Some Trends in API Usage

Some Trends in API Usage

Its not the early days of API mashups anymore, there are numerous new ways that API usage is evolving--further connecting the data and resources we need to build the next generation of web and mobile apps.  Here are just a few of the emerging trends in the API space:

API Aggregation
Innovative startups are applying API aggregation concepts using social and personal data, combining services like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and other services into single API stacks. The goal of API aggregators is to shorten time for developers to go from on-boarding to finished app, by providing devs a fabric that weaves together common objects like friends, images, status and check-in into a aggregate API platform.

API Reciprocity
API reciprocity allows for the flow of information between the common platforms we depend on for our daily operations. In the enterprise this has been known as Extract Transform and Load (ETL), but in this new API world it is not about data sources, but cloud services across the Internet. This new approach requires acknowledging terms of service and user privacy agreements made via oAuth--allowing for reciprocity for platform owners, but also end users, alowing anyone, even non-developers to take advantage of APIs.

Backend as a Service
With the growth in the number of mobile devices like iPhone from Apple, Android from Google, Windows Phones from Microsoft and the historic contender Blackberry, a new breed of mobile backend as a service or BaaS providers are emerging to meet the demand for building, deploying and managing the mobile app life-cycle.

Real-time approaches to deploying APIs involve technological approaches like PubSubHub, Websockets and Webhooks, can be as simple as an SMS or email sent when there is an update or utilizing streaming APIs to create full, two-way communications between application and platforms using APIs. Real-time functionality is being expected by end-users, and developers are using APIs to meet this demand.

These are just a handful of the trends emerging around APIs. There are over 10K public APIs available currently, with many more private APIs being used to drive business at the SMB, SME and Enterprise levels. APIs are not just driving developers to innovate while building web and mobile applications. APIs, and the resulting trends are empowering anyone, even non-developers to put valuable API driven resources to work every day.