Cloud hosting provider DigitalOcean announced Tuesday that version 2 of its API has entered public beta.
The latest version of the company's API features a number of improvements. Most importantly, the V2 API is far more RESTful than the first version and supports standard HTTP methods, including GET, POST, PUT, DELETE and HEAD. Previously, all endpoints in DigitalOcean's API used the GET method.
Additionally, DigitalOcean has added some usability improvements, such as pagination, as well as new endpoints that give developers access to functionality not previously accessible via API. For instance, developers can now perform IPv6 actions and make kernel changes using the API. The second version of the API also supports "slugs," which allow developers to reference objects such as server sizes and regions using descriptive strings instead of numeric IDs.
Finally, developers using the API have new ways to control access to their accounts. They can now create API tokens to give third parties access to their accounts without having to reveal their credentials. OAuth support, which DigitalOcean hopes will help developers better integrate their applications with their DigitalOcean accounts, is also being added.
A Good API Is a Must for Hosting Companies
As growing numbers of enterprises move their infrastructure into the cloud, APIs are an increasingly crucial part of a hosting company's value proposition. To make the most of the cloud, more and more businesses require the ability to manage and scale their infrastructure programmatically using APIs.
That means hosting companies must offer APIs that not only provide comprehensive coverage of all their services but that are also well-designed and intuitive. That's something DigitalOcean learned firsthand early this year when it was criticized for a default API parameter setting that created a security issue. To its credit, DigitalOcean responded quickly to that issue and the improvements in the second version of its API reflect the importance the company is placing on its API.
Other hosting companies are doing the same, and DigitalOcean's announcement is just the latest in a string of API developments in the hosting space. Just last week, for instance, Rackspace announced its new OnMetal offering, which allows customers to deploy and manage dedicated bare-metal servers using the same API that they can use to create and manage multitenant, virtual machine-based cloud servers.
The message for hosting companies is clear: You need an API, and a good one at that, to compete in today's market. Which means that we can expect to see more announcements and launches in this space going forward.