Introduction to (web) APIs - definitions, examples, concepts and trends

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Information about Introduction to (web) APIs - definitions, examples, concepts and trends
Education

Published on March 13, 2014

Author: OlafJanssenNL

Source: slideshare.net

Description

This story is about the added value of APIs (application programming interfaces) for modern businesses, developers and software consumers. It deals with API-fundamentals and shows how APIs are the cornerstones of modern business development (BizDev2.0). By looking at casestudies from Google Maps, Twitter, Amazon, eBay, Moo, Flickr, Netflix and other web2.0-companies, it becomes clear how APIs add value for all parties on the modern web.

This presentation was given by Olaf Janssen - Open Data coordinator for the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) - as a lecture for students of the master's course "Digital Access to Cultural Heritage" at Leiden University on 13-3-2014

Lecture for the course ‘Digital Access to Cultural Heritage’, 13-03-2014 Olaf Janssen, National Library of the Netherlands olaf.janssen@kb.nl - @ookgezellig - slideshare.net/OlafJanssenNL Introduction to (web) APIs Definitions, examples, concepts and trends

Hi, I’m Olaf Janssen I’m a Open Data Coordinator at the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) Open Data coordinator??? That means I make sure KB’s open data and APIs get used by as many parties and services as possible olaf.janssen@kb.nl @ookgezellig slideshare.net/OlafJanssenNL

My presentation philosophy

This slidedeck is optimised for slideshare.net/OlafJanssenNL

What I hope you’ll get out of this talk Better understanding of 1. What APIs are, and their importance 2. How APIs change life for organisations, software developers and consumers  See possibilities of APIs for cultural heritage

How does my talk fit in overall DACH course? w.r.t. APIs

Alright, let’s start with a bit of history ...

.. about access

.. about access to cultural heritage

.. about access to cultural heritage B.PC Before the PC ≈ Before the ‘80s

Source: Business Model Innovatie Cultureel Erfgoed – DEN / Kennisland / OCW, 2009 BMICE ring 1

Access ’80s - PCs are the T.F.O. ?

date T.F.O. http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/michael-edson-let-us-go-boldly-into-the-future

date T.F.O.Technology Fetish Object Technology Fetish Object to show how quickly the gadgets of our youth go out of date. http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/michael-edson-let-us-go-boldly-into-the-future

1985 1998 2003 [ CD player ][ Computer ] [ 27” Widescreen TV ] http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/michael-edson-let-us-go-boldly-into-the-future

2008 2011 2015 [ Tablets ][ iPhone 3G ] [ Wearables ]

Source: Business Model Innovatie Cultureel Erfgoed – DEN / Kennisland / OCW, 2009 BMICE ring 2

Access ’90s – websites are T.F.O.’s

Access ’90s – websites are T.F.O.’s

Access ’90s – websites are T.F.O.’s

Access ’90s – websites are T.F.O.’sAccess ’90s – websites are T.F.O.’s

Bron: Business Model Innovatie Cultureel Erfgoed – DEN / Kennisland / OCW, 2009 BMICE ring 3

Bron: Business Model Innovatie Cultureel Erfgoed – DEN / Kennisland / OCW, 2009 Unfortunately: Digitizing content (ring 2) + putting it on a website (ring 3) ≠ findable and usable for today’s users

Bron: Business Model Innovatie Cultureel Erfgoed – DEN / Kennisland / OCW, 2009 BMICE ring 4

Bron: Business Model Innovatie Cultureel Erfgoed – DEN / Kennisland / OCW, 2009 BMICE ring 4 ? ?

Bron: Business Model Innovatie Cultureel Erfgoed – DEN / Kennisland / OCW, 2009 BMICE ring 4 Web2.0 ?

