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This Fortnight in APIs, Release III

By Ashley Waxman on .

This post is the third in a series that collects news stories from the previous two weeks and is curated lovingly by the Runscope Developer Relations team. The topics span APIs, microservices, developer tools, best practices, funny observations and more.*

For when your trendy infrastructure goes mainstream:

A lot of companies and tech publications have been touting the benefits of microservices for the past couple of years, but now the popular infrastructure among small businesses is getting the enterprise treatment in the Wall Street Journal, Innovate or Die: The Rise of Microservices. This article explains why larger companies like GE, PayPal, Hewlett Packard and Capital One have evolved their internal processes from SOA to microservices and even though it comes with significant challenges, the benefits far outweigh them. One important benefit is that microservices allow these companies to innovate significantly faster, and speed is critical in today’s competitive landscape.

For when you want to reflect on how it all began:

Tech innovator and icon Andy Grove worked his way up from a 20-year-old Hungarian refugee who knew little English to graduating from UC Berkeley to becoming Chairman and (former) CEO of Intel. His story and impact on technology and Silicon Valley continues to influence the startup community and enterprise tech companies alike including Ben Horowitz, who gave a moving tribute to Grove at a recent awards ceremony. Take a look back at how Grove’s story and writings on management influenced Horowitz and countless others in this video.

For when announcements come in threes:

DevOps toolkit provider HashiCorp has grown significantly since launching popular open-source tool Vagrant in 2010, and during its first ever HashiConf last month, the company announced three new tools to round out its current offering: Otto, Nomad and Vault 0.3. Otto is the successor to Vagrant that solves developer pains around development environments, deployments and configuring microservices. In fact, all of HashiCorp’s latest tools center around microservices and APIs. Check out this high-level overview in Forbes on how HashiCorp is winning with DevOps engineers and big businesses alike by structuring its offering around tooling for specific jobs as opposed to one big stack that must be adopted in entirety to be effective.

For when you want to spread the wealth:

Microservices are often talked about from a very DevOps-y perspective around speed and optimization (see the first and third blurbs in this post), but like APIs, they actually benefit multiple parts of the business. In 9 Reasons Microservices Matter to Architects, Developers & Testers, former developer Les Worley analyzes how a microservices infrastructure impacts these three key stakeholders. By breaking down a monolith infrastructure into small, digestible services, businesses can see benefits around risk, agility and simplicity across teams.

For when two auths are better than one:

With the growth of API-powered services and apps, security is top of mind for API providers, consumers and end-users. One way of putting systems in place to ensure that your API is secure on all fronts is in your API management layer, and Amazon Web Services recently detailed how to do this with its recently launched Amazon API Gateway service. By focusing on two key pieces of security—authentication and authorization—this article provides a step-by-step guide for how to leverage identity and access management controls using API Gateway.

For when your reading material can do write operations:

Popular op-ed outlet Medium (we even included a Medium article in this post) just announced the availability of its Publishing API. Already a democratizer of content and opinions, Medium’s Publishing API gives contributors the ability to “share their story on Medium from anywhere.” The API also comes with some exciting new integrations, like with desktop writing apps, plus IFTTT and WordPress. It also eliminates excuses for why you still haven’t written that revolutionary thought leadership piece.

For when they change the locks to the kingdom:

This month, Twitter will turn off its public API, which powers the display of how often a web page has been shared via twitter, in favor of a paywall. Instead of a free service, people who want to access that information will have to use more comprehensive statistics from Twitter-acquired Gnip. API providers moving to a private or internal model isn’t unheard of, and Runscope Co-founder and CEO John Sheehan commented on the trend after Netflix announced the formal closing of its public API in 2013. With this shift in monetization models, APIs are continuing to be influential on the overall business and not just technology and infrastructure.

For when you’re tired of reading and just want to listen:

We talk a lot about monitoring at Runscope, but monitoring is essentially running tests on a schedule. Building the right tests even before you’ve started designing your API can significantly impact the workflow and end result for the better. In the software testing podcast TestTalks, Runscope VP of Developer Relations Neil Mansilla sat down with host Joe Colantonio to provide some API testing tips, including testing your API from a functional standpoint and involving as many stakeholders as possible early in the API development lifecycle.

Notice something we missed? Put your favorite stories of the past fortnight in the comments below, or email us your feedback!

*We're a few days late on this one due to taking time to attend AWS re:Invent. We'll have an insider's take on the conference next week!

Categories: api ecosystem, this fortnight in apis

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