-bility
  19. 19. Technical Challenges Changing Architecture of the Web
  20. 20. Link-a-bility • Hyperlinking • Fragment Referencability • Web Links Still Work • Fragments Still Work • Param Schemes Need to be Complete • Avoid Header Information http://www.gluecon.com/…. • Links need to be immutable/persistent • Always addressable in the same way • Fragment Identifiers need the right semantics
  21. 21. Browse-a-bility • Automatically detect an adequate handler for Content • Possibly offer choices for handlers • Mobile Situation is improving • Browser Requirements are a problem • HTML5+JS are becoming general compute canvas • Huge problem is testing / reliability • Browsing needs to seemlessly navigate between sites and always be able to handle content automatically • Android: URI Event Subscription Handlers • IOS: Hard code apps to handle referals
  22. 22. Crawl/Index/Discover-a-bility • Explore and Classify Pages/Fragments • Index, Rank and Return them upon Search • Not under the control of Webmasters • Early SEO fix “#” Fragment URLS (Indexed by Google) • Google allows Param Includes (not clear how strong) • Reality: Chicken/Egg Situation • In addition to Linking • Meta-data is critical • Page Content is critical • URL Content is critical • “machine identification of content / value” Metadata Content Reputation / Value
  23. 23. Follow-a-bility • RSS Feeds for certain types of content • Have a Consistent Handle on “what’s new” • RSS Now has a limited number of consumers • “social” is touted as the replacement • Consistent APIs May be helpful (but don’t exist yet) • Replacement/Augementatio n with PubSubHUb? • Subscribe to a feed • Receive every item on the feed (and not miss any) • Single Common Standard • It’s Polling but Structured
  24. 24. Script-a-bility • APIs form the basis for interactions • Events scripted across sites/platforms • APIs are starting to become more widespread • Standardization on oAuth is Helping • Still a ton of work to do the plumbing • Still sometimes a little complex for the end user • Underlying APIs expose functionality • No human UI Interaction needed • Scripting platforms allow simple interactions to occur in an automated way
  25. 25. Conclusions
  26. 26. Beyond the Web Live Scribe Pen Text and Audio $150 Smart Notebook Photo & Tags New App $25-30 Mobile Desktop Web Physical
  27. 27. Other Examples: Box + Printers & Scanners Philips Hue API Platform + Apps is Key for Mixing Digital and Non-Digital
  28. 28. SPA Helps Align the Web with everything else..
  29. 29. • Vast majority of Apps are still not SPA • Most apps still “decide” between Native first v’s HTML5 first • Mobile commerce is mostly separated “Web” commerce • Most APIs feeding mobile are still hard wired into a single Apps • Auth on mobile and the Web are often still completely different • Physical devices now linking in … isn’t this all obvious? Not so much… Next 2-3 years will see radical change in mainstream usage
  30. 30. Big Ideas to Take Away 1 2 3 SPAs Will see increasing adoption Potentially Disruptive Change to the Web itself Lots of work to do to make it seamless & open
  31. 31. Thank you! steve@3scale.net @njyx, @3scale We make Awesome API Management Tools: http://www.3scale.net/
  32. 32. References • http://blog.stevensanderson.com/2012/08/01 /rich-javascript-applications-the-seven- frameworks-throne-of-js-2012/ • http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2012/12/rethinkin g-mobile-first.html • http://pandodaily.com/2012/12/06/html- javascript-and-the-app-ification-of-the-web/

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