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The week in API strategy, news, articles, and upcoming events.
James Higginbotham, Curator  A hand-curated weekly newsletter for API developers, sponsored by LaunchAny and CaseySoftware

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API Developer Weekly

May 20, 2021 - Issue #358
This week, we have an article from API Handyman on why generating OpenAPI Descriptions from code isn't a good idea, a discussion on why JWT should not be your default for sessions, and why load balancing gRPC is tricky (hint: anyone remember sticky sessions from the 90s and early 2000s?).

We also have an interesting article from Z on the challenges of today's API workflow. While the article makes me feel seen, I'm still formulating an opinion on how to solve the issues at hand. Z's proposed approach is one I'm considering. 

Happy Reading!
-- James

 
Hot Topics
6 reasons why generating OpenAPI from code when designing and documenting APIs sucks
When working with OpenAPI Specification documents to design and document APIs, there are two approaches: either you write it (directly using a text editor or indirectly using an API design GUI), either you generate it from the implementation's code (using annotations). by Arnaud Lauret [apihandyman.io]

JWT should not be your default for sessions
When designing web applications, (especially the traditional HTML kind), you will at one point have to figure out how to log a user in and keep them logged in between requests. The core mechanism we use for this are cookies. Cookies are small strings sent by a server to a client. [evertpot.com]

Why load balancing gRPC is tricky?
gRPC is commonly used for microservices communication due to its performance, low latency and serialization capabilities. But gRPC connections are sticky. In fact they are too sticky that make the load balancing very tricky and difficult. It is important to understand why and what is a proper way to handle it to avoid services overloading and interruption. by Majid Fatemian [majidfn.com]

10 No-Code Tools To Build APIs With
No-code tools have become all the rage for those wanting to implement technological tools but don't have the technical skills to pull them off. Forbes even called no-code and low-code the most disruptive trend of 2021. The Coronavirus has revealed the need for digital transformation, even if you've never written a line of code in your life. [nordicapis.com]
 
The Business of APIs
2021 State of APIs: Ubiquitous, Diverse, Occasionally Open
I first came across the application programming interface (API) directory, ProgrammableWeb, in September 2005, shortly after it was launched by John Musser. At the time, the directory had just 54 listings. How times have changed, because nearly 16 years later ProgrammableWeb lists over 24,000 APIs. It's an indication of how pervasive APIs have become on... by Richard MacManus, Susan Hall, David Cassel [thenewstack.io]

Review of Mockoon
APIs are complex. By their very nature, APIs facilitate complex interactions that are necessarily more in whole than the sum of their parts. Unfortunately, this also means that it's often difficult to know how an API will function before it goes into the wild. Enter the concept of mocking. [nordicapis.com]

(Un)Related
How to Build a Serverless S3 Object Lowercaser
AWS Lambda and other serverless compute options give technologists a great option to avoid having to think about the provisioning of servers, scaling, and many parts of the operational overhead of running complex systems. Recently I had the opportunity to take advantage of this power when presented with a tricky problem. by Kyle Carter [blog.devgenius.io]

Evolution of Software Engineering
In this article I am going talk about Evolution of software Architecture from standalone to micro-services. On a single device, this type of design incorporates a variety of options.Configuration, data, and marketing logic are all part of the setup. by Ramsunthar Sivasankar [ramsunthar.medium.com]

DarkSide Ransomware Gang Quits After Servers, Bitcoin Stash Seized
The DarkSide ransomware affiliate program responsible for the six-day outage at Colonial Pipeline this week that led to fuel shortages and price spikes across the country is running for the hills. The crime gang announced it was closing up shop after its servers were seized and someone drained the cryptocurrency from an account the group uses to pay affiliates. [krebsonsecurity.com]

APIs: What got you here won't get you there
We need to talk about APIs one last time. APIs are great. They connect businesses, enable innovations, improve efficiency, and provide the backbone of e-commerce. But the way we do APIs is broken beyond repair. I see it all the time. You are a small to mid-size business, and you can't be bothered by API expertise. by Zdenek “Z” Nemec [medium.com]

Adrian Cockcroft on 'Failover Theater' and Achieving True Continuous Resilience
How do you failover without falling over? Uptime and reliability are at the core of chaos engineering, the art and science of rooting out your systems' weaknesses. It's all about increasing the certainty that your backups and your backup's backups are going to work. At this year's virtual ChaosConf, Adrian Cockcroft, vice president of cloud... by Jennifer Riggins, Susan Hall, David Cassel [thenewstack.io]

Spencer Silver, inventor of Post-it Notes adhesive, dies at age 80
The inventor of the adhesive used on one of the 3M Co.'s best-known products, the Post-it Note, has died, according to the company and his published obituary. Spencer Silver was 80 and died May 8 at his St. Paul home, the family's obituary said. by Staff and wire reports [twincities.com]

Useful Resources
 
A list of upcoming Net API Events, maintained by Matthew Reinbold

API Security Events
A list of upcoming API security events from apisecurity.io

Tyk Whitepaper: Approaching your API Strategy
As well as writing for the James Higginbotham is an Executive API Consultant with experience in API strategy and software architecture. James guides enterprises through their digital transformation journey to deliver a great customer experience and provides training in API and microservice design. [content.tyk.io]


Book: A Practical Approach to API Design by Casey and Higginbotham
If you read the tech press, everyone knows they need an API but most aren't really sure what it is. They treat it as another checkbox like "Web 2.0" was a few years ago or a mobile app was most recently. In fact, there’s an entire “API-first” movement in development circles that most people don’t understand or even realize why. In this book, we'll start by discussing the what an API is, why you might need one, and follow up with the how to build one. [leanpub.com]

 
Want to share something?
As always, if you want to chat, share a link, or make a suggestion, feel free to drop us a quick note or tagging us on Twitter (@launchany and @caseysoftware) or by emailing us at: james@launchany.com
 
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