Bron: Business Model Innovatie Cultureel Erfgoed – DEN / Kennisland / OCW, 2009 BMICE ring 4 Web2.0 APIs

Bron: Business Model Innovatie Cultureel Erfgoed – DEN / Kennisland / OCW, 2009 Web2.0 & APIs I’ll focus on these phenomena for the rest of the talk

Web 2.0

Slide taken from http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/michael-edson-let-us-go-boldly-into-the-future You read this article for The Library course (Nov ’13) If not: http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html Web2.0 key concepts 2005 Tim O’Reilly What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software

1. The long tail 2. Data is the next Intel Inside 3. Users add value 4. Network effects by default 5. Some rights reserved 6. The perpetual beta 7. Software above the level of a single device 8. Cooperate, don't control 2005 Tim O’Reilly What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software Concepts 1-7 elaborated on slideshare.net/OlafJanssenNL/part-1-of-the-lecture- so-you-think-you-understand-everyday-life-web20- api-theory-still-very-relevant-in-2013 Slide taken from http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/michael-edson-let-us-go-boldly-into-the-future

1. The long tail 2. Data is the next Intel Inside 3. Users add value 4. Network effects by default 5. Some rights reserved 6. The perpetual beta 7. Software above the level of a single device 8. Cooperate, don't control 2005 Tim O’Reilly What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software Slide taken from http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/michael-edson-let-us-go-boldly-into-the-future Web 2.0 applications are built of a network of cooperating open data services (open APIs).

API ?

Application Programming Interface

http://www.leninimports.com/cary_grant_new_7a.jpg

http://www.leninimports.com/cary_grant_new_7a.jpg

GUI (app, website) (graphical) interface for interaction human user computer API (programmable) interface for interaction computer computer .. a means of putting information in and getting information out of your system without having to type it yourself…

GUI (app, website) (graphical) interface for interaction human user computer API (programmable) interface for interaction computer computer … with a number of characteristics ….

ATM to illustrate API characteristics • Specialized service does limited set of things very well • Consistent & well-defined operation • Limited set of input card, pin, amount, receipt Y/N • Limited set of output cash, (receipt) • Enabling (protocolised) self-service .... all while bank keeps control over the money

1. The long tail 2. Data is the next Intel Inside 3. Users add value 4. Network effects by default 5. Some rights reserved 6. The perpetual beta 7. Software above the level of a single device 8. Cooperate, don't control Web 2.0 applications are built of a network of cooperating open data services (open APIs). 2005 Tim O’Reilly What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software Slide taken from http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/michael-edson-let-us-go-boldly-into-the-future

1. The long tail 2. Data is the next Intel Inside 3. Users add value 4. Network effects by default 5. Some rights reserved 6. The perpetual beta 7. Software above the level of a single device 8. Cooperate, don't control Network of cooperating open data services (APIs) Offer APIs yourself  Offer open APIs yourself  Re-use open APIs of others 2005 Tim O’Reilly What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software Slide taken from http://www.slideshare.net/edsonm/michael-edson-let-us-go-boldly-into-the-future

Your own open webservice #1 Web2.0 (BMICE Ring 4) a network of open APIs

Your own open API #2 Your own open webservice #1 Web2.0 (BMICE Ring 4) a network of open APIs

Your own open API #2 Your own open webservice #1 Other party’s open webservice Web2.0 (BMICE Ring 4) a network of open APIs

Your own open API #2 Your own open webservice #1 Other party’s open webservice Web2.0 (BMICE Ring 4) a network of open APIs Mashup (in browser)

Your own open API #2 Your own open webservice #1 Other party’s open webservice Web2.0 (BMICE Ring 4) a network of open APIs Mashup (in browser) Open API

Your own open API #2 Your own open webservice #1 Other party’s open webservice Open webservice Web2.0 (BMICE Ring 4) a network of open APIs Mashup (in browser) Open API Open API

Your own open API #2 Your own open webservice #1 Other party’s open webservice Open webservice Web2.0 (BMICE Ring 4) a network of open APIs Mashup (in browser) Open API Open API Application on desktop

Your own open API #2 Your own open webservice #1 Other party’s open webservice Open webservice Web2.0 (BMICE Ring 4) a network of open APIs Mashup (in browser) Mobile app Open API Open API Application on desktop

Open API? • Available on the web, freely shared • Everybody can use it (often after account registration / API-key, via self-service) • Open standards & technologies (JavaScript, XML, JSON, OAuth…) • Openly documented

Open API? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r7QpIDEI_o

too vague, abstract Is ? No worries, let’s look at some real life examples of open APIs in action to improve our understanding

Some popular open APIs

Google Maps API https://developers.google.com/maps/?hl=nl

Google Maps API https://developers.google.com/maps/?hl=nl True web2.0 setup - network of more specialized APIs StreetView, Directions, Elevations, Timezone, Geocoding, Places etc.

