The CEO of Apollo GraphQL, Geoff Schmidt, predicted the rise of Omni Channel API development in an exclusive interview with ProgrammableWeb during Day 2 of the GraphQL Summit 2019 in San Francisco CA. Schmidt pointed out that the trend in application development is to move toward interaction styles that are natural to the end-user.
According to Schmidt, “I think the question that a lot of companies are asking is, what are the next platforms that are going to provide more natural ways to interact with users?”
Schmidt’s thinking is that early computer interaction based on users interacting with a keyboard and monitor was an unnatural approach to man-machine interaction. Schmidt stated, “In the beginning, our access to digital technology was boxed up at our desk. It was like working on a TV screen. It was crazy.”
Eventually, usage matured to using the mouse and finger movement directly on a screen, as is the case with current smartphone technology. However, Schmidt sees the technology progressing to move beyond manual device manipulation. Schmidt asks, “Why should we have to go through these very artificial feeling devices to get access to all these amazing services? Rather, we should have instant access to all this stuff whenever we need it, as we want it.”
Schmidt sees a future in which APIs, particularly graph-based APIs are no longer a means to access services of value, but rather as the end product itself. As such APIs are going to need to be available to a variety of physical interfaces, for example, voice and IoT devices. Schmidt’s analysis is that API development we evolve past the current three channels of access -- web, iOS, and Android -- to a broader range of channels. Schmidt describes this evolution as developing to the Omni Channel.
According to Schmidt, “when we look at the people who are the most cutting edge adopters of GraphQL, they're starting to look beyond just the three channels everyone thinks about, web, iOS, Android, to think about other ways that they're going to reach their users as part of an Omni Channel strategy. There are so many different ways that people are inventing to engage with users. The pressure now is to get it so that all these cloud services that are so valuable can find a route to the user.”
Schmidt is enthusiastic about the prospects for the future. The key he thinks is to understand that the API is the product, that the API is not the journey to another destination, but the destination itself. Once companies position their APIs a service platform, then the next step is to make them available to all points in the Omni Channel.
As Schmidt says, “I don't think that creating new user interface technologies is going to slow down. I think it's going to accelerate and that's going to lead to an ever-increasing role for API developers because what's going to connect all this stuff together is going to be APIs."