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April 2012, Issue 2

Web APIs for more than just Facebook, Twitter

The term Web API was not on most people’s minds before social media embedded it there in the late 2000s. Many people associate API, short for application programming interface, with Facebook or Twitter, as those are the most common and popular examples. But APIs are not new, nor are they linked specifically with social media. They are essentially a set of rules and guidelines for developers that allow applications to interact with one another. Learn more about APIs Understand what API means “There have been a few high visibility Internet companies in the past three or four years, usually startups, that were really able to grow apps because they opened themselves up to partners,” said Dimitri Sirota, co-founder of Vancouver-based API management firm Layer 7 Technologies. “They allowed third-party developers to come in and build a new Twitter client if we’re talking about Twitter, or apps if we’re talking about Facebook.” But the idea of opening up an enterprise to the outside world with open APIs has expanded far beyond the realm...

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