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Designing for Reuse: Creating APIs for the Future

Mike Amundsen (, Inc.)
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When setting out to design an API for the Web an important consideration is how widely you want it to be used. Sometimes the API is meant for a small group and will live for only a short time. Other times, your aim is to create an interface that will have wide appeal and should last years into the future.

What does it take to design an API for re-use? How do you implement the API so that it can be both stable and vital well into the future? This talk provides a set of simple recommendations on how to design and implement APIs that need to last a long time. Real-life examples of existing Web APIs are shown as guides. Classic lessons in software architecture such as “information hiding”, “abstract interfaces” and other techniques are also covered.

Photo of Mike Amundsen

Mike Amundsen, Inc.

An internationally known author and lecturer, Mike Amundsen travels throughout the world consulting and speaking on a wide range of topics including distributed network architecture, Web application development, and other subjects.

In his role of API architect at Layer 7, Amundsen heads up the API Architecture and Design Practice in North America. He is responsible for working with companies to provide insight on how best to capitalize on the myriad opportunities APIs present to both consumers and the enterprise.

Amundsen has authored numerous books and papers on programming over the last 15 years. His most recent book is a collaboration with Leonard Richardson titled “RESTful Web APIs”. His 2011 book, “Building Hypermedia APIs with HTML5 and Node”, is an oft-cited reference on building adaptable distributed systems.