A recent PC World article titled “As Facebook Service Goes, So Goes the Internet” scratched the surface of some inherent dangers of our increasingly interconnected Internet. By its very nature, the current generation of the internet is interconnected: “Web 2.0 is a loosely defined intersection of web application features that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web.” The PC World article traced some problems that mere inclusion of a simple sharing interface can cause. When Facebook suffered a bad day, the top twenty news sites experienced load times of 12.5 seconds (compared to the usual 5-7 seconds). Top retail sites load times slowed to 5.7 seconds from the typical 2.2. seconds. All of this dragging because of a poorly performing “Like” button at a Facebook data center? This could have much larger implications for companies that are inherently reliant on data from external sources (e.g. websites pulling third-party data via APIs).
Our API directory now includes 78 hosting APIs. The newest is the MongoHQ API. The most popular, in terms of mashups, is the Heroku API. We list 13 Heroku mashups. Below you’ll find some more stats from the directory, including the entire list of hosting APIs.
Cloud APIs are all about the endpoints: some services follow the current trend of providing a RESTful end point, others use older protocols such as RPC or SOAP, some use newer – push focused – endpoints like WebSockets or HTTP Streaming, others may offer a number of different endpoints to meet different requirements and some just use what seems to be best for a specific job which might mean not strictly following protocol rules. But is providing an endpoint to a service alone good enough? Should a developer really have to care about how a service is built or accessed when they can use a client library?