In Other API Economy News: One API to Rule Your Home, Amazon's LightSail, Kotlin and More

With the daily volume of API news constantly on the uprise and not enough time in the day to cover it all, ProgrammableWeb will offer brief montages of news that didn't get the full treatment in one of our other news stories. In our daily scrubdown of the Web for new APIs, SDKs and other tools, we came across this Android API test tool on Github that supports both Java and Kotlin. If you haven't heard of Kotlin, you will. At Google I/O 2017, Google announced that Kotlin is now one of the officially supported languages for developing native Android apps. 

Elsewhere in the world of Android, Andy Rubin (the guy who originally spearheaded Android at Google) is now at the helm of a company called Essential where they've declared that the company's Ambient Operating System is "the API for your Home."  According to Manuel Roman, "With Ambient OS, your home is the computer. Ambient OS is aware of the physical layout of your home, the people that live in it, services relevant to both your home and the people within, and devices." When it comes to all the standards for home automation (Zigbee, Z-Wave, etc.) -- never mind all of the proprietary products and families of products -- we're not sure who is going to sort it all out. looks pretty cool but is very DIY. In contrast, Ambient is hoping to deliver an Apple-esque out of the box experience. Craftsmanship is everything to Essential, according to one blog. We shall see. 

Meanwhile, Globe Telecom is the latest carrier to endorse the TM Forum's API specifications. The TM Forum is a consortium that has written standard API specifications (the contract part of the APIs) for at least 30 APIs that many international carriers are starting to comply with. In fact, the TM Forum was one of several inspirations that caused ProgrammableWeb to alter its data model in a way that both a standard API specification (like one of TM Forum's) and the APIs that complied with that spec could be added to ProgrammableWeb's API directory. Yes, coming soon, you'll be able to pick a standard API -- be it one of TM Forum's, or one of the standard browser APIs "ratified" by the World Wide Web Consortium, or others -- and find all the implementations of it. 

Speaking of browser APIs, we've said it before and we'll say it again; just because an API provider or designer goes to a lot of trouble to make their APIs secure doesn't mean that some developer lacking security chops won't come along and inadvertently leave end-users vulnerable in some way. Although theoretical example doesn't involve a typical REST API (it involves HTML5's postMessage API for cross-origin messaging between browser tabs that are tuned into different domains), it nevertheless exemplifies how easily vulnerabilities are introduced into end-user facing applications. It is at this point that we at ProgrammableWeb would like to reiterate that it simply isn't enough for API developer portals to include some technical Documentation on how to apply a supported security technology like OAuth. Those portals should contain entire sections that educate developers on how to develop secure web, mobile, desktop, and server apps.

Now that we're talking about security, Qualys has issued some release notes for version 8.10 of its APIs that, according to the notes, "[give] you more ways to integrate your programs and API calls with Qualys Vulnerability Management (VM) and Qualys Policy Compliance (PC)."  We just wish such notes weren't encapsulated in a PDF and could be more easily discovered in a web-based changelog. 

Finally, in the "we-take-the-devops-out-out-of-devops" department, Amazon Web Services' Jeff Barr says that Amazon has added 9 more regions and a global console to the company's Lightsail service. You know all that messy stuff you normally have to do to provision a virutal private server (VPS)? Stuff like configuring IP addresses, DNS, storage, etc? The idea behind Lightsail is to launch virtual private servers with a few mouse clicks. Typical of Amazon, when the service originally launched at the most recent AWS lovefest in Vegas (RE:Invent), there was light coverage in terms of domestic and international data centers. Now, the service is supported by 28 zones spanning three data centers in the US, three in Europe, and four in Asia Pacific. Oh? You don't like mouseclicks you say? You prefer a devops API? Yes, true to AWS form, there's one of those for Lightsail too. There are eight SDKs as well for everything from .NET to Go. 

Be sure to read the next Security article: Can Blockchain Be Used to Secure APIs?