Posts tagged developers
Millions of wireless headsets, speakers, fitness bands, and earpieces may get a little smarter this holiday season, thanks to an update to the Bluetooth standard.
The industry group that manages the popular short-range wireless technology Tuesday released an update for developers and manufacturers that increases the usefulness of current and future wireless gadgets. The update builds on the 2010 release of Bluetooth 4.0, or “Bluetooth Smart.”
Version 4.1 includes better communication with other cellular wireless standards like LTE, lets you walk in and out of a room without having to manually reconnect, and moves large batches of data on and off of connected devices.
Using these new capabilities, sensors that gathered data during a run, bike ride or swim could, for instance, transfer that data more efficiently when the consumer returns home.
New Opportunities For Developers
The updated standard also lays the groundwork to allow Bluetooth devices to connect directly to the Internet. Current Bluetooth standards require an additional device such as a smartphone or laptop to transfer information to and from websites or other Internet-connected things.
The improvements will allow future devices to act simultaneously as both “Bluetooth Smart” gadgets and “Bluetooth Smart Ready” hubs.
“For example, a smart watch could act as a hub gathering information from a Bluetooth Smart heart rate monitor while simultaneously acting as a peripheral to a smartphone—displaying new message notifications from the phone,” the Bluetooth group said in its announcement.
The update is software based, so existing Bluetooth devices will be able to upgrade to the new standard over the air.
Software developers and semiconductor makers may start creating new devices based on the Bluetooth 4.1 standard as early as next week. The Bluetooth group estimates more than 4.5 billion Bluetooth-enabled devices will ship in the next five years.
View full post on ReadWrite
Agile development is no longer an alternative way to develop software. With the pace of technology adoption accelerating at a frenetic pace, agile is increasingly the only way to develop software. That is, if you want to stay in business.
Making Each Release A Non-Event
Agile software development essentially refers to an iterative, incremental software development process, as opposed to old-school “waterfall” methods that relied on long-term, upfront planning. Agile assumes that IT projects often fail, despite our best intentions. It’s therefore a way to minimize the cost of failure by making the software development process highly responsive to change.
And while agile may once have been the focus of free-wheeling technology companies developing cutting-edge mobile or web applications, it has now gone mainstream. As Forrester analyst Diego Lo Giudice notes:
Within the modern applications era, regardless of whether new software applications are being developed and delivered for mobile, tablets, or the Web, the truly successful app-dev leaders will be those who focus on delivering constant value and incremental improvement to their business.
Importantly, the reasons for embracing agile are as much about boring old product stability as they are about increasing the speed of development, as I heard from an executive at one (very) large financial services company:
OH: "Product stability comes from releasing code more frequently, not less. You want each release to be a non-event, not a major launch."
— Matt Asay (@mjasay) October 2, 2013
The Times They Are A-Changin’
This sort of iterative approach to software development has always been a good idea, but it’s becoming critical as technological change and adoption increase, as Harvard Business Review showcases:
Such increased adoption, in turn, is arguably being driven by a much more flexible infrastructure, particularly in software. Open source software provides a huge pool of quality software from which developers can draw, while hardware accessible through the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) clouds makes it trivial to scale up and out.
With this in mind, Synergy Research Group’s newest data on IaaS adoption is interesting not so much because it demonstrates Amazon completely dominates the market, which we knew, but rather because it shows growth across all major cloud providers:
Whatever your provider, then, the infrastructure is in place to accelerate development.
Big Data Demands An Agile Approach
This is particularly important in new areas of exploration, like Big Data. As Gartner’s research shows, enterprises are hell-bent on getting started with Big Data, but often don’t really have much of a clue as to how to tackle these projects.
Big Data is new, and let’s face it: most companies are likely going to fail as they start their projects. After all, it’s almost guaranteed that companies won’t know which data to capture, or how to leverage it, without trial and error. It therefore becomes critical to design for failure, with an agile approach that reduces the cost of failure, both in terms of time and money.
