Software quality the main course of QCon
November 9, 2012 —
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Finally, Edberg said that designing for scalability from the start is key, but the initial number of servers is also an important decision. “Going from two to three is hard,” he said. “When you have one server, going from one to two is even harder to do, which is why I recommend going for three from the beginning. Scaling from three to six is a lot easier than from one to two or two to three.”
Another popular topic at QCon was the use of APIs. Mike Amundsen, principal API architect at Layer 7, said that enterprises are extremely concerned with governance and policy enforcement on APIs. But he also said that these new focuses on SLAs and productizing APIs has resulted in some interesting shifts in how APIs are handled inside big businesses.
“More often now, I'm seeing people in sales meetings who say, 'I'm not the lead architect, I'm the product lead,’” he said. “They use that phrase. Even in the IT space, sometimes these product leads are inward-facing.”
In short, APIs are being tended to with the same care and feeding a regular software product would receive. This even extends to how companies approach API design.
“Other people showing up in the room are user-experience people,” said Amundsen. “I'm seeing people are using stories and personas for the API designs. User-centered design is a big thing for them for some of our customers.”
Unlike many of the API management themes out today, Layer 7 is not simply pushing REST, said Amundsen. In fact, one of the best practices his company suggests is to allow the API to be loosely coupled with its transport.
“You've got this compositional layer already that's your business piece,” he said. “We're telling people to actually consider the API as this thin veneer—like a UI—and a representation layer. Your components give you data, you compose that into something interesting, then you're representing it to the client, either as a SOAP message or a JSON payload, or as REST.”