An application programming interface (API) is the specification for which software is meant to be used by other software.

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How to optimize calls to multiple APIs at once and return as one set?

I have a web app that searches across 2 APIs right now. I have my own Restful web service that I call, and it does all the work on the backend to asynchronously call the 2 APIs and concatenate them ...
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8answers
1k views

“Public APIs are forever: Only one chance to get it right”?

In an OS book I just read that, "Public APIs are forever: Only one chance to get it right". Is it true? Is it applicable only in APIs of Operating Systems or other APIs too? For example, will this be ...
8
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1answer
601 views

What API design for storing generic data in a more specific format?

for In the project I am working on we send messages about widgets over message queues, serializing them onto the queues as XML. The XML schema contains tags for properties that are common to all types ...
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2answers
287 views

Is it possible to use a “non-commercial” REST API in a for-pay app?

I am interested in integrating the results of 3rd-party news API's into my for-pay application. The APIs would be a very small part of the app (e. g. the app is not just reselling the APIs). I have ...
2
votes
2answers
344 views

Workflow for building a RESTful API

I am building a RESTful API, and so far, to make sure that my resources work as I need them to, I am using a REST client called Postman. This makes it easy for me to store routes and quickly make ...
6
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1answer
3k views

When to use nested resources in a RESTful API

I have two resources: users and links. Users can have several links associated with them. I have designed my RESTful API so that you can reach the links associated with a user at the following URI: ...
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2answers
182 views

Encapsulate external JavaScript library

I am about to develop a ASP.NET MVC 4 project that will make use of maps. Our company has it's own map API which is very basic at the moment, but is intended to be further developed in future to match ...
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2answers
4k views

Trailing slash in RESTful API

I have been having a debate about what to do with a trailing slash in a RESTful API. Lets say I have a resource called dogs and subordinate resources for individual dogs. We can therefore do the ...
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2answers
183 views

Management wants an API in purchased software

My company wants to purchase new software for our General Ledger. We want to be able to interface it with various other sytems, all purchased. Nothing is custom built. The software our Accountants ...
2
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1answer
941 views

OCR API (in Java) with Word (NOT MS-WORD) extraction [closed]

My Situation I need to develop an application which does crowd-sourced Image-To-Text service (just like google's reCaptcha). So I need an OCR API which can find words in an image with some text. ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Library design: provide a common header file or multiple headers

There are essentially two camps of library designers concerning the design of the final header file inclusion: Provide a single header file that includes every other header file that makes up the ...
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2answers
3k views

Implementing the command pattern in a RESTful API

I'm in the process of designing an HTTP API, hopefully making it as RESTful as possible. There are some actions which functionality spreads over a few resources, and sometime needs to be undone. I ...
14
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3answers
818 views

Does decoupling trump DRY in REST?

I am building a REST API to expose most of functionality of an existing Java API. Both APIs are for internal use within my organization; I do not have to design for external use. I have influence ...
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0answers
733 views

Google Maps - Geofence a route

I'm looking at implementing a PHP based application, where by you have a certain route for example London to Edinburgh. Along this route, I want to calculate say a 10mi Radius or Polygon around the ...
3
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1answer
202 views

Building dedicated codepad in PHP

I am author of growing framework, which is focused around User Interface building in PHP. Essential requirements for the up-coming website redesign is ability to run code examples. I am willing to ...
4
votes
3answers
190 views

Establishing an API to provide end-user apps/scripts access to multiple types of databases

Question and Context I am currently working on a project where the main question is, how do we insert an API between the database and end-users who may develop applications/scripts of their own that ...
22
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2answers
1k views

What does it mean to expose a C++ code publicly as a C API and what are the advantages of doing it?

I often hear people say that C++ programmers should expose their library's/product's public API as a C API. What does that mean and what are the advantages of that?
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1answer
1k views

Generate commercial license key for web service

Background I have a business question regarding web-based software licensing. A number of web sites offer software as a service for various APIs. A good example is Google's Custom Search API. The ...
8
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2answers
247 views

event listener pattern in api - what should adding the same listener twice do?

In designing an API that provides an event listening interface, it seems there are two conflicting ways of treating calls to add/remove listeners: Multiple calls to addListener will only add a ...
10
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3answers
832 views

How to do external API testing (blackbox)

Assume you are using APIs from a vendor, how to make sure their API is working as expected? My main concern is sometimes the vendor pushed the changes to their code and break the API, we want to have ...
0
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1answer
166 views

Rails-API gem, Is there such thing as an API only application?

I've built a few API's using the complete rails stack. In each project there have been multiple uses for rails core features. Each of the API has had management screens for monitoring usage, managing ...
1
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2answers
122 views

Is the copy/paste approach professionally viable when working with the Google Maps API?

I find that I understand much of the Javascript concepts used in the Google Maps API code, but then again there is quite a bit that is way over my head in syntax. For example, the geocoder ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

GMail API for a small app (Rails? Javascript? PHP?)

I want to create an app that accesses the GMail API, but I'm finding that it isn't as simple as I thought it might be. I'm hoping somebody in the community here might have some experience working ...
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2answers
196 views

Questions to ask a 3rd party API provider [closed]

I'm due to meet with a developer/sales person from a new 3rd party resource we're about to start using. The main topic I'll be interested in, is their API as I will be the developer making use of it ...
6
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3answers
223 views

Does a mobile app need more access than the public API of a site?

