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This Fortnight in APIs, Release IX

By Ashley Waxman on .

This post is the ninth in a series that collects news stories, helpful tools and useful blog posts 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 you want microservices without the micromanagement:

Building your app on a microservices architecture style is no small feat. Developing, deploying and orchestrating dozens of moving parts can introduce a lot of complexity and migraines. But before you full throttle reverse back to monolith, learn how to build incredibly scalable and resilient microservices without the operational overhead using AWS Lambda and API Gateway. In his article From Monolith to Microservices, Part 1: AWS Lambda and API Gateway, Tom Bray teaches us how to use Lambda functions (code executed without provisioning or managing servers) as microservices that are triggered through API Gateway.

For when you need to explain to your mom what an API is:

To many of us, APIs have become like air, ubiquitous to the point where we don’t remember what we did without them. In Jennifer Riggins’ latest post, What Does Good API Management Look Like, she provides a basic, concise description of what APIs are (for your non-tech friends) and reminds of just how impactful APIs have become—like the fact that at least 2 billion people are using them every day. The meat of the article is in an interview with Keith Casey, Director of Product at Clarify, on key requirements for good API management.

For when the LTE goes MIA:

In one moment, a 50KB API payload could fly by in milliseconds, and the next moment, that same request could take 7 to 10 seconds to complete. Understanding how mobile networks are performing may be crucial to the end-user experience of your apps. In Monitoring Mobile Network Performance from Jana Technology, learn how to measure mobile network performance, from TTFB (time-to-first-byte) to throughput.

For when you want your documentation turned up to 11:

It’s no secret that API documentation is one of the most important pieces of fostering API adoption, but doing documentation right is a little less straightforward. On the Launch Any blog, James Higginbotham explains how to bring your documentation to the next level, beyond API reference documentation, by answering 10 (OK, 11) key questions.

For when you seek a hypermedia definition you won’t HATE(OAS):  

There are lots of hypermedia definitions and explanations swirling around, but if you want the real deal on how it’s done in practice successfully, check out Keith Casey’s post on the Clarify blog. In Why Hypermedia Makes Sense, Casey explains the who, what, where, why and how of hypermedia. If it doesn’t convince you to start building hypermedia APIs, at least you’ll know how to talk about them.

For when you want the down-low on uploads:

If you’re building an API to handle file uploads, you’ll likely discover the many different design choices—direct file upload, upload by URL reference, resumable uploads, etc. In this article, Phil Sturgeon navigates the sea of uploading options for APIs, and helps you select the best solution for your platform and developers. Spoiler: it’s not multi-part forms.

For when everyone's trying to get Swagger Like Us (cue TI):

Last year, the API specification Swagger moved into the Linux Foundation under the Open API Initiative and was initially called the Open API Definition Format (OADF)—which spun up more questions than answers. Kin Lane kicked off the year with a post to clear up some of this confusion—most importantly, confirmation that Swagger will now be called OpenAPI Spec. For a deep dive into OpenAPI Spec, check out this article in the Nordic APIs blog in which Chris Wood explains how OpenAPI Spec came to be and what the future holds.

For when the chef shares his secret sauce:  

We closed out the year with one of our favorite posts yet, An Inside Look at 7 Standout APIs. Learn straight from some of the best API practitioners out there on how they build better APIs and manage change. Ray Morgan at Stripe discussed how the company introduces major API changes, Matt Bernier at SendGrid talked about creating meaningful developer experiences and Ryan Smith at Chain explains how the company plans for customer onboarding.

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

Categories: api ecosystem, this fortnight in apis

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