Wearables were a hot trend at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona this week. No fewer than six devices made their debut, including fitness bands and full-on smartwatches. Without app support, however, these tools are little more than expensive jewelry.
APIs are creating opportunities for businesses to enter new markets, extend their customer reach, and create innovative products based on their data assets and core functionalities. As they progress along this path, businesses often start redefining themselves as a platform: They see themselves as allowing customers to couple with a business’ data assets and services via an API in whatever configuration makes sense to the customer’s value chain.
DeveloperWeek has started in San Francisco, promising to offer a wide range of activities during the week, including two days of packed conference sessions, coding workshops, tech start-up open days, and evening hiring mixers. To kick start the week of events, DeveloperWeek hosted a hackathon at the Rackspace offices in San Francisco’s SoMa district.
ProgrammableWeb has covered Zapier from its early days a few years ago to its continued innovation and success. Today, Zapier took another major leap forward with the release of its new Zapier Developer Platform. We caught up with Zapier co-founder and CEO, Wade Foster, on the eve of the platform launch.
The adoption of REST as the predominant method to build public APIs has over-shadowed any other API technology or approach in recent years. Although several alternatives (mainly SOAP) are still (very) prevalent in the enterprise, the early adopters of the API movement have taken a definitive stance against them and opted for REST as their approach and JSON as their preferred message format.
Today Mashery, an Intel Company announced their acquisition of Hacker League, the world’s largest platform for hackathon organizers. Created in late 2011, over the last two years Hacker League has helped run over 450 hackathons worldwide. The move will allow Hacker League to reach an ever wider audience. Mashery at the same time gets the opportunity to invest in a hackathon management tool that meets the growing demand of their Enterprise customer base.
Today’s apps are as spread out as they’ve ever been, thanks to REST APIs, which make it easy to link into all kinds of backend services. That’s cool, but what if something goes awry? What if one of the APIs you are using breaks? How are you going to find out what’s wrong in order to fix it? For starters, keep things simple when you build your app and avoid using SDKs whenever possible.
Last week marked the end of Evernote Accelerator Program capped by the demo day on Thursday. The Accelerator is a month-long, fully paid residency program where six startup teams from around the world were given the opportunity to study an on-premise startup curriculum at Evernote’s offices. The demo day acted as a capstone to the event, allowing the teams to show off the progress made on each of their products; each using the Evernote API. ProgrammableWeb caught up with Evernote’s Director of Developer Relations Rafe Needleman for some insight into the product teams and their experiences in the Accelerator.
An emerging trend is taking place where platforms are increasingly letting developers interact with their APIs through SDKs. Layer 7’s Scott Morrison comments on why this is happening and when it makes sense, noting that “SDKs make the service subordinate to the client, thus inverting a hierarchy that goes back to the early days of distributed computing.”