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This Fortnight in APIs, Release X

By Ashley Waxman on .

This post is the tenth 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 can’t drive 55 (without an API):

It’s not uncommon these days to see product releases accompanied by a fresh new API as part of the package. This week, Uber announced the availability of the UberRUSH API, which allows developers to incorporate the company’s new rush delivery service into apps for companies like Google Express, Rent the Runway and SAP, to name a few. Over the past year, Uber has been warming up to developers, offering public APIs, SDKs and more to get its services integrated in as many apps as possible. This article on The Verge provides a solid overview of the UberRush API.

For when your API docs need their own docs:

There have been a lot of great articles lately on strategies and standards around API documentation, and this fortnight is no exception. Taylor Singletary published Writing Great Documentation based on his experiences at Twitter, LinkedIn and Slack. His advice mirrors basic good writing principles that you should incorporate into your API documentation, like maintaining an active voice and highlighting key content. Use these tips, and both your English teacher and developers will be proud.

On the strategy side, James Higginbotham wrote Building Your API Documentation Strategy for SUCCESS on the LaunchAny blog. SUCCESS spells out all the checkpoints you need to take when writing your docs that are easy to do and pay off in the long run. If you read both of these articles, you’ll see that they’re taking their own advice very well—which means an easy and useful read for you.

For when your favorite schema takes Initiative: 

Choosing an API schema or description language is sometimes like trying to decide which child is your favorite (or least favorite). This child is smart and easy to understand, while this one mows the lawn and does the dishes. If you are caught between selecting Swagger (OpenAPI Specification) and another schema, last week’s announcement that Apiary will be support the OpenAPI Initiative can provide some relief.

For when you want to save money and live better by deploying across multiple clouds: 

Well known for helping their customers save money and live better, Walmart is extending its value promise to a whole new segment—engineering and ops organizations. Earlier this week, Walmart Labs open sourced OneOps, their internal cloud management and application lifecycle management platform for developers, allowing them to test and deploy in a multi-cloud environment, freeing them from being locked into a single cloud provider. We wrote about Walmart in our exploration of retail APIs, and it's exciting to see retailers become more innovative on the technology front.

For when the cloud takes over your water cooler chat:

Chat services like Slack and HipChat are quickly picking up adoption beyond just engineering teams and startups (in fact, they’re Runscope’s two most popular integrations). In this SD Times article, Alex Handy discusses how chat services is also giving rise to ChatOps, or the need for managing the seemingly countless messages and notifications coming in through these services. ChatOps Is Taking Over Enterprises explores the history of ChatOps dating back to the 1990s and how it continues to evolve.

For when you need to hear from microservices practitioners and not just the pundits:

Introducing a new architecture or framework into a company is often less about the technology, and more about the people and culture. This holds true for both the proponents and opponents. In this InfoQ interview with two well-respected consultants and practitioners of microservices and Self-Contained Systems titled Microservices in the Real World, you’ll learn about dealing with common “us vs. them” behaviors when applying DevOps, the difference between microservices and SCS, and the importance of application and system metrics.

For when it’s about the journey and the destination:

Migrating huge sets of data to a new database is no easy feat, particularly when you want to do so transparently in the background with zero downtime. That’s why we wrote about lessons we learned during our recent double migration to DynamoDB in a two-part series. Part 1 discusses lessons in schema design, and Part 2 shows the details of our zero downtime approach and how we used Global Secondary Indexes (GSIs). To help out anyone else migrating to DynamoDB, we wrote a Boto plugin to log errors and send them to Runscope for debugging. Happy migrating!

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, community

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