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This Fortnight in APIs, Release VI

By Ashley Waxman on .

This post is the sixth 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 APIs can’t contain themselves:

For many of us, APIs are a ubiquitous no-brainer to include in our infrastructure for both business and technology benefits, like speed and agility. Outside of our API bubble, the conversation around APIs has changed significantly over the past few years, as reviewed by Mark Boyd in The Importance of APIs in the Container Age. Boyd interviews several API practitioners to explore how APIs have become both more accessible by a less technical audience, but also more under the radar as the “invisible hand” guiding IT and business operations. This article also explores the difference between microservices and APIs, as well as whether APIs need a common metaphor, which has helped the container movement be successful.

For when your SOAP API has RESTing [fill in the blank] face:

SOAP APIs in production can be tricky to use when you rely mostly on RESTful services, and many developers would rather not try. One common solution to this conflict is putting a REST API in front of a SOAP stack, which Darrel Miller describes in this blog post. Miller explains the potential issues that can arise when attempting to to build a resource-oriented HTTP API as a facade to a SOAP API, as well as how to spot and troubleshoot those issues. Even with his guidance, Miller warns that converting a SOAP API to a RESTful one still won’t solve all your problems, as most SOAP APIs are built to expose a different set of data than REST APIs. If you’re still game to tackle it, Miller’s article is a trusty guide for you.

For when you want your microservices to get on Amazon’s level:

While not synonymous with each other, APIs and microservices are intrinsically linked. At the I Love APIs conference last month, Chris Munns, business development manager for DevOps at AWS, presented a talk on how Amazon builds enterprise microservices that scale. This recap on Apigee’s blog provides a high level overview on how Amazon is structured internally, the tooling teams use to get the job done like Apollo and CodePipeline, and best practices—which include “lots and lots of monitoring” plus metrics—by a company that’s regarded as one of the original innovators in microservices. Check out his full deck from I Love APIs, and if you’re still hungry for more microservices tips from Amazon, you can read an in-depth exploration of some more of the developer tools that Amazon has built to support microservices, such as API Gateway and Lambda, in The New Stack.  

For when you watch Netflix for more than your favorite shows:

Also coming out of the I Love APIs conference, InfoQ sat down with Daniel Jacobson, VP of Edge Engineering at Netflix and an early voice for microservices, to discuss ephemeral APIs and continuous innovation. In this Q&A, Jacobson discusses experience APIs and the value of being able to iterate easily and not creating a one-size-fits-all API that’s easy for few to use, but overall difficult for many. Jacobson also dives into the details of Netflix’s architecture and tooling, so if you’re looking for an inside look at one of the more influential engineering programs, this article is for you.

For when your framework is so good, you could eat it:

Yelp released a microservices framework dubbed PaaSTA (no, the TA is not silent), which currently powers the majority of Yelp’s operations. The company published a blog post that serves as a comprehensive guide to what the components are (Docker, Jenkins and SmartStack to name a few) and how they work so you can bring PaaSTA into your own org. It’s great to see more and more companies that are disruptive in the consumer space also releasing innovative tools to the engineering space. Now, can we post a review about PaaSTA on Yelp?

For when you want a new way to use API mangement:

As a developer, there are times when you’ll want to generate events from HTTP messages being sent to your APIs for things like creating an audit trail of updates and usage analytics. A post on the Microsoft Azure blog explains how easy it is to do so via an API management provider. This example walks you through how to monitor your APIs with Azure API Management, Event Hubs and Runscope Live Traffic Alerts. If you have an API management provider in place, connecting with API monitoring is “as simple as a few dozen lines of code.”

For when everything’s better in JSON:

Last week, we announced the launch of the new Runscope Export Format, a JSON representation of all your API tests complete with request steps, scripts and assertions. This new format serves Runscope’s latest feature release of importing and exporting entire suites of API tests in one click. This next phase in automation allows you access outside of the Runscope UI to the work you do building API tests and facilitate collaboration and test management among teams.

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, apis

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