Could this be done in a traditional, waterfall-esque approach? Sure. And many companies will almost certainly approach Big Data and other projects in this way, because they simply don’t know any better. But don’t be that company, or that developer. Agile development isn’t some holy grail that will solve all a developer’s problems, but it is a savvy way to keep pace with technology adoption and to tackle large-scale development projects.
Lead image courtesy of Shutterstock
View full post on ReadWrite
Developers can be a fickle bunch. Gifted with mountains of free, open-source code of ever-improving quality, some developers can’t help but complain that there’s not more, and even more free, software. But the problem often isn’t the code itself, but poorly calibrated expectations and scanty training.
What? Me Pay?
One sometimes unrealistic expectation is that software should be free. All of it.
So, for example, we have one young developer berating nginx for building “admittedly amazing software” but then having the audacity to charge for it.
No, really. Those nginx people are trying to make money by writing software that people want. Can you believe the gall?
Actually, his problem is more nuanced than this. Despite electing not to use Apache httpd, the Hip Young Startup blog author complains that nginx “took a feature that Apache httpd has had literally forever and put it behind a pay wall.” It’s unclear why he doesn’t just use Apache to solve his problem, given that he also says “the performance difference between nginx and httpd in this scenario is negligible.”
Or maybe he could fix nginx himself, given that, by his own admission, it’s “trivial” to make the changes himself to get around nginx’s attempts to sustain product development by charging for some features. The problem, as he acknowledges, is that he “shouldn’t have to do any of this [crap].”
In other words, the world (or nginx) owes this developer a living. Who knew?
Let’s be clear: one of the ways open source succeeds is by dramatically lowering the bar to adoption. Charging money, even a negligible fee, can hinder that adoption. But getting uppity about the primary developer of an open-source project charging money for value? As programmer Brendan Loudermilk (@bloudermilk) tells the Hip Young Startup blogger, “You could always pay for and support the software that serves as a core dependency of your app.”
Documentation? Of Course I Didn’t Read The Documentation!
Then there are the countless others who take to Hacker News to complain about software they often don’t understand, quite often because they haven’t bothered to read the documentation. I completely get that great software should be approachable, and great products, generally, should be somewhat self-explanatory.
But much of the best open-source software can be complex to run, at least, at scale. If the software isn’t working for someone, it’s not obvious that the software is the problem. Vlad Mihalcea, founder of the Struts open-source framework, nails this, arguing that “if there is someone to blame, it’s usually us” as much of the available open-source software tends to be high-quality code.
What it isn’t, he goes on to argue, is a free lunch in terms of a learning curve. Any software, whether open source or proprietary, requires some investment in learning how to be productive with it. As he notes of Hibernate and other open-source technologies, “If you want to employ them [successfully], be prepared to learn a lot. There is no other way.”
This won’t resonate with the hacker crowd whose first instinct is to complain when software doesn’t work the way they want, even if it wasn’t designed to do what they want it to do. But it’s true, all the same.
Healthcare.gov Vs. Gov.UK
Just look at the Healthcare.gov debacle for proof. Recently NoSQL database vendor MarkLogic has been taking bullets over its alleged role in Healthcare.gov’s many technical problems. Some have gone so far as to argue that NoSQL databases, in general, are faulty because of the Healthcare.gov debacle.
This is stupid.
MarkLogic is a fine database. While not perfect, it’s silly to blame Healthcare.gov’s problems on this legacy database. Code isn’t the primary problem.
As I’ve argued, Healthcare.gov’s problems aren’t really about code, but instead about process. For proof, look no further than Healthcare.gov’s British peer, Gov.UK, which credits NoSQL technologies as a significant reasons for its success.
The difference isn’t in the code the two websites used, but rather their respective approaches: Gov.UK is iterative, agile. Healthcare.gov is top-down, waterfall.
A Poor Craftsman Blames Her Tools
Open source invites criticism by laying bare its strengths and weaknesses in a way proprietary software never did. Developers today have a level of accessibility to the code they use that previous generations of developers lacked, with a megaphone (the Internet) that allows them to broadcast complaints about that code.