I have a site with a public API, and some mobile app developers have been brought in to produce an iPhone app for the site. They insist they need to see the database schema, but as I understand it, ...
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2answers
307 views

DB API for shell scripting (any shell)

I am faced with some legacy shell scripts that run batch data processing jobs in Oracle using SQL+. For the most part, the data tier does not have to communicate back to the script with retrieved ...
3
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1answer
509 views

Too complex/too many objects?

I know that this will be a difficult question to answer without context, but hopefully there are at least some good guidelines to share on this. The questions are at the bottom if you want to skip the ...
5
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1answer
229 views

Asynchronously returning a hierarchal data using .NET TPL… what should my return object “look” like?

I want to use the .NET TPL to asynchronously do a DIR /S and search each subdirectory on a hard drive, and want to search for a word in each file... what should my API look like? In this scenario I ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Sharing authentication methods across API and web app

I'm wanting to share an authentication implementation across a web application, and web API. The web application will be ASP.NET (mostly MVC 4), the API will be mostly ASP.NET WEB API, though I ...
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1answer
240 views

RESTful API design - should a PUT return related data?

I have an API which allows a user to update their system status; and a separate call to retrieve system status updates from other users. Would it make sense to unify them under a PUT request where a ...
5
votes
3answers
778 views

Is there an API for determining congressional districts?

I'm looking to determine the congressional district based on an address my user is providing. This will avoid having the user to look it up themselves. Does an API of this sort exist? Note Through ...
3
votes
1answer
122 views

How to automate the API Diff document? [closed]

We can use doxygen to do the documentation, but how can I do the API Diff? Any open source or free solution for that? Or I need manually prepare? Thanks.
3
votes
2answers
187 views

Developing JSON API for a Carpool Engine

I am developing a new set of API methods for carpooling/cab booking, so if a developer needs to develop an app or webportal for carpooling, he can call my JSON API. Basically making it easy for ...
6
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6answers
545 views

Should I continue teaching old Java input methods alongside the new ones?

I've been imparting a Java introduction course for several years. Some slides explain how to read from files and keyboard using BufferedReaders, InputStreams, FileInputStreamReaders etc. I'm adding ...
6
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1answer
427 views

REST API rule about tunneling

Just read this in the REST API Rulebook: GET and POST must not be used to tunnel other request methods. Tunneling refers to any abuse of HTTP that masks or misrepresents a message’s intent and ...
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2answers
595 views

MVC or Extract Service Layer

we have an application that is built with .Net MVC. We are now tasked with exposing API's to third parties. Members on our team want to just continue down our current path and just use more ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the need for 'discoverability' in a REST API when the clients are not advanced enough to make use of it anyway?

The various talks I have watched and tutorials I scanned on REST seem to stress something called 'discoverability'. To my limited understanding, the term seems to mean that a client should be able to ...
0
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1answer
126 views

Directly copying third-party API

I'm currently planning on implementing API for HgLab and the obvious role model for me here is GitHub. My API obviously won't be an exact copy due to inherent differences between Mercurial and Git ...
8
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3answers
167 views

How to document experimental or incomplete APIs like @deprecated?

Is there a good term that is similar but different than "deprecate" to mean that a method or API is in the code base but should not be used because its implementation is not complete or will likely ...
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votes
1answer
317 views

What do ptLineDist and relativeCCW do? [closed]

I saw these methods in the Line2D Java Docs but did not understand what they do? Javadoc for ptLineDist says: Returns the distance from a point to this line. The distance measured is the ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

When is using stdio preferable to fstream?

I work on a well-established, embedded C++ code base. We have been using a proprietary API to our filesystem. For better integration with third-party C libraries, we are currently in the process of ...
4
votes
1answer
773 views

Authentication for users on a Single Page App?

I have developed a single page app prototype that is using Backbone on the front end and going to consume from a thin RESTful API on the server for it's data. Coming from heavy server side ...
5
votes
1answer
170 views

Is there a standard for machine-readable descriptions of RESTful services?

I've interacted with a few RESTful APIs that provided excellent documentation for humans and descriptive URIs, but none of them seem to return machine-readable descriptions of themselves. It's not ...
13
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2answers
7k views

How should an API use http basic authentication

When an API requires that a client authenticates to it, i've seen two different scenarios used and I am wondering which case I should use for my situation. Example 1. An API is offered by a company ...
5
votes
1answer
649 views

API Auth vs User Auth

I have read many posts and articles on this topic but still cant connect the dots. I want to make a Rails app that is strictly a JSON API maybe using Sinatra or the rails-api gem. I also want to make ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How to document requirements for an API systematically?

I am currently working on a project, where I have to analyze the requirements of two given IT systems, that use cloud computing, for a Cloud API. In other words, I have to analyze what requirements ...
1
vote
4answers
328 views

When should code favour optimization over readability and ease-of-use?

I am in the process of designing a small library, where one of my design goals is that the API should be as close to the domain language as possible. While working on the design, I've noticed that ...
3
votes
1answer
247 views

When designing an enterprise API, what level is appropriate for separating libraries?

Assume we are developing a REST system for an enterprise company to expose the companies resources in a Java based application. Ultimately you have one web application, and domain libraries. My ...
3
votes
1answer
627 views

Dealing with API and error messages

We are in the process of constructing an API (using WCF). So far I noticed 2 ways in which methods could go wrong due to problems with the parameters sent. wrong format, for example we have a ...
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vote
2answers
775 views

How do I read API documentation?

I've been trying to read through the RoR API to try to learn things that the tutorial missed, and I haven't been able to follow it at all. The only time I've read documentation was when I needed to ...