One of the obstacles we encounter regularly when trying to help API and data consumers integrate with the thousands of API resources we are publishing to the Streamdata.io API Gallery is the easy access to applications, and OAuth tokens for the hundreds of API providers we showcase. Before API consumers can put API resources to work, they need an application token, and then often times an additional OAuth API tokens, which can slow the process of integration substantially, depending on the platform in question.
The friction with on-boarding our customers to one or many different API platforms is making us consider getting in the business of helping manage API applications and tokens. Or, at least in the business of helping our customers manage applications and tokens. It is proving to be the bridge between discovering new API resources in the gallery, and actually being able to put them to work for us. A bridge we feel that we need to begin helping our customer’s cross, otherwise, we won’t be able to help everyone realize the full potential of what Streamdata.io offers.
This is just an exploratory post, openly discussing some of the challenges our customers are facing. We aren’t sure of the best solution for helping manage the application environments needed to put the growing number of APIs out there to use. Ideally, we aren’t in the business of managing company’s applications and tokens for them, but we know we should be in the business of helping them be successful in discovering, and connecting to the valuable API resources we are discovering and publishing to the gallery each day. For now, we’ll have to keep advising our customer’s on where they should go, providing them with the links to API providers signup, pricing, and terms of service.
When we get the question, where do we get our application key and OAuth token for each API, we’ll do our best to help. We’ll also keep working to help API providers make their on-boarding process easier, and discussing the challenges with our customers. This isn’t just a problem with the services we are offering, it is a challenge that will continue to plague the entire API sector. We are going to need more solutions for helping issue, manage, secure, renew, share, and put the applications and tokens we need to access hundreds or even thousands of APIs we are beginning to use in all the applications we depend on daily. Something that is only going to increase, grow and expand as the digital economy marches forward.