What is the heart of APIs?
One thing you hear in mainstream technology circles frequently is that at some point REST, RESTful, web, and HTTP APIs will eventually have to go away. At Streamdata.io we are pretty confident that we will be using web technology to provide simple, precise, useful access to data, content, and algorithms for some time to come, despite the API sectors continued evolution, and investment trends coming and going. Sorry, it is simple, low-cost, and something a wide audience gets from both a provider and consumer perspective. It gets the job done. Sure, there are many, many areas where web APIs fall short, but that won’t stop success continuing to be defined by enterprise organizations who can do microservices well at scale. Despite relentless assaults by each wave of entrepreneurs, simple HTTP APIs driving microservices will stick around for some time to come.
It is easy to get caught up in the latest trend coming out of Silicon Valley, and see APIs as just one of the latest phases, which will ultimately come to a close. Sure, there will changes, and evolutionary aspects of deliver APIs to consider, but providing machine readable access to data, content, and algorithmic resources using simple, low-cost web infrastructure will continue to make sense. There are definitely other evolutionary trends like GraphQL, event-driven infrastructure, and service mesh that API providers should be considering as part of a comprehensive strategy, but if you aren’t doing basic web APIs well at scale, you just aren’t going to be equipped to deliver appropriately in some of these areas.
It makes sense to stay in tune with each trend to come along, but not at the cost of what your core competency should be–delivering consistent, reliable, scalable API resources across the enterprise. From there you can start specializing with GraphQL endpoints, webhooks, streaming, and other event-driven approaches to delivering resources. From there you can start pushing your to ensure everything is automatically discoverable, fault-tolerant, performant, and reliable. One of the most important things you can do is focus heavily on ALL of our enterprise teams possessing mastery when it comes to the fundamentals of APIs, before expecting your enterprise organization to begin embracing other more advanced approaches to delivering API resources across teams–ensuring everyone has the fundamentals they need to be successful.
Photo Credit: Kyle Harris