APIs are the Rosetta Stone of today’s technological age, providing a key to link various software offerings together that adds value is invaluable. In doing so, APIs unlock the vast potential of what the future will hold. While, yes, APIs offer much, but the proper due diligence in planning, testing and development must be in place to reach the bar all the hype has set.
With APIs front of mind, API Fortress Founder and CEO Patrick Poulin took a few minutes to speak with TMC about APIs, API Fortress and what to expect at the upcoming All About the API event at Ceasers Palace in Las Vegas. Poulin will be participating in the session “Why Aren’t We testing APIs?”where he will be joined by Wayne Ariola from Parasoft to delve deep into their personal experiences with API testing.
TMC: What new business opportunities are being driven by the growth of the so-called API economy?
Patrick Poulin: Businesses are finding new revenue streams leveraging their core technologies or databases.
TMC: Is there a market for APIs you would consider the low-hanging fruit? Which markets are the next to leverage APIs extensively?
PP: Sports are only starting to dive into it. Analytics has become imperative to every franchise, but fantasy sports lovers are getting equally adept at using these new forms of information. There will be a marketplace for sports data APIs, and fantasy platforms will be clamoring to incorporate them.
TMC: What are the major challenges API developers face?
PP: A lack of standardization. One of the trickiest parts of creating our platform was achieving the flexibility and intuitiveness necessary for people to successfully get through the authentication process. Even when that step is complete we still see APIs that use JSON, XML or something else entirely.
TMC: Who, within an organization, should businesses target when marketing their APIs (i.e., business leaders, C-Suite, developers)?
PP: Businesses should target high level decision makers, and communicate the message in a way that even those with limited technical aptitude can understand. Our biggest issue currently is a lack of awareness of how APIs work, what they can do and how testing and monitoring is critical and underserved.
TMC: How do you measure ROI of APIs?
PP: Our API is an extension of the platform. Therefore, customer satisfaction is the return we are aiming for. The easier and more useful the API is, the happier our customers will be.
TMC: Who is responsible for security? Is API security more challenging than securing other applications, hardware and networks?
PP: API security can be tricky because of what APIs often are – internal systems made publicly available. That requires specific requirements that allow for use by the public, while also protecting the systems internally. That’s the challenge and adventure.
TMC: How often are APIs changed or updated? How is this accomplished while ensuring minimal disruption to users and their customers?
PP: APIs are updated as regularly as any other system. Often there are weekly new releases for the API. What is unique is that the API’s payload actually remains consistent. While the delivery method is constantly being updated, the end result remains mostly unchanged, which is important to anyone building off the APIs.
TMC: What kinds of standardization are still needed to drive successful mass development and adoption of APIs across verticals?
PP: The big ones are authentication and payload structure. If we had one consistent method for both, the amount of API documentation alone would diminish 50 percent.
TMC: Why should attendees at All About the API make sure to attend your session/booth?
PP: We built the most comprehensive AND easy to use API testing and monitoring platform. Websites and apps get tested, but we ignore the APIs that power them. It is time to admit to ourselves that we are not doing enough.
Patrick Poulin is one of many industry experts enjoying API splendor, and All About the API will aid any curious party to stay ahead of the curve with this nascent area of development. See you there!
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