REST API Notes for 2018/12/14

Like many folks on "the socials", I spent the week drinking from the firehose that was APIDays, Paris. The event was attended by over 3000+ API practitioners, vendors, and ne'er-do-wells. It also filled up a bunch of browser tabs that I'm still picking my way through. By next week, I should have my hands around the interesting bits worth highlighting. For this edition of the newsletter, however, let's cover what else happened in the world of APIs.



We'll start with a case study. Jessica Tai has a presentation entitled "AirBnB's Great Migration: From Monolith to Service-Oriented. You can either watch the recorded presentation or read the transcript posted on InfoQ.

Long time readers know that I'm a sucker for a good real-world example. And one point that Jessica makes about microservices, that I often see missed elsewhere, is how the independent deployment and scaling allow the larger organization to grow. In short, it is a great read.


Speaking of microservices, Bernd Rücker has published his "Microservices Workflow Automation Cheat Sheet". While there's a bit of setup, the payoff is a comprehensive overview of how the microservice bits can connect together. Bernd walks through a number of scenarios using a relatable example. There's even sample code to peruse.

The solution, as you might expect, depends. There's context and nuance to which approach works best. However, through Bernd's example, teams should be more prepared for that evaluation.


Did you know there was a draft RFC HTTP response format for health checks? Phil Sturgeon mentions that, along with a number of additional gems, in his piece, "Health Checks for REST/gRPC APIs: Kubernetes and Beyond".

If your idea of a health check is a boolean of whether a service is running (or not), you're missing out. Phil teases the wealth of other information that can be reported (cache, circuit-breakers, etc.). A great read.


  • Hashicorp released the 1.0 version of Vault, a tool for managing secrets and sensitive data. The 1.0 version includes, among other things, a published OpenAPI document.
  • After the Cambridge-Analytica news broke, Facebook required developers to verify the identity of the business they were associated with. That was a problem for independent folks just looking to experiment. The recent change, as documented on VentureBeat is a more straightforward approval path for those folks trying Facebook APIs and not associated with a company. Those developers "will have to upload a copy of their passport or driver’s license in order to gain full access".
  • Google had planned on shutting down is social network, Google+, in August of 2019. However, that shutdown date was moved up to April due to discovery of another API bug. I mention it not because I think anyone, at this point, has deep dependencies on Google+. For both Google, and the USPS problem I covered last week, there is a common theme: it isn't enough to check whether people coming in the front door should be there. You should ensure they aren't able to rifle through the medicine cabinet, as well.
  • Videos from REST Fest East 2018 have been posted online. That's 26 videos from the September Greenville, SC event for your perusal, if you've got some down time this holiday season.


Are you familiar with APIs? Interested in using data to tell stories? Looking for an exciting opportunity with a growing team working with noted figures in the API community?

I've got a position opening on my team in 2019 that I'm looking to fill. I'm still pulling together the rec, but if you answered yes to the questions above I'd love to talk with you. Shoot me an email with a little about yourself and what you're looking to do, professionally, and let's see if there is a match.

Also, if you haven't already, check out There's a number of new, 2019 events that I added this week. If something is missing just let me know; I'd be happy to add to it.

Finally, thank you to my Patreon sponsors. They are the ones providing the caffeine for next week's APIDays spelunking and year end recap - should be a good one.

Till then, Matthew

@libel_vox and

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