cyclingthealps.com Google Maps API

cyclingthealps.com Google Maps API StreetView API

cyclingthealps.com Google Maps API Elevations API

flushtracker.com Google Maps API

Navigation apps Google Maps API Directions API Indoor Google Maps - Mall of America & Macy's

Twitter API dev.twitter.com

Embed Twitter timelines Twitter API

Tweetdeck Twitter API

tweetstats.com Twitter API

Amazon APIaffiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/advertising/api/detail/main.html

Amazon APIAPIs actually… programmableweb.com/apitag/?q=amazon

bookstore.icm.ac.uk Amazon API i.e. all product advertising & transaction features are using Amazon’s API

Amazon API bookstore.icm.ac.uk

Liveplasma Liveplasma gives you a visual display of related bands, songs, movies, books etc.. Amazon API

Relationships generated by Amazon API “customers who bought this album also like….” Amazon API

pro.europeana.eu/api Europeana API

Europeana Open Culture App Europeana API ‘official’ Europeana app

Twitter EuropeanaBot Europeana API Posts images related to • austrian place names • nobel Prize winners • animals from Europeana to Twitter

Twitter EuropeanaBot Europeana API This ≠ ‘official’ Europeana thing, just an enthusiastic private developer!

OK, so far for the examples let’s now look at how APIs add value …

add value for

add value for API consumers (software developers) API providers (businesses) Software consumers (you & me)

API value chain http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2011/12/15/explaining-the-api-revolution-to-your-ceo/ • Product data (Amazon) • Geo-data (Google) • Metadata (Europeana) • Personal data (Facebook) • Phone numbers (WhatsApp)

API value chain http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2011/12/15/explaining-the-api-revolution-to-your-ceo/ • Product data (Amazon) • Geo-data (Google) • Personal data (Facebook) • Metadata (Europeana) • Phone numbers (WhatsApp)

API value chain http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2011/12/15/explaining-the-api-revolution-to-your-ceo/ API provider Businesses open up their assets via APIs, while keeping control over their data, products & services

API value chain http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2011/12/15/explaining-the-api-revolution-to-your-ceo/ API provider Business assets owner Owner of business assets ≠ necessarily provider of API

API value chain http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2011/12/15/explaining-the-api-revolution-to-your-ceo/ API provider Business assets owner 3scale.net & apigee.com  specialized API service providers

API value chain http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2011/12/15/explaining-the-api-revolution-to-your-ceo/ API consumer Developers can start building applications and businesses around a company’s assets. They use open APIs and self- service tools to establish a business relationship

API value chain http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2011/12/15/explaining-the-api-revolution-to-your-ceo/ API consumer Game makers like Zynga, Playfish & Crowdstar exist(ed) because of Facebook APIs. Developers can start building applications and businesses around a company’s assets. They use open APIs and self- service tools to establish a business relationship

API value chain http://www.forbes.com/sites/danwoods/2011/12/15/explaining-the-api-revolution-to-your-ceo/ Software consumer

Let’s look at these 3 groups in more detail… API consumers (software developers) API providers (businesses) Software consumers (you & me)

1. APIs from biz dev POV

Apps Partners Income Adam DuVander http://thenextweb.com/video/2012/04/28/the-new-api-apps-partners-income-adam-duvander-at-the-next-web-conference-2012-video

Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder): “The API has been inarguably the most important thing we’ve done with Twitter.”

Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder): “The API has been inarguably the most important thing we’ve done with Twitter.” “It has allowed developers to build on top of our infrastructure and come up with ideas that are way better than our ideas, …. that we wouldn’t have been able to get to, being a very small team.”

Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder): “The API has been inarguably the most important thing we’ve done with Twitter.” “It has allowed developers to build on top of our infrastructure and come up with ideas that are way better than our ideas, …. that we wouldn’t have been able to get to, being a very small team.” Joy’s law “No matter which business you are in, the smartest people always work for someone else”

Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder): “The API has been inarguably the most important thing we’ve done with Twitter.” “It has allowed developers to build on top of our infrastructure and come up with ideas that are way better than our ideas, …. that we wouldn’t have been able to get to, being a very small team.” So, the API has easily 10x more traffic than the website..”

