REST API Notes for 2016/10/11

Greetings! Whether you are heads down on Q4 objectives or enjoying the London APIDays conference, here is the latest, greatest RESTful API thoughts for your consideration.


Long time API industry writer, Mark Boyd, has published a tremendous piece entitled Turning APIs into Products: The Next Stage of Business Growth. I've worked in a number of organizations for which RESTful APIs were a technology solution, not a business one. Treating the API as a product isn't 2nd nature for most like it is for API-only companies like Twilio, Cronofy, and SendGrid.

What does it mean to treat an API like a product? As Mark mentions, product support entails:

  • professional services team to enable service delivery
  • creating (and sharing) roadmaps for future intent and delivery timelines
  • success metric creation, monitoring, and contractual performance reporting


Two microservice pieces released in the past week nicely complemented each other. The first was "Microservices should not be used if the organization is not embracing DevOps principles", an interview with Daniel Bryant by Gabriela Motroc. Digging deep, Daniel discusses how microservices represent a testing challenge. Further, he relates the experience that I discuss in my current talk: if a business isn't organized around the functionality they're serving up, the APIs produced will be sub-optimal.

Another question that Daniel answers is when microservices are (and aren't) a good idea. He further elaborates on that in a nearly 40-minute video entitled "The Seven (More) Deadly Sins of Microservices. Concerned about building "mini-monoliths"? This presentation should be your guide for sniffing those things out.


Assuming microservice development is still a priority after reading Daniel's analysis, Oliver Gierke delivers a nuanced exploration of what that might entail. Oliver does a masterful job of breaking down the problems of RPC-over-HTTP design. If you've ever wondered why your early API efforts now seems to encountering breaking changes, this is the article for you.


It is amazing how quickly summer has given way to fall. There are still several great API events coming up before the end of the year, however. If you've got an event, feel free to shoot me a reply - I'd be glad to include it.

Till next time,

Matthew (@libel_vox)

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