API is the new black…

yes. doesn’t it seem like everyone has one.

I mean it’s not so much the obvious monster ones – like google, twitter, ebay, facebook, bing, amazon, or even the location based services like gowalla, foursquare, brightkite, simplegeo

no. those alone all make sense. you have a service – make some user authentication, some inputs and outputs – and boom…mashups galore.

Gone are the early days when a craigslist google maps mashup was cool and new. Nowadays if you don’t have an API you don’t have anything.

Which means even odd-sounding stuff like the Mastercard API – which in theory sounds great but is kind of scary. I mean can you imagine a Bank of America API – or a Blue Cross Blue Shield API 😉

(ok fine – you can build services on top of APIs and still have something)

I guess the point is more that we are now very far removed from a walled garden application/service model. Future native (or html5) apps on mobile phones interact with APIs on your handsets to read sensors in your device.

So let’s see…we have

(a) authentication
(b) protocol definitions and function calls
(c) results/datastream

This is all well and good – but where do you manage all these infernal APIs. Permissions, Privacy, Preferences – the bugbears rear their heads again – because the cloud is not just one thing. Every dataset which is API accessible in the cloud in theory needs its own set of preferences.

Messy…and in some instances not ideal in our opinion.

But then…that’s a subject for the next post 😉

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One response to “API is the new black…

  1. “API is the new black” eh? Oh that’s so close. But it’s not quite there. What it should it should have said was …

    “API is the new black, unless you’re a cellco, when we may or may not produce a range of APIs and may or may not encourage a developer ecosystem around these APIs (if we do produce them) and even then, if you’re one of our customers then don’t even think of actually using an app which calls these APIs on the back-end because then it won’t be part of our walled garden and we don’t want you to go outside of there, because it’s nice and safe (and we can charge you for this nice safe premium content) and let’s have no more of this foolish talk of cellco’s being relegated to a data pipe shall we?”

    But to be fair, that’s a bit long as a post title isn’t it?

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