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API days

API World musings

Attending API World in Santa Clara, CA., last week and communicating, for various reasons, with people in Europe and Australia, it struck me as strange to be wishing one person good morning while I wished another good night, in the middle of the afternoon.

Of course, that’s just the way it is, but I couldn’t help feeling, for a moment or two, that each of us was in our own parallel universe, existing simultaneously, but experiencing different realities.

Cloud computing produces a similar effect, but unlike steampunk, it’s a real future available today.

Cloudy with > a hint of APIs

The reality for some is a world free of clouds, while for others, cloud is their only reality.

Are we to consider those inhabiting a non-cloud reality merely to be in a different time zone or in an alternative universe?

If cloud adoption continues at its present rate, laggards may soon wish they were in the alternative future. Steampunk might be a good read, but it doesn’t cut it as a practical option.

Cloud technology has materialised through virtualisation, but it is no virtual reality. It has engendered a plethora of APIs, enabling developers to mash up all manner of integrated applications.

That’s the real message from API World, right there.

The API message

APIs play a fundamental role in application integration, enabling developers to work with multiple applications for a unified business purpose. The eco-system of APIs is a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts as it permits developers to invoke myriad functionalities and exchange data between multiple back-end applications.

API is the collective acronym for a technology that enables developers to create new products and services across a plethora of digital channels, including smart devices, M2M, and the IoT. APIs also facilitate the rapid modelling and profiling that tech-savvy businesses demand. As such, they are synonymous with start-ups and entrepreneurship, encouraging developers to launch new and innovative businesses.

Whose APIs?

If you’ve understood the message, you’ll realise there is no one right answer to the question of whose APIs. That’s because, for any given requirement, you’re likely to need more than one API. Each API provides an interface to its own underlying technology.

Given that you will need a mash-up of several API enabled technologies, the most sensible place to access them is in the cloud. The alternative of implementing a raft of third party APIs, in house, in your own data centre, is surely counter intuitive.

When it comes to communications enabled business practices (CEBP), you’ll need to add voice, fax, messaging, text-to-speech, WebRTC, etc., to the mix. Already, across industry verticals, an increasing number of enterprise applications now incorporate CEBP. As communications evolves to become a more contextual experience, called upon in relation to circumstances and events, the choice of telecoms APIs will remain an important decision.

That being the case, you should select APIs from a provider with a relevant heritage; one that offers deployment proven, industry benchmark technology.

Get with the programme. Never mind steampunk or parallel worlds. Cloud APIs are the future today, and it’s to your detriment to be behind the times.