Practicing Safe Sex with Third-Party APIs

We all do it. We sit in sprint planning sessions and roadmap reviews, watching one user story unwind after another, and wondering how we can make the product owner’s vision into an actual product. At some point during that meeting, every one of us wonders if someone has written an API that can do what they’re asking for.

The current API boom has made it much easier to incorporate data and functionality from other people’s applications so our end users have a rich and familiar experience.

But those third-party APIs have a downside too – we have no control over the third-party development practices or schedules, so we're relying on them not to break our applications. It’s a risky business when you look at it that way, especially when you remember all the recent tribulations with Facebook and Twitter APIs affecting multiple sites at one time.

This slideshare presentation gives context to the power of third-party APIs and provides some pointers for using them safely. Enjoy.

 

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