Jonthan Rochkind on APIs and vendor lock-in | Federated Search BlogFederated Search
28
Jul

Jonathan Rochkind published an interesting article at his Bibliographic Wilderness Blog that I wanted to raw your attention to. It leads with this question from the code4lib community:

I heard someplace recently that APIs are the newest form of vendor
lock-in. What’s your take?

Jonathan’s article and the discussion of the topic at code4lib raise some important questions:

  1. What’s in it for vendors to provide open (industry standard not vendor-specific) APIs?
  2. How can you tell if an API gives you freedom, or locks you in?
  3. Which vendors provide open APIs?
  4. What are the “right” set of requirements to go into an open API spec?
  5. How can you tell if a vendor has correctly implemented the open API functionality they claim to provide?

Read Rochkind’s article, check out the cod4lib discussion and consider this request from Marshall Breeding on July 22nd, which reads in part:

I am in the process of writing an issue of Library Technology Reports
for ALA TechSource titled “Hype or reality: Opening up library
systems through Web Services and SOA.” Today almost all ILS products
make claims regarding offering more openness through APIs, Web
services, and through a service-oriented architecture (SOA). This
report aims to look beyond the marketing claims and identify specific
types of tasks that can be accomplished beyond the delivered
interfaces through programmatic access to the system internals.

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