But let’s not lose sight of just how blessed we are to have this code, or forget our obligation to apply it appropriately in order to be successful. In other words, read the documentation before you complain that open-source software doesn’t “work.” More often than not, it works just fine, but not for the ill-conceived purpose you have in mind.
View full post on ReadWrite
At a hackathon for Glass Explorers, Google revealed the full set of development tools for its nascent on-your-face platform. It also revealed five new apps, built with the new “GDK” (Glass Developer Kit), to showcase just what Glass can do when devs are allowed to pop open the hood and start tinkering.
The new Glass app lineup highlights five apps, all Glassware built with the new tools:
- Spellista, an interactive word-puzzle game
- GolfSight, which provides distance to the hole, course information and scoring information
- Allthecooks for recipe finding and sharing
- Strava, a cycling ride-tracker app
- Word Lens
Word Lens is a perfect example of how the forthcoming GDK will empower developers—and it’s just really cool, too. Point Glass at a chunk of text in a foreign language, a street sign, for example, and Glass translates the text and can actually drape the translation right over the object itself. Whoa.
This is exactly the kind of stuff we’ve been waiting for. And the other apps may lack that whoa factor, but they have plenty of utility on the golf course, in the kitchen or on your next bike ride.
Until now, the Mirror API—which mostly just let apps throw information onto the Glass display—was the sole development tool available for the wearable device. Plenty of early developers pushed the Mirror API to its limits, and new apps for Glass, known as “Glassware,” continue to pop up.
Still, the Mirror API didn’t offer developers the same access to Glass’s nuts and bolts that Google built its own native Glass apps with. According to Glass developer advocate Timothy Jordan, the GDK was designed to feel familiar to existing Android developers.
Harness The Full Power Of Glass
The GDK will allow Glass developers to harness the full power of Glass. Most notably, apps built with the GDK have direct access to the hardware itself. That means new GDK-built apps can interact with the full array of sensors built into Glass, including the gyroscope, GPS, camera and perhaps even that mysterious wink detector. They’ll also open the doors for a more immersive app experience that isn’t as constrained to the Timeline Cards setup we’re used to now.
The capabilities on display in the new GDK-powered apps are impressive, to say the least. While I’ve just downloaded them myself (and will be testing them over the next few days), they considerably expand Glass’s existing functionality—and make a far better case for wearing Glass than throwaways like the CNN news reader.
With more than 10,000 Glass units in the wild, it’s the perfect time to take the wraps off of the new GDK. Around 1,500 Glass units shipped to attendees who pre-ordered at Google I/O back in 2012 (myself, #961, among them). After that, the program opened to the next wave of Explorers via Google’s #ifihadglass contest. After crowdsourcing invites to existing Glass Explorers, Glass is already in the hands of many eager developers invited in the last few weeks—in fact, Google is shipping the devices overnight.
Developers can get their toes wet with a few new tools now, namely GDK-based utilities for the compass, stopwatch and timer, available as a sneak peek on GitHub now. A full GDK developer preview will be available in the coming months, with an official release to follow. Want to know more? Watch Jordan walk Glass Explorers through the GDK preview at the latest Glass hackathon.
View full post on ReadWrite
Mobile apps are international phenomena. So is the Android operating system. Google knows the importance for developers to easily extend the international footprint so today it announced that its App Translation Service is now available to all developers.
The App Translation Service was announced at Google’s I/O developer conference earlier this year and allows for developers to hire human translators across the world to transcribe their apps from English into the local tongue. Want your app to be read in Farsi? Russian? Japanese? Developers can hire a professional translator through Google Play Services to bring their app to users’ native tongue across the world.
Google says that 1.5 million Android devices are activated every day and the vast majority of those smartphones and tablets go to countries where English is not the first language. As such, Google announced at I/O a suite of localization services and techniques to help developers be able to support true international launches of their apps such as the ability to accept a variety of forms of payment and currency through Google Play and to test a localized app.
It is important to note that not all Android apps can be sold or have in-app payments for every country around the world. Free apps are available wherever a user can access the Google Play Android app store. If a developer wants to charge for an app or feature or service with an app, it has to do so in countries where Google can accept payments. That list is quite long, ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe. Most major countries are supported, but developers should check Google’s list of supported countries before attempting to translate an app into a local language.
