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1. Getting Started

Chapter 1. Getting Started

It all starts with a simple API that publishes someone’s status to Facebook, sends a Tweet, or updates a contact in Salesforce. As you start to integrate more and more of these external services with your applications, trying to identify the tasks that one might want to perform when you’re surrounded by SOAP, REST, JSON, XML, GETs, PUTs, POSTs, and DELETEs, can be a real challenge.

Open APIs are all about endpoints. Most services follow the current trend of providing a RESTful endpoint, others use older RPC-based protocols such as SOAP or XML-RPC, some use newer “real-time”, push-focused endpoints like WebSockets or HTTP Streaming, others may offer a number of different endpoints to meet different requirements, and some just use what seems to be best for a specific job, which might mean not strictly following protocol rules. This is one of the biggest challenges with open APIs: inconsistency. Figure 1-1 shows the estimated popularity of different styles of APIs.


  

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