APIs, more formally known as Application Programming Interfaces. We hear this expression all the time, but what are they? When do they matter? Why do we need them? How should we use them? This presentation will provide a candid, informational discussion that addresses all of these questions using timely and relevant examples. It’s appropriate for all technical levels and should be particularly thought-provoking to technology and information professionals and strategists in any museum/art/cultural organization interested in the many exciting ways to provide greater access to their institution’s own data or to use their data in partnership with others in ventures that have the potential to enrich the ongoing efforts of artists, conservationists, researchers and others.
If you’re a casual reader of any of the popular Tech Blogs, SIG publications, or developer newsgroups, it’s quite likely that you’ve come across references to the acronym, "API". The discussion on the topic broadens as adjectives such as "Open/Closed", "Public/Private" or "Web-based/Mobile/Restful" begin getting inserted in-front of this acronym so that we start seeing such interesting variants as:Public, Open Web-based APIsPrivate, Closed, Restful APIsPublic, Commercial Mobile APIsClosed SOAP-based SOX-compliant Web-based APIs….and so on.Yet the question remains, what is an API? When is it purposeful to use one? How do I go about deciding which API is most appropriate for my project’s needs? What are the advantages of an organization building and maintaining its own APIs vs. leveraging existing ones already available? A number of very reasonable questions can quickly surface and before long it can all seem very, very overwhelming.This presentation will begin with the fundamentals in order to establish a foundation of knowledge and understanding that is suitable for an audience of all technology levels and experience.