View full post on ReadWrite
Google’s introduction of Android 4.4 KitKat, the follow-on to three different versions of Android Jelly Bean, means that users have new features to look forward to—and that mobile developers and designers have a new toolset to learn.
KitKat is designed to work on a wide variety of devices with different amounts of RAM, even devices with as little as 512MB. But while memory optimization is the biggest change in this version of Android, KitKat also features a wide variety of new developer features and functions app makers will want to learn and exploit.
Here’s an overview of the 10 most important new developer features in Android KitKat, many of which will also significantly change the ways users interact with Android phones and tablets.
Full-Screen Immersive Mode
Apps in Android can now take expand to take advantage of every last pixel on the screen of a smartphone or tablet. Developers can choose to hide menu and navigation bars, buttons and other chrome to give users a true full screen app. Basically, developers can hide the entire system interface while the user is engaged in their apps.
This can be great for e-reader and other media apps (think newspapers or aggregation apps like Flipboard, Zite or Pulse) and games. To reveal the system user interface, KitKat has a new gesture where a user swipes from the top or the bottom to reveal navigation, menus and buttons.
Developers can now animate between “scenes”—different pages or events within and app—through a new transitions framework in KitKat 4.4. The new framework enables developers to define these scenes and animate them when a user enters or exits them within an app. This will allow apps to feature fades, resizing and other animations.
If developers don’t want to individually manage animations and transitions by setting specific scenes, a function called TransitionManager can do it automatically within an apps view hierarchy.
This is generally an awesome update in KitKat. Developers can create high quality video of their apps directly from an Android device. As the Google Play Android app store generally likes to have YouTube videos listed in its app descriptions, making it easy for developers to do this on a device (with an exterior camera) is a good idea.
The screen recording utility is provided within Android 4.4 and lets you capture video of your app and save it as an MP4 file. The recording can done at any device-supported resolution and then shared directly from the device to a computer for post-production. The screen recording function can be found through Android Debug Bridge (ADB) tool in the Android SDK or through the Android Studio integrated developer environment.
Storage Access Framework
The new Storage Access Framework in KitKat allows users to browse and open documents in an app from a variety of cloud storage providers. Want to open a picture from Box, Google Drive, the device’s local storage or another third-party? The Storage Access Framework in Android 4.4 will handle that for you.
Cloud providers or local storage services (such as those offered by individual Android manufacturers) can use the new system by implementing a new document provider class within Android for their service. The document provider class within Android has the APIs (application programming interfaces) necessary to manage, browse, read or write documents within the app from a variety of sources.
Document types include audio and video files, pictures, text, wallpapers and more. Developers can add their own storage services to Android without having to do it on a specific vendor by vendor basis (such as an individual set up for HTC, Samsung etc.).
New WebView & Chromium Features
KitKat includes new implementation of WebView based on Chrome for Android 30. It lets developers use the latest compatibility features, performance standards and support in WebView to access their Web-based content.
New Near Field Communications Platform Support
Host Card Emulation (HCE) in Android 4.4 is a new platform to support Near Field Communications (NFC) transactions. Google says that with HCE, “any app on an Android device can emulate an NFC smart card, letting users tap to initiate transactions with an app of their choice—no provisioned secure element (SE) in the device is needed.” Apps can also act in a new “Reader Mode” to receive NFC functionality (like payment processing, building access, tickets etc.).
The HCE is uses an Application Identifier (AID) to route the different NFC function from the hardware in a device to the right app. For instance, tapping your phone like you would a subway card is a lot different from tapping your phone at a retail store to pay for something. Apps can state what AIDs they want in what category such as payments or building access and so forth. HCE doesn’t replace the need for an NFC chip in a device, but it makes NFC more widely available and compliant.
The concept of “mobile printing” has been alive for some time, but we are now seeing much better integration into mobile devices. Microsoft has done well with wireless printing for mobile devices in Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT. Kitkat gets Android headed down the road to more ubiquitous printing as well.
