WillowTree Apps Applies Service Virtualization to API Development

Waiting for APIs to be designed and implemented can wind up wasting a lot of application development time because, without an API in place, development teams can’t really work on the rest of the application. To address that issue, WillowTree Apps this week announced the release of a rapid API design and virtualization tool, dubbed Monkeypod, that is accessed via the cloud.

WillowTree Apps VP of Sotware Development, Gregg Carrier, says that as a developer of mobile applications for enterprise organizations, WillowTree Apps regularly ran into issues where its development partners were held up waiting for one API or another to be completed. To allow those developers to keep working on other aspects of the application, WillowTree Apps decided to build a tool that would enable organizations to rapidly create a virtual instance of an API using the Swagger API framework that developers could invoke in order to test various aspects of the application without the API having to be finalized. Based on HTTP and JSON, Monkeypod is designed to create a Swagger specification that is compatible with other Swagger tools, such as code generation and Sandbox Documentation, Carrier says. In essence, WillowTree Apps is applying service virtualization concepts and constructs for creating APIs to the development of the applications.

While APIs have made software more accessible than ever, many development teams wind up rushing the development of the API because of pressure from the rest of the application development team. Carrier says Monkeypod is designed to allow those development teams to use mock data accessed via service virtualization techniques to continue working in parallel to the development of the actual API.

The concept of using service virtualization to speed the development process is hardly new. Developers have been leveraging such capabilities for several years. But WillowTree Apps is arguably one of the first to build a dedicated tool for applying that concept to the development of APIs.

As enterprise IT organizations in particular look for more systematic ways to build large numbers of applications, Carrier says service virtualization services such as Monkeypod have a large role to play in reducing application development backlog. With demand for mobile computing applications that make heavy use of APIs to access legacy applications in the enterprise increasing, Monkeypod has the potential to serve as a central hub for managing the application development process, he says.

Most enterprise IT organizations are just coming to grips with the potential power of APIs. But as they become more familiar with API concepts and constructs, it’s pretty clear that robust APIs will soon be central to every application they deploy.

Be sure to read the next REST article: Headlines That Condemn APIs Are Written For Clicks. Not Reality.