External APIs: To Explode, or Not to Explode, That is the Question

Posted by Harold Madsen on September 29, 2014 in API, Mobile

Shakespeare might not approve of my taking liberties with his play Hamlet, though prince Hamlet was essentially saying the same thing as I was feeling last year: To be, or not to be, that is the question— Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune, Or to take… Read more

Big Data for Developers at Ancestry

Posted by Seng Lin Shee on September 25, 2014 in Agile, API, Big Data, Development, Performance, Technical Management, Testing

Big Data has been all the craze. Business, marketing and project managers like it because they can plot out trends to make decisions. To us developers, Big Data is just a bunch of logs.  In this blog post, I would like to point out that Big Data (or logs with context) can be leveraged by… Read more

Controlling Costs in a Cloudy Environment

Posted by Daniel Sands on June 24, 2014 in API, Development, DevOps, IT, Performance, Technical Management

From an engineering and development standpoint, one of the most important aspects of cloud infrastructure is the concept of unlimited resources. The idea of being able to get a new server to experiment with, or being able to spin up more servers on the fly to handle a traffic spike is a foundational benefit of… Read more

Featured Article: Want Great APIs? Start With Training

Posted by Harold Madsen on June 3, 2014 in API

Ancestry.com, has awesome software engineers, products, and APIs. However, programmers are not always trained as API designers and when it comes to API development, consistency matters. As companies build their API programs using multiple teams, APIs tend to develop their own personalities and become radically different from one another. That’s a problem. Fortunately, it doesn’t… Read more

APIs Are Like Parenting

Posted by Harold Madsen on March 3, 2014 in API

I’ve presented at several conferences recently and one of the analogies that resonated with the audience was that of comparing API Design to parenting.  So, here’s the analogy: APIs Are Like Parenting… The year was 1966. My family was living in Ethiopia while my dad taught at the American university as a guest professor. I… Read more

Ancestry.com Gets Hands-On With API Design at RootsTech Innovators Summit

Posted by Harold Madsen on February 3, 2014 in API, Technology Conferences

When it comes to API interface design, do your software engineers have a design touch or feel? Many engineers do not. Without training and proper aesthetic feel, your APIs might end up quite awkward or even a bit messy. Good API design is something that most engineers are not born with but with proper training,… Read more

Exposing APIs to Your Clients

Posted by Seng Lin Shee on November 27, 2013 in API, Development, Mobile, Technical Management

So, you want to share your super awesome system with the world. You have it all figured out. You implemented it as a web service, and you have exposed the necessary APIs as HTTP endpoints. Your hope is that people will start to leverage those endpoints and begin to build awe-inspiring apps that will further… Read more

The Platform Initiative at Ancestry.com

Posted by Jim Mosher on November 18, 2013 in API, Development

Ancestry.com has been operating a massive data service and website for over 17 years. As you might imagine, the needs of the business 17 years ago were much different from what they are now. Currently supporting over two million subscribers and providing access to more than 12 billion records in over 30,000 historical collections, Ancestry.com… Read more

Ancestry.com to present at API Strategy & Practice Conference

Posted by Harold Madsen on October 21, 2013 in API, Technology Conferences

Designing easy-to-use APIs is not always an easy thing to do.  In fact, some developers feel guilty taking time from coding for design – especially spending design time on such things as method names, request and response objects or service names.  If you don’t take the time upfront then you are destined to deal with… Read more