The Real-Time API Layer Becoming Default For Providers
07 Oct 2014
One of the API news story of the day was the release of the Hacker News API. I’m only lightly interested in the fact that HN now has an API because, honestly I don't feel like an API at this point in the evolution of tech curation site is something to applaud, but their approach to making their API real-time I think does subtly reflect other currents in the API space.
HN partnered with Firebase to make sure the tech news curation site doesn't just have an API, it has a real-time API. Meaning you can now get HN links in machine readable way, so that you can build the popular flow of tech information into other web, and mobile applications—in real-time! HN launching an API…yawn! HN launch an API with Firebase bkked in, reflects a growing trend from influential APIs. For me this is more about real-time and Firebase, than it is about HN.
You see other API providers like Nest from Google baking in real-time frameworks into their APIs. Real-time isn’t something every type of API should be considering as a default feature, but there are definitely areas where the real-time flow of data is not just a nice to have, it is essential to demonstrating the value of APIs. In my experience, I would say that there are several sectors like news, financial, Internet of Things where I'm seeing real-time being present as a fundamental ingredient for the API platform--something I will be keeping an eye on.
As I said before, some of the trends I’m tracking on are quickly moving from trend to being baked into APIs, going beyond just the release of web APis, and adding additional layers that developers are demanding to deliver the features their end-users are demanding.