Steven Willmott

Previously the CEO of 3scale Inc. Steven is now part of the Middleware Business Unit at Red Hat.

Areas of Expertise

APIs, Distributed Systems, AI

Recent Posts

2016 API predictions

2016 API predictions

The API field progressed in leaps and bounds in the past with impressive new APIs, standards advances, conferences and unfortunately also more negative events like security breaches. Given all that activity, it’s a tough call to guess what might be next. What’s certainly true is that there will be more growth in store! There were already prediction pieces out there for 2016 like Yves de Montcheuil’s, Neha Sampat’s great 10 API predictions presentation at APIDays Paris and Mark Boyd’s great piece on the potential economic impact of APIs in 2016.

APIs are showing up in a wide range of future projections in all sorts of industries from financial services to data centers and healthcare. We’re also expecting a bumper year for API growth. However, this still leaves questions: what the growth areas will be, and what will be important to get the most out of 2016 for APIs? Here’s our shot at 2016 API predictions:

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Building great APIs, part II: Simplicity, flexibility, and TTFHW

Building great APIs, part II: Simplicity, flexibility, and TTFHW

Last week’s “Building Great APIs” article covered two of John Musser and Adam Duvander’s 5 Key Elements of great APIs: providing value and having a business model. In this post, we’ll tackle the next topic:

  • Make it simpleflexible, and easily adopted.

The three statements seem obvious until you begin to unpick what they mean–and they might even seem contradictory. Making an API simple seems like a noble goal but it can easily be thwarted by complex edge use cases, existing legacy code and a tendency on the part of some API designers to expose underlying data models in raw form. Flexibility often breeds complexity as the API becomes overloaded to meet many use cases. We’ll take each topic in turn and finish up with an all-important metric: TTFHW (Time To First Hello World).

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Building great APIs, part I: The gold standard

Building great APIs, part I: The gold standard

Back in July, John Musser wrote an excellent post over at ProgrammableWeb on what it takes to build great APIs (also check out his OSCON slides on Slideshare). John boils what’s needed down to five key elements—valueplan and business modelflexibilitygood management, and great support.

Together with perhaps just one more–stability (an unreliable API is as good as unusable)–these points arguably should represent an “API Gold Standard” for almost any API program. Getting these right goes a long way to running a great API program and we advise anybody running an API to think about them.

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