Biz Stone (Twitter co-founder): “The API has been inarguably the most important thing we’ve done with Twitter.” “It has allowed developers to build on top of our infrastructure and come up with ideas that are way better than our ideas, …. that we wouldn’t have been able to get to, being a very small team.” So, the API has easily 10x more traffic than the website..” “So, the API becomes a way for us to grow our business…” (Source, 2007)

Jeff Bar (Amazon evangelist - 2008) “The adoption of Amazon's Web services (API) is currently driving more network activity than everything Amazon does through their traditional websites”

Brian Swette (eBay - 2000) Our new API will openly provide the tools that developers need to create applications based on eBay technology” "There are already dozens of companies and hundreds of applications that rely on our site…. "Our new API will provide much needed standardization. Existing applications will run more reliably..” “More and more companies will be able to easily and seamlessly weave eBay into their business models." (source)

Q: How big is this API business stuff?

A: It’s huge!

APIs are the cornerstones of BizDev 2.0 Having a well-developed API is the modern & decentralised way for growing a business

Rings a bell?

1995 Why do we need a Web site? 2000 2005 2010 Of course we have a Web site Of course we have an API Why do we need an API?

1995 Why do we need a Web site? 2000 2005 2010 Of course we have a Web site Of course we have an API Why do we need an API?

But websites are limited … Disadvantages • Limited population reach (650M websites in 2012) • Limited brand distribution • Significant SEO and SEM costs Source: Dion Hinchcliffe, http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hinchcliffe

1995 Why do we need a Web site? 2000 2005 2010 Of course we have a Web site Of course we have an API Why do we need an API?

Martin Tantow (co-founder of 3scale, an API service provider): “Not having an API today is like not having a website in the 90s..” “The website serves as no more than a marketing tool, all added value is delivered through the API “ (source)

John Musser (Founder ProgrammableWeb.com):

1995 Why do we need a Web site? 2000 2005 2010 Of course we have a Web site Of course we have an API Why do we need an API?

APIs help you grow your business Added value • Unlock new distribution channels for your content (mobile, social, gaming etc.) • Reach new partners, markets, platforms & devices Source: Dion Hinchcliffe, http://blogs.zdnet.con/Hinchcliffe

APIs help you grow your business Added value • Unlock new distribution channels for your content (mobile, social, gaming etc.) • Reach new partners, markets, platforms & devices Source: Dion Hinchcliffe, http://blogs.zdnet.con/Hinchcliffe http://translogic.aolautos.com/2011/06/01/ford-googles-prediction-api- foresees-greener-driving-routes-vi/ http://www.samsung.com/us/topic/apps-on-your-fridge

Consumer/HackerBusiness/Partner Flickr API http://www.flickr.com/services/apps/tags/printing These companies take Flickr's API and build printing services without ever engaging with Flickr's team Flickr receives $$ for API-calls BizDev2.0 – decentalised business dev

http://www.flickr.com/services Consumer/HackerBusiness/Partner Flickr API Flickr receives • free brand distribution • free content distribution • customer loyalty • goodwill These people use Flickr’s API for making home- grown apps without ever engaging with Flickr's team BizDev2.0 – decentalised business dev

APIs help you grow your business Added value • Unlock new distribution channels for your content (mobile, social, gaming etc.) • Reach new partners, markets, platforms & devices • Stimulate innovation. Enable others to build (new, better) products & functionalities • Improve brand recognition and customer loyalty .. all while keeping control over your data! Joy’s law

Time for some hard figures!

API Timeline 2000 2002 2005 2006 2007 105 APIs 352 APIs 2003 2008 1,116 APIs601 APIs 2009 1,628 APIs 2010 ? APIs

2009 • 13.000 3rd party apps for eBay (source) • 60% of all eBay.com traffic via API (source) • 7 billion $$$ revenu via API 2012 • eBay API 1 billion calls per day!

Success for these businesses is heavily relying on their API(s)

APIs: drivers for modern business • Make money 60% of all listings on eBay.com added via their APIs • Save money SmugMug.com saves > $500K/year with Amazon cloud storage • Capture eyeballs, build brand Google Maps 300% growth vs 20% MapQuest • Go anywhere, client adaptation Netflix and Facebook available on 100s of devices

Source source “Facebook ready” devices 100’s of “Netflix Ready” devices

2. APIs from developers’ POV

flickr.com/tom_w_bn Developers are the craftsmen…

© Eric Roth ... and women of the 21st century

flickr.com/mashery Developers build stuff

Developers solve problems

They change the world

Q: How big is this API developer world?

source 1.000.000 apps! 750.000 developers!

