As our use of computers becomes ubiquitous — pervading our lives from our phones to our TVs to our cars — software is becoming the primary means for interaction. And apps are undergoing a “Cambrian explosion” of availability and diversification. The new “place” of business is on the buyer’s device, and goods and services must be available where and when their buyers want them.
It's the must-have of 2012: a RESTful API to allow developers to interact with your enterprise software without any messy overhead or complicated instructions. But while Web APIs are designed to be simple for programmers, designing and hosting your own APIs is no small challenge. A new O'Reilly book, “APIs: a Strategy Guide,” tackles this challenge.
Gilt Groupe Inc. is letting outside software developers connect with the data behind the retailer’s flash sales in hopes of creating new shopping applications that will attract customers. At the same time, it’s also launching an affiliate marketing program, providing bloggers and other fashion-related sites with the ability to earn commissions for shoppers they forward to Gilt’s e-commerce site.
The first place I had ever seen an API actually at work was as part of an operating system. It was a strange OS at that, a permutation of CP/M that used a graphical front end called GEM, which would later be ported to the Atari ST. The definition was explained to me like this: An "interface," as everyone knows, is a specification for how electrical components interconnect. Well, now it's possible for an application program - the part that does what users need - to interconnect with the operating system, which does what the computer needs.
Roll-your-own API service Usergrid has been acquired by API management company Apigee. Usergrid could potentially help Apigee reach out to mobile developers increasingly finding themselves needing APIs to interact with their apps. It’s part of a trend of developers not only being API consumers, but also API providers–at least privately to their own apps.
Apigee, a provider of API management products and services, which we’ve referred to in the past as a “Google Analytics for APIs” has acquired the mobile cloud platform Usergrid. For those unfamiliar, Usergrid helps to make mobile app development easier by providing the APIs needed to manage data, users and events. The company provides these kind of core APIs for the backend so mobile developers can speed their time to market.
Over the last year, a firm called Usergrid has been building an open source tool for leading mobile app developers through the process of creating back-end services for managing users. The Usergrid philosophy is contrary to quite a lot of the cloud-centered design methodology promoted by SaaS - the idea that the server can do everything, and a thin device can serve as the portal. Instead, Usergrid has promoted the idea of richer mobile apps that use Web services and APIs in a more passive, RESTful manner.
At AT&T's Developers' Summit at CES today, AT&T announced new programs that promoted its innovation program (AT&T Foundry) and continuing support for opening up its network.
This week AT&T re-introduced themselves as a large proponent in the developer world for the mobile world, saying the apps that the developers create are the fundamental bits of the mobile experience. This developer program started all the way back in 1996, 16 years ago that is, much MUCH before the first “smart” phone. They began with their brand new API platform this week, this providing APIs, Tools, and Support to developers across the board, the development console powered by Apigee and the whole system based on HTML 5.