Uri on Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mind Your APX

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There’s a saying that goes something like: to err is human, to really screw up big time takes a computer. But if you really want to have some fun, connect that computer to another computer, and you soon have a veritable nuclear chain reaction. The key to unlocking this energy? The lowly API, a programmer’s best friend, the little enabler that placed Google Maps in the center of mashup mania, drove the Ajax revolution, and is now generating over half of SalesForce.com’s revenues.

So, you’re a SaaS vendor and you want some API action for your service? Eager to get your share of the API Economy? Think you can just throw some @WebService annotations in your code and, blam-o, you’re now a card-carrying member of the API league? Not so fast…

Someone’s going to have to discover your API. ProgrammableWeb is a pretty good place to start. And then they’ll have to poke at it, learn about it, understand how to use it. At MuleSoft, we think we can help there too, and there’s a lot more coming this fall. Above all, they’ll have to see exactly how it adds real value to what they’re trying to get done. You have to think about the whole API experience, designing carefully and iteratively from the point of view of the consumer of your API. You already know you need great UX to attract consumers to your app, not just a pretty UI; so it’s not surprising that a compelling APX can make or break your API. I wrote about this new term in Wired recently, and I’ll be writing more soon about what we’re doing to help you craft a killer APX. When you’re ready to take the API plunge, we’ll be right there by your side.

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