13.000 apps! 100.000 developers! source

source 33.000 apps! 400.000 developers!

Developers use APIs as their raw material… Flickr: Patrick Bürgler

… but need additional tools for adding value Flickr: locket479

What can API providers do to make developers’ like their APIs? Flickr: watchsmart

Use phrases on your homepage like • ‘API’ • ‘Developers’ • ‘Dev’ • ‘Datasets’ • ‘Code’ Or use public API registries 1. Announce your API manifestly & widely

1. Announce your API manifestly & widely Evernote.com

1. Announce your API manifestly & widely Instagram.com

1. Announce your API manifestly & widely kb.nl

1. Announce your API manifestly & widely Delpher.nl

1. Announce your API manifestly & widely ProgrammableWeb.com

1. Announce your API manifestly & widely OpenCultuurData.nl

2. Offer simple technology, easy to adopt APIs need ways to • call & be called by other APIs (request) • transport data (reponse) Without going into technical details, API builders can choose ‘simple’ or ‘complex’ ways to deal with requests & responses

2. Offer simple technology, easy to adopt ‘Simple’ REST Representational State Transfer JSON response JavaScript Object Notation ‘Complex’ SOAP Simple Object Access Protocol XML response Extensible Markup Language

Request What’s the price of IBM?

Response

Feel free to explore further…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3OMEAU_4HI

2. Offer simple technology, easy to adopt Bottom line: REST & JSON are the easy, simple, popular, low-barrier ways to go for modern API developers (“all the cool kids use it”)

REST vs. SOAP, more of both, but a lot more REST REST SOAP

JSON rising: 62% of all new APIs in 2012 support JSON 28% of all new APIs in 2012 support only JSON (no XML)

3. Offer fast, automated signup  self-service Europeana API key registration Linkedin registration for new applications

4. Offer quickstart, HowTo’s, FAQs, documentation, tutorials, demos YouTube API Quickstart Layar API HowTo’s eBay API FAQs Google Maps API demos Layar API tutorials Flickr API full documentation

5. Offer code samples, libraries & tools Tumblr API code samples Google’s Code Playground Linkedin code libraries Facebook’s debugger Europeana’s API console Slideshare API explorer

6. Provide API monitoring & status tools Twitter API performance & availability PayPal API version history API status board

7. Offer communication & community tools Tumblr developers blog Dropbox developers forum Spotify developers brunch Spotify API Twitter channelOpenOffice API wiki

8. Do marketing & Evangelism KB API team @ hackathons Promoting apps to media Soundcloud App gallery Europeana API implementation casestudies

9. Provide clear legal & financial terms Google Translate API pricing model Google Maps API licensing YouTube app monetization Flickr API Terms of Service

3. APIs from end-user POV

APIs make life easier… with new possibilities & experiences • Your favourite apps

• Your favourite apps • Device-independence “Software above the level of a single device” APIs make life easier… with new possibilities & experiences Evernote.com

APIs make life easier… with new possibilities & experiences • Your favourite apps • Device-independence • Sharing content AndroidBlog

APIs make life easier… with new possibilities & experiences • Your favourite apps • Device-independence • Sharing content • Embedding content

APIs make life easier… with new possibilities & experiences • Your favourite apps • Device-independence • Sharing content • Embedding content Slideshare embedded in LinkedIn

APIs make life easier… with new possibilities & experiences • Your favourite apps • Device-independence • Sharing content • Embedding content Flickr embedded in Gmail

APIs make life easier… with new possibilities & experiences • Your favourite apps • Device-independence • Sharing content • Embedding content

APIs make life easier… with new possibilities & experiences • Your favourite apps • Device-independence • Sharing content • Embedding content • Synchronisation & automation

APIs make life easier… with new possibilities & experiences • Your favourite apps • Device-independence • Sharing content • Embedding content • Synchronisation & automation Social media wall

APIs make life easier… with new possibilities & experiences • Your favourite apps • Device-independence • Sharing content • Embedding content • Synchronisation & automation ifttt.com zapier.com

APIs make life easier… with new possibilities & experiences • Your favourite apps • Device-independence • Sharing content • Embedding content • Synchronisation & automation • Easier authentication

Q: How big is this API end-user world?

smart http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/opinion/columns/13143.html

THANKS! olaf.janssen@kb.nl @ookgezellig slideshare.net/OlafJanssenNL

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