Android apps will be able to print most types of content either through a Wi-Fi setup or through the cloud (where information is sent to the cloud from the device then back down to the printer). Google provides its own service for Android called Google Cloud Print. Android 4.4 introduces native platform support along with application programming interfaces for new types of printer support. Printer makers can use the APIs to make their devices compatible and build apps available in Google Play for users to download for specific printers.
For compatibility, Android will turn documents into PDFs as the primary printing files. The printing API provides native and WebView support to turn documents into PDFs before sending them to the printer.
Earlier in 2013, both HTC and Samsung created Infrared Blasters for their flagship devices so that you could control your television with your smartphone. At the time, the Android community wrung its hands about this because it wasn’t a natively supported function in Android, just a manufacturer add-on built on top of Android.
Google just changed that in KitKat. If any Android phone has infrared support, developers can tap into it and the application programming interface will tune the frequency from the phone to whatever remote receiver it is pointed at. Want to make an Android a universal remote? Now’s your chance.
New Bluetooth Profiles
Two new Bluetooth profiles come to Android KitKat 4.4. The new profiles let apps support a bigger range of low-power devices and new media interactions. If you are familiar with your wonky Bluetooth functionality, the two new profiles are Bluetooth HID over GATT (HOGP) and Bluetooth MAP. Support for Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3 is also included.
Bluetooth HID over GATT provides a low-latency link to low-powered devices like computer mice or keyboards. Bluetooth MAP let’s apps exchange messages with nearby devices (say, a smartwatch, for instance). The new profiles and support add onto what Google built into Android with Bluetooth in Jelly Bean 4.2.
A side note, Android 4.4 KitKat devices can now be certified by the Wi-Fi alliance as being Miracast compatible. That is a big step for Android in being able to stream content from a device to a television by supporting more streaming standards. Now only if the Chromecast supported Miracast.
Android 4.4 has platform support for hardware sensor batching to optimize power consumed by various sensors. Google is working with hardware manufacturers to allow for collection and delivery of sensor data on an Android device while allowing device’s processor (CPU) to stay in low-power mode.
This should improve battery life and performance for sensor-driven applications. Ever want to take and track a 100-mile bike ride and finish up with a not-dead battery? This is Android’s solution. Let’s hope that it makes it into Android-powered smartwatches in the future.
The biggest example of this is the new step counter and detector for motion controlled sensors. The step detector uses the accelerometer to analyze how many steps you take during the day. The step counter keeps track of the total. These are available in the Nexus 5 and Google is working with manufacturers to bring the features to more devices.
RenderScript Takes Advantage Of Device Hardware
RenderScript Compute was first introduced in Android Honeycomb 3.1. It is an application programming interface “designed to accommodate tasks that can be efficiently split and run concurrently on the underlying hardware which may be only known at the runtime of the application.” Essentially, it helps Android run faster and more efficiently by segmenting processes within an app.
Graphical Processor Unit (GPU) acceleration that was introduced in Jelly Bean 4.2 is spreading to the rest of the Android ecosystem and will be supported on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5. A new C++ API in the Android Native Developer Kit in KitKat 4.4 lets you access RenderScript through the Android platform framework. Big tasks that put a lot of pressure on the device’s hardware can now be integrated into an apps native code and allow for support from multiple smartphone CPU and GPU cores.
What does that mean, exactly? Well, the knock against many quad-core smartphones is that most apps don’t take advantage of all the power the devices have to offer. The new functionality in RenderScript Compute in Android helps developers make more powerful apps while writing less code in order to get the most out of a device’s hardware.
View full post on ReadWrite
When the Pebble smartwatch hit the market earlier this year, it hewed to a “simple is best” philosophy, offering only a limited set of features. But the company also pledged to help others develop their own creative uses for the gadget, and it’s now followed through with a more fully fledged set of developer tools and better iOS 7 integration.
The latter should interest iPhone users who want Twitter, Facebook, Skype or other alerts on their Pebble watches with a minimum of fuss. But the new software development kit, or SDK, should pique the interest of Pebble developers, particularly those itching to explore niches such as health monitoring, remote home security, automation and a variety of other futuristic features.
As Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky put it: “We’ve given them access to the sensors.”
See also: The Time Has Come For Smartwatches
Sensors lie at the heart of “cool tech” innovations these days. Want to know what your heart rate is during that run? Flip the lights and TV on as soon as you come through the door? That’s the work of sensors. And soon you may be able to monitor or control gadgets around you easily and conveniently from a watch strapped to your arm.
Pebble’s Kit And Kaboodle
Pebble launched with little more than a basic—dare I say charming?—e-paper display and a handful of features. The device handled alarms, music controls, some watch faces and alerts for email, call and texts from iPhones and Android handsets. Likewise, Pebble’s first SDK was also rather minimal, allowing developers to customize watch faces or to nix backlighting or vibrations and not much else.
Subsequent updates, along with a snazzy new sports API, made things a bit more interesting, offering support for two-way Bluetooth communication between the smartwatch and the paired smartphone. And apps like Runkeeper and FreeCaddie joined the party, essentially turning the device into a wearable fitness gadget.
Now version 2 ups the game, turning the Pebble into much more of a, well, platform. As Migicovsky told me last month, “It’s an open platform, which means anyone and everyone can hack on top of Pebble.”
So Migicovsky has put his SDK where his mouth is. With the sensors available—including a 3-axis accelerometer with gesture detection and a magnetometer—app developers have chance to dig in and dial up the innovation.
See also: A Tale Of Two Fitness Trackers
There’s a lot of buzz around sensors—hardware designed to detect changes in things like location, movement, light or temperature, among other things. One of the company’s early partners includes iControl, whose technology powers new home-automation services from Time Warner Cable and Comcast Xfinity. The company is working on a Pebble app, says Migicovsky, so customers can see data about their home on their watch and even perform some basic tasks.
Imagine Pebble sensors working with Apple’s geo-fencing API, so your home can sense when you’ve arrived and unlock your garage or front door, play your favorite playlist when you shake your arm, or automatically shut down your WiFi network when you’ve left the house.
In the context of a Pebblefied world, where things like smartphone GPS can join forces with arm gestures, a flick of a wrist can summon cool suggestions of activities to do in the area. Why not? That’s a feature Yelp is working on. And it’s not alone; others working on Pebble features include Foursquare and GoPro.
“For each of these apps,” Migicovsky told me Monday, “there’s a small micro interaction, a small bit of data that can be lifted from the smartphone and used by Pebble.”
Pebble also flipped the switch on Bluetooth Low Energy, adding that to its older, more stable Bluetooth connection profile. That means new features have better odds of not sucking batteries dry.
iPhone Users Get Good Vibrations—Lots Of Them
Of course, it will take time for new apps and Pebble-compatible features to arrive. Meanwhile, some customers can take heart in the new iOS notifications Pebble has just enabled.
Android users had more control over vibration alerts than iPhone users, either via the official Pebble app or third-party programs like Pebble Notifier. But now Pebble has just leveled the field. Similar to the jailbroken app BTNotificationEnabler, the new iOS Pebble app update “finally supports the full suite of notifications that show up in the top part of the phone,” Migicovsky says.
By taking advantage of the Apple Notification Center Service (ANCS)—which allows Bluetooth accessories to access those notifications—Pebble is giving people the opportunity to field an array of alerts on their Pebbles, from social networks to game apps and more.
The updated Pebble app has already been submitted to the App Store, so users will be able to get their hands on it as soon as Apple approves it. Once downloaded, it will automatically update the smartwatch over the air.
I got an early peek at the beta version, and the fuller range of alerts made me smile. It’s been extremely useful not having to dig out my iPhone 5S whenever I got a notification. The downside: The stream of Tweets, Facebook messages, chats and other alerts set my arm on near-constant jitter mode. This, however, wasn’t a tech fail; it was a user fail. I needed to tweak my settings to reduce the list of apps that shook my wrist.
