Real World API Series - Part 1: About the Project

Real World API Series - Part 1: About the Project

Long ago, and far away, a buddy of mine had an idea: how cool would it be if there were an online community where folks interested in playing sports could get together, talk and then meetup somewhere to ball out...or puck out...or whatever? We were both amazed that the best place for folks to learn about opportunities to play was still the bulletin board at the gym. This happened in early 2001.

Well, it's 16 years later, and the bulletin board is still the best place...although it has taken the shape of Craig's List...and been joined by whatever "Calendar" is up on the gym's web site. And there is, as always, good old fashioned word-of-mouth, which looks a lot like an email distribution list these days. I am on no less than 6 different email lists myself that I need to keep an eye out for in my Inbox. So, basically, this is still a problem.

My buddy and I have talked several times over the years, and we finally decided to pull the string a little bit and see if we could help people out. Throw in the fact that it allows me to play with some cool technology, and I am in!

So, for the purposes of this series of blog posts, we are going to be building out the API from scratch. We want to do something cool. We want to solve the problem. We do NOT, at least initially, want to have anything to do with phone apps. That's why we decided on an API.

We are decoupling the logic from our site and building that logic into a state-of-the-art, scalable API, with ourselves as the first consumer. That way, if the community ever cares enough to engage our brand, they can be up and running in no time at all.

So, why an API instead of microservices? Just a personal preference, really. Also, at least in my opinion, I regard microservices as something very trendy that might not be around in 5 years, while APIs might have a slightly better chance at surviving the long haul as they are currently both understood and constructed. Call it a slightly educated guess by a dude that has been doing this for 20+ years, seeing lots of trends come and go.

So, those are the basics. Please stay tuned for the next post in the series, where we will present a quick API 101 and a few best practices that we will be mindful of throughout creating and launching our API.

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