Artificial Intelligence: AGI, AI, API – and AIPI?

What do A(G)Is and APIs have in common? Well, neither of them mean quite what they used to mean. As we said in my previous post, AI originally meant AGI, which meant designing an artificial brain. But that got watered down over time. AI came to mean whatever AI researchers researched. An API makes programming easier, because it defines what you will get back if you make you make a request of the interface. Like AIs, APIs have been around for a long time. Back in the 1980s, AIs were usually an abstraction layer within a monolithic operating or software [...]

By | 2017-08-22T07:23:06+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Opinion|0 Comments

Never Mind the Quality: The Depth and Breadth of API Management

There's an interesting article over at SDTimes called "API management: The glue holding the app economy together." Yep, they're right about that. If we think about what an app actually is, it's basically a bit of a web browser that's specially designed. So, you could access Facebook or Twitter via your browser, or you could use the app. Getting a website to work on different devices with radically different screen sizes and input modes is a PitA. It's much easier to use the iOS or Android SDK and build an app. It'll make a lot of things easier, and [...]

By | 2017-07-12T15:22:43+00:00 July 12th, 2017|Opinion|0 Comments

Leavin’ On A Jet Plane (Or Not, If You Tried To Fly British Airways)

Were you hoping to be a passenger on a British Airways flight over the weekend? So were ten of thousands of other travelers. The sheer logistic disruption (planes in the wrong place, getting luggage where it is supposed to be) is taking several days to sort out. And that's not to mention how long it might take to sort the most pressing IT issues. BA has said the problem was caused by a power surge that led to some networking hardware failing, and then the all-important messaging systems failing. But BA was already experiencing significant IT issues on Friday, with [...]

By | 2017-06-07T09:39:14+00:00 June 1st, 2017|Enterprise IT, Opinion, Sectors, Travel|0 Comments

What is a Web API? APImetrics Explains it All

"What is a web API?" At APImetrics, we actually get this question a lot. And I found someone asking this question recently on Quora as well. I answered it there, and I thought it'd be helpful to post it here, too. Happy learning! To understand what a web API is, it’s necessary to understand what makes a HTTP request to an API different from a HTTP request to any old URI (Universal Resource Indicator, which typically might be a webpage). Generally, we might expect that a HTTP server will return HTML. After all, it is the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. But [...]

API Changes: Making Sure Your Calls Work After The Switch

One of the things about APIs is that they're subject to change. API changes might be because the API endpoints and methods have been changed. In this case, a good API provider will give its users plenty of warning about API changes. There will also probably be a grace period as the deprecated and new versions of the API operate side-by-side before the switch. Even if you pay for the API, it's going to be up to you to make sure the third-party API you depend on is going to ensure continuity of service. But it's all too easy to [...]

By | 2017-06-07T09:45:23+00:00 May 23rd, 2017|Enterprise IT, Opinion, Uncategorized|0 Comments

2030 Web Resources: Intelligent Knowledge Bases & Event Horizons?

In 2004, pretty much nobody was worrying about RESTful APIs. But we've seen an exponential increase in interest over the past 13 years. If that interest continues for the next 13 years, 2030 web resources might be very different. We might hit the API Event Horizon! It’s possible that the RESTful paradigm might go the way of SOAP. But HTTP has been around for over a quarter-century now. It's very probable we'll still be using it in 2030. And if we're not, something else will take its place that we'll have to worry about. So it's a good bet that [...]

By | 2017-05-19T03:44:45+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|Opinion|0 Comments

4 Big API Questions that Every API Stakeholder Needs to Answer

Generally speaking, there are four big API questions that every API stakeholder needs to answer: Discovery: How do I know there’s an API? Documentation: What does the API do, and how? Authorization: How do I get to use the API? Quality/performance monitoring: Does the API do what it is supposed to do? An experienced API engineering team can help with these issues. But none of them are particularly quick, easy or cheap matters to handle. Discovery You can look somewhere like Programmable Web to find out what APIs are out there. It currently lists more than 17,461 APIs. That’s a [...]

By | 2017-06-07T09:46:45+00:00 May 16th, 2017|Opinion, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Our Global API Economy: The Importance of API Metrics

We are living in an API economy. Organizations of every kind depend on APIs to exchange mission-critical, time-sensitive data and information with customers, suppliers, partners and other stakeholders. Given the importance of APIs to modern businesses, API metrics must be measured and managed. For example, you need to know what's happening on a minute-by-minute basis on Cyber Monday. But you also want to know whether anyone is actually using that API that DevOps spend so much time, effort and money building. "Always returning 200!" says DevOps Server, load balancer and gateway logs can tell you something about your API metrics. [...]

By | 2017-04-18T03:05:43+00:00 April 18th, 2017|Opinion, Summary|0 Comments

“No problem. We’ll write a cURL script to do that”

Does this story sound familiar? Marketing's having an issue with a mission-critical API. DevOps says there is no issue. After much research, Marketing was right – there is a problem. The API doesn't always return the expected fields, and sometimes it takes so long to respond that the user app times out. Is there any way to monitor the API and see if there is an issue? "No problem," says DevOps. "We'll write a cURL script to do that." So someone in DevOps is assigned the task. It'll only take a few minutes. OK, it took a few hours in [...]

By | 2017-08-03T13:20:57+00:00 April 5th, 2017|Opinion|0 Comments

That 3AM Call

It's 3 a.m. You're dead asleep. The phone rings. You blunder around trying to locate your phone. Oh thank God - it's work! Only work. No one is dead. It's the support desk. Your most important customer's service has gone down. It might be the middle of the night where you are, but not where your customer is. If their service is down, it means they're losing revenue – and if they're pointing the finger at you, your company is going to be in a whole heap of pain. "It's OK," says the DevOps guy a couple of minutes later, [...]

By | 2017-04-11T11:13:48+00:00 March 30th, 2017|Opinion|1 Comment