Assuming that the release version works the same way as the beta version, it’s a pretty easy process: To get Pebble alerts for specific apps, you just enable them one by one in the Notifications Center and make sure they’re set to Banner alert style. Then go to the Bluetooth setting. If the Pebble’s paired, you’ll see it in the list. Select it, and then switch on the “Show Notifications” toggle on the next screen.
Beyond that, there have still been some issues. Sometimes email notifications would appear repeatedly. Or the Bluetooth connection would drop out and, upon connecting again, would dump an avalanche of previous items into the pipeline of alerts again. Pebble is aware of these bugs and already has some fixes in test mode, a company rep told me.
If Pebble can solve the pairing problems and make the experience more stable for those 190,000 Pebble owners—and if the SDK is sufficient to keep the developer community engaged and inspired—then Migicovsky and company might actually be on to something.
Pebble is also upping its game in customer service. With its manufacturing woes in the rearview mirror, it’s promising to put smartwatches in people’s hands quickly, with free priority shipping (5 to 7 days) worldwide for a limited time.
Combined, these moves all suggest that Pebble could have a lot more potential than it first appeared. “Pebble can be a platform that other people can build apps and even companies off of,” Migicovsky insists. Time—ahem—will tell.
View full post on ReadWrite
As more businesses turn to the Web for commerce, application programming interfaces, or APIs, have grown tremendously in importance. APIs let developers tap into Web services easily, without re-coding their own applications to interact with those services.
See also: What APIs Are And Why They Matter
API management tools like Apigee Enterprise can be effective platforms to do just that. They offer plug-and-play configurations that makes creating an API creation a GUI-based snap. But you know developers—the urge to code can be hard to resist. Or there may be a complex problem that an API manager can’t build easily.
At those times, many developers really need to pop the hood on the API manager in order to get down into the code. And that’s why Apigee just announced that developers can now use the popular Node.js software platform within Apigee Enterprise to build APIs and apps.
The integration of Node.js extends the programmability of Apigee and the capability of developers to use code to create specialized APIs, the company’s chief architect, Greg Brail, told me in an interview.
See also: The New API Gold Rush
The addition of Node.js to Apigee Enterprise is designed to let developers handle scenarios that Apigee’s software might not otherwise be able to handle. For instance, Brail said, imagine a company had an existing set of servers for commerce, like an order-taking and a catalog service, and wanted to tie in a new service that would monitor all of a customer’s favorites. It would have previously been complicated to tie the new service into all of the e-commerce servers, but now deverlopers can build one Node.js app to handle it all.
Node.js can also satisfy the urge for developers who just want to get their hands on lines of code—like flipping Dreamweaver into HTML edit mode when the WYSIWYG editor just won’t do.
Ultimately, the inclusion of Node.js tools within Apigee Enterprise hints at Apigee’s next steps. ”APIs aren’t the destination,” Brail said. “The destination is the apps and what they can do.”
Apigee is taking strides towards becoming an even more robust development platform, where development teams can use API-based methods to build APIs that will enable customers, partners and even other in-house developers to access services. Brail envisions an API-based development ecosystem, where software features can be shared without complex code integration.
Code tools like Node.js will allow for such connections, smoothing out any rough edges along the way.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
View full post on ReadWrite
A software-copyright dispute blew up but good after a judge was swayed by the fact that a developer and security consultant describes himself and colleagues on his website as “good at hacking things.”
The case is sort of convoluted, but one key element is that Idaho National Laboratory convinced a federal judge to sanction the seizure of a computer belonging to former employee Corey Thuen. The court order came after the judge agreed with INL that Thuen might “release” an allegedly infringing program and “destroy evidence” by wiping his computer hard drives.
Thuen had no opportunity to argue against the seizure before it happened, and reportedly got a distressed call from his wife when INL attorneys turned up at his home to carry out the court’s order. You can get more on the story at Techdirt and the Google+ page of Thuen’s close friend Andreas Schou.
View full post on ReadWrite
Russia’s largest search engine Yandex has released its Yandex Metrica for Apps, a free analytics solution available to mobile developers worldwide. According to the announcement, the new analytics tool has been designed to work on Android, iOS and Windows Phone platforms, providing real-time…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.