The Growing API Community | #APIStrat

By Hannah Shain in API Industry Trends Posted Nov 19, 2015

The Cloud Elements team is extremely excited to be at the APIStrat 2015 Conference in Austin, TX! At the conference, we are busy gathering new ideas to expand our innovative minds,and discovering more about the evolving API economy. Here is just a quick recap of our initial thoughts and reactions after hearing from three opening keynotes this morning.

Austin, TX APIStrat

This morning, Built IO’s CEO Neha Sampat explained that we are heading towards an era of the “Internet of APIs” rather than the Internet of Things. Sampat explained this with 7 clear ideas about APIs that were hard to argue with. She ingrained into the audience how relevant and important our work with APIs really is. Sampat stated that as of yesterday’s data there were 14,299 APIs on ProgrammableWeb and a remarkable 600% growth in APIs since 2010.

APIStrat 2015Sampat continued with stories on the connectivity of APIs and how they work to bring inventive ideas together. The brilliance of the tech industry and the innovative ideas that drive it are worthless if apps do not work together in a connected fashion. APIs let us connect all our ideas seamlessly, creating a product we most likely could have never imagined in the beginning. A developer can serve as a conductor, with the ability to take their app in whichever direction they wish and APIs do the hardwiring for them. As new solutions are developed and evolved, it is easy to integrate and they no longer disrupt previous work (as compared to the challenges of monolithic apps in our past). We always knew how important APIs were to development, but Sampat really showcased the potential for the future and ideas to come.

Rion Dooley, who came from the Texas Advanced Computing Center spoke about REST: design, best practices, and frameworks. Dooley spoke about data driven science and the potential that apps have in a market place. One very cool use case Dooley dove into was the DNASubway project <http://dnasubway.org>. Essentially the project is Genetic Application that uses the Subway / Metro metaphor to figure out the details of the DNA and genes. Students using the platform, for the origins of bread, for example, are essentially creating a new and futuristic view on how we calculate data. It’s truly remarkable work and highly recommended to check out for yourself!

Lori MacVettie, from F5 Networks, was the last speaker we heard today. MacVettie spoke about scaling and architecture of APIs. The obvious reason we scaled is for capacity, but performance is second runner up. MacVettie explained how to eliminate the slow response time that is related to increased records, users, resources etc.  For instance, when Amazon slows down by 100 milliseconds it correlates to a -1% in sales, or a cost of $660 million for the ecommerce giant. On average 1 minute of downtime costs a company $7300. “Time is money” says MacVettie and the importance of scaling became very clear in real business metrics to everyone listening.

There are multiple types of scaling in vs out, modern scaling, and more. MacVettie explained scalability architectures based on the Scale Cube: x-axis is horizontal duplication, y-axis is functional decomposition, and z-axis is data partitioning. While there are pros and cons of each method we learned there is no one single way to scale architecture.api-strategy-practice-vertical.jpg

Our team is learning so much about the world of APIs and the potential that is ahead of us to design and own as an API community. It is easy to really value our industry and the endless possibilities it holds. We cannot wait to hear more from APIStrat in the days to come. 

P.S. While at APIStrat today, we launched the Formula Builder, a UI for API-Based Workflows. Check out the APIs now live in our console and free to try out. 

Try Formula Builder