This year the API Conference 2018 took place at the Steigenberger Hotel in Berlin. The first conference day was reserved for workshops. I attended the workshop “Contracts can be fun, hands-on consumer-driven contracts”. After a short introduction about the pro and cons of using contracts in development, we started with code samples straight away. Using some prepared sample projects, we generated contracts from consumer tests with the pact framework. The generated contracts were used to implement the provider as well as the provider tests. In the end, we had some small working samples to play with. The workshop provided a short overview about continuous integration patterns, but did not go into depth. Whether using consumer-driven contracts can be considered useable in real world projects needs to be proven in future projects.
I started the second day with listening to technical talks about GraphQL and Kafka. Both talks provided basic insights into the concepts and patterns and provided code samples on using the presented technology. The GraphQL talk not only focused on syntax and basic samples, but also addressed best practises such as e.g. using fragments to avoid code duplication. The Kafka solutions focused on one of the most suitable use cases, streaming and aggregation. The afternoon started off with serverless architectures and interesting discussions about possible hidden trade-offs and costs, induced by audience questions. The talk about autonomous APIs provided a very entertaining forecast of future domain-driven APIs. The day ended with API authentication and authorization strategies.
A range of diverse topics was presented on the third day. It began with a sales pitch for treating APIs not just as simple technical interfaces but products. The API lifecycle management was explained in the next talk. Following the product idea of an API, its life cycle can be compared to a product life cycle and its different stages. Running API management platforms concluded the business-related API part of this day. In the afternoon, I looked into IoT and APIs returning to the good old engineering times of network protocol layers and payload optimization.
In summary, the conference provided insight into several distinct aspects of APIs. It was nice to see that our approaches regarding APIs, microservices and tooling is quite state-of-the-art.
Credits for cover